Maude Gay (EDHEC Master 2009), IRISÉ Paris Founder

Published on 12/06/2020
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Tell us about yourself.

My name is Maude GAY and I’m 35 years old. I joined EDHEC after a master’s in contemporary history at the Sorbonne. I majored in Entrepreneurship. After EDHEC, I started to work in Singapore for Caudalie and then returned to France where I took up a key accounts position at SHISEIDO, working on the Travel Retail network in Europe for 5 years.

Then I couldn’t resist the allure of entrepreneurship and I created a make-up brand, IRISÉ PARIS, in 2018.

Tell us briefly how your project came about.

The project came about through a partnership with my father, who has been an experienced entrepreneur for more than 20 years. He must have passed that on to me! Before working for major cosmetics firms, I wanted to create a brand that would reflect my vision of make-up: it is above all about pleasure and emotions. Professional make-up (i.e. excellent quality) should be available to all.

Describe your business for us.

IRISÉ PARIS is a brand of professional make-up that is natural and made in France. Our mission is to make professional make-up easy, affordable and a delight!

To achieve this, we hold IRISÉ PARTIES all around France. An IRISÉ PARTY is a moment shared between girlfriends or colleagues run by a professional make-up artist who teaches participants how to apply their make-up and have fun.

Our products are made in France in a laboratory of the highest quality that has been awarded the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant label. They contain no preservatives, perfume or silicone and are not tested on animals. They are remarkably easy to apply and have astonishing pigmentation, but at an affordable price. That’s what makes our offer unique on the market.

We encourage moderate consumption of make-up and our leading product is the MOOD BOX, an anti-waste refillable make-up palette that the customer makes herself.

What is your initial assessment of this entrepreneurial adventure?

It’s thrilling! Each day is a new day … We’ve changed our strategy since the launch: our business model was entirely digital, and now we are developing a network of professional make-up artists to retail the brand.   

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

To listen to the advice of experts in their area but without going against their own intuition. It’s not always straightforward …

What’s next for your project?

In France, we want to continue to develop our network of professional make-up artists.

And also develop our export market, where products made in France continue to thrive, especially in the cosmetic sector. That’s particularly true for us in Africa. Our products are suitable for all skin colours, which is not the case for every brand.

Do you have expectations from the community of Alumni?

Yes! To hold IRISÉ PARTIES in their homes or companies!


Career change? Moving house?