Dreams into reality - Launching a luxury skin care brand in France
Dear Lovelies, I’m very excited to share with you Melissa Obeid’s story on bringing to life her unique dream and vision of creating a luxury skin care brand in France.
I’ve had the enormous pleasure of trying this beautiful product, and as I said to Melissa, ‘It’s like a Hermes handbag in a jar!!’
It’s pure craftsmanship and luxury and everything you would expect of a beautiful product made in France with an interesting Australian twist.
Over to Melissa…
(Image: La Fervance/Jolene Denes Photography)
Why a face cream in France?
Creating a face cream in the global cosmetics hub was certainly not the intention when we arrived in France as skin care brand in France !
The concept of a sustainable, luxurious, 100% natural and proven-active skincare brand was one I had in Australia, where we had actually commenced the process. Then a few weeks into our French family sabbatical in 2016 and the inspiration struck! The momentum kicked in and I was engulfed in this extraordinarily powerful flow of making the vision a reality in the prestige cosmetics mecca as nothing beats that ‘Made in France’ positioning. I realised it was hugely ambitious, but with the encouragement of Jamie and our children, I maintained my focus, a blind faith and after almost 4 years whilst living in Provence, Paris, of highs, lows and ‘many reasons to give up’ — LA FERVANCE was born.
It’s the first clean luxury beauty brand or skin care brand in France to fuse the best of Australia’s enchanting environment and centuries of French savoir faire into entirely original and highly sophisticated and balanced formulations from 100% natural origins, at a time when many brands are using ‘off the shelf/standard’ formulations which are ready to label due to their lower costs and quicker time to market. Our benchmark was excellence within every touchpoint, and we refused to compromise on any element of the brand or product development. Market trends and commercial factors were never our driving force. The launch of our ‘iconic’ Eclat Extraordinaire embodies the essence of our adventure, brand values and represents a new philosophy in clean beauty. France felt like the most natural place to make all of this happen.
I’m extremely fortunate to have a husband who supported this dream and has been prepared to work with me to make it happen.
(Images: La Fervance/Jolene Denes Photography/Melissa Obeid)
What attracts you to living in France and how has it influenced creating La Fervance?
I’m convinced I must have had a past life in France! Despite the various dramatic events which have transpired whilst living here, I’m unperturbed. Each time I step onto the streets of Paris or whilst in Provence, feels like my first time and whilst I may look like a local, I act like a tourist, constantly pausing to take pics of building facades, doors, vineyards, corners, tables, chairs, old people… Not half as amazing as your pics, Carla, but with that same perspective of seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.
After living in Paris in the 90’s where I studied at the Paris Fashion Institute and worked in fashion for a couple of years, France has a special place in my heart. Later my role at the National Gallery of Victoria was perfect as we staged many French exhibitions, so I got my ‘French fix’ regularly.
Around my 45th birthday, Jamie saw I was missing France, so decided he’d bring me and the kids to my ‘happy place’ for a ‘few months’. The relocation from our comfortable life in Bayside Melbourne for a sabbatical was sudden, but within 8 weeks of making the decision, we were on the plane — long stay visas in hand and an unknown adventure awaiting. On 12 July, we celebrated 4 years to the day! Whilst a true-blue Aussie at heart, with Lebanese heritage, for me, France feels like the centre of the universe, from where we can easily access other parts of the world. When I’m not here, I feel like I’m missing something intrinsic to my identity.
I’m also passionate about history, so clearly I’m in the right place and despite some aspects of living and doing business in France being highly frustrating — this quirkiness is charming in itself (sometimes!)
The pursuit of excellence, traditions, quality, and overall inspiration I receive whilst here has influenced every element of the LA FERVANCE story. The ‘Made in France’ positioning is essential to the brand and I feel the inspiration around Napoleon & Josephine’s fascination with Australia and the Bourdin expedition to Oz in 1800 strongly here, which in turn influences the energy which LA FERVANCE exudes.
(Images: La Fervance/Jolene Denes Photography)
What have been some of the joys of living your dream?
The hugely diverse group of people we’ve crossed paths with along the way, many of whom have become close friends and de facto ‘family’. Inspiring and playing a part in some of their journeys has been most rewarding.
The crazy synchronicities which have occurred so frequently, and which have impacted where we are now. Even meeting you, Carla, was via my now dear friend Jolene Denes, whom we initially met whilst principal dancer au Moulin Rouge — retiring in 2016 and who’s now our LA FERVANCE photographer. She’s another Aussie living in France.
Achieving what so many said would be ‘impossible’ and pushing through the consistent obstacles to see my dream become a reality and doing this all with our own personal funds.
The sense of freedom and gratification one feels from pursuing a soul led life, over an ‘average’ one, despite the latter offering more comfort and security.
Exposing our children to European road trips, locations, languages, cuisine, history, new friends for life, French schooling and the LA FERVANCE adventure. They have lived the entrepreneurial journey and seen us work tirelessly to create this brand.
Discovering my inner-strength, capabilities and working through some significant personal growth.
Reaffirming the power of integrity, good manners and respect for oneself and others. Seeing our brand appear in British VOGUE, Tattler, ELLE Paris.
Introducing the brand into retail in Australia, Paris, London, Canada, St Tropez, SKINLife in Portugal, in Lourmarin Provence and the highly reputed SKINS Cosmetics network — and thriving during the global pandemic which hit soon after the brand launch.
(Images: La Fervance/Jolene Denes Photography/Melissa Obeid)
What have been some of the challenges?
Oh Mon Dieu! SOOO many! This journey is not for the faint-hearted.
The Covid-19 global pandemic and all that this entailed (entrepreneurial 18-hour days & home-schooling included!)
A home-sick Aussie hubby and feeling torn between returning to the stability of Oz or pursuing the LA FERVANCE dream in France.
Being far from friends and family – especially my amazing, self-sufficient 94 year old Grandmother.
French bureaucracy and the various delays and road-blocks which are highly frustrating to a ‘can-do’ person.
The numerous time-consuming visa renewal procedures. Copious amount of requirements and paperwork.
Selling our first home in Melbourne, which held a strong sentimental connection for my children and I. This was a difficult decision about skin care brand in France. We were prepared for a short sabbatical in France, so when this extended and we created LA FERVANCE, an injection of funds was necessary. Either we returned to Oz and kept this rental property, or sold it and remained in France. I felt so strongly about LA FERVANCE so I chose the latter.
Four years and investing 100’s of thousands into the brand and living abroad expenses and on the assumption it will succeed is a great challenge, but I’d like to think ‘fortune favours the bold’.
How did you know you were on the right path?
I’ve asked myself this question on many occasions over the past 4 years.
For me, it’s waking up each morning with renewed energy and inspiration to continue with this chosen mission, despite the challenges which present along the way.
The excitement I feel about the project, the energy it evokes during meetings and the way the LA FERVANCE story inspires all who I share it with.
I truly LOVE what I do — despite the long days, juggling the project with a busy family life and all whilst living in a foreign country. I believe it’s the entrepreneurial spirit in which I was raised, and which runs through my veins. It’s really quite addictive.
The bizarre way this inspirational journey found me in many respects and how I could not imagine myself finding as much joy doing anything other than what I’m currently doing.
Someone once encouraged me to ‘Live a BIG LIFE’. I guess I took his advice!
(Images: La Fervance/Jolene Denes Photography)
Any advice to someone who has a dream and needs to take the first step?
Absolument! Just do it! Simply take ‘that’ first step. Whether it’s that initial phone call enquiry, an online search, a course, whatever — simply commence. If it’s the right dream, things will fall into place, flow effortlessly and then it’s up to you to write the rest of the story. Life is too short to procrastinate or live with regrets.
The universe will help those who help themselves, so give it a go, or you’ll never know. Regardless of the outcome, you will have lived new experiences, created an interesting story and who knows what amazing outcomes you may enjoy! Not to mention inspiring young people in your life in positive, ‘go getting’ ways.
Block out the ‘noise’ from negative people or those who chose not to follow their dreams, as this will only create doubt and pull you back. Instead, surround yourself with inspirational people, stories, podcasts, places to motivate that drive and determination.
If Jamie and I could put everything on the line to create a luxury skincare brand in the luxury skincare mecca of the world, then I truly believe anything is possible!
“The ECLAT EXTRAORDINAIRE TransformActive mask was a joy to use and gave lustre to my skin despite a stinking cold... I used only a foaming cleanser & La Fervance for three days . I noticed every time I went to the bathroom the contrast in how I was feeling and how my skin looked and like radiant skin, I became addicted to the fragrance 💕Much love💕”
KarenLondon - Verified Buyer
“From the moment I smelt the fragrance of Eclat Extraordinaire I knew I was about to have a very different skin mask experience! After relaxing for 15mins with the golden divine essence on my skin, my skin looks plump and radiant with a gorgeous glow! My usual tinge of redness and fine lines are far less noticeable. I’ve even used a tiny amount as face cream before an event, when I want to look my best. The whole experience feels luxe from beginning to end and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
Tina M.Australia - Verified Buyer
“I love the rich and comforting texture of ECLAT EXTRAORDINAIRE. I use it on my skin in extreme weather or after a scrub to nourish my skin. I also find it’s great as a lip balm as it has gold specks in its formula. Finally I use it on my lips and hands when they are rough . I highly recommend this product.”
Anna T.Rome - Verified Buyer
“Finally a Skin Product with a 100% pure and natural compositions. My skin has never experienced anything like this.”
Joan W.Boston, USA - Verified Buyer
“I love this product. My skin felt immediately nourished and hydrated with a definite healthy glow. Dark under eye shadows appeared less pronounced and wrinkles smoothed out. A little product also goes a long way. Highly recommended.”
KateLondon - Verified Buyer
“I had the opportunity of experiencing a sample of LAFERVANCE – ECLAT EXTRAORIDINAIRE.
It is an amazing product. Exceptional. Very happy to at last find a truly natural high-end skincare product! The moment you apply it to your face, you feel your skin is glowing! The texture is really amazing and one which I have never seen before in any product and I’ve tried them all! Really excellent quality, lovely packaging & smells amazing. Thank you LAFERVANCE.”
ClairUAE - Verified Buyer
“I love the instant glow LA FERVANCE gives me in the morning! Both the texture and smell are so luxurious. It's such a welcome treat to my skin.”
NataliePerth, Australia - Verified Buyer
“I’ve only used ECLAT EXTRAORDINARE a number of times and have already experienced immediate golden, glowing, plump skin. I’m really looking forward to adding LA FERVANCE to my daily routine!”
EloisaBuenos Aires, Argentina - Verified Buyer
“I am loving your product and am amazed on how little you need. Such a small amount goes such a long way and after one week the product looks like I have never used it! I am using LA FERVANCE every morning after my moisturiser and as a sleep mask. My skin feels softer and more alive. I have very sensitive skin and the only reaction my skin has had has been a positive one! I am a Canadian and vegan and am so happy to have found a wonderful product like this.
This morning I applied a thick layer for the 10-minute treatment mask for the first time and the sensation felt like nothing I had experienced before. Once the time was up, I added some water to my fingers and massaged it in, wiped off the excess and yes, my face was glowing and felt so refreshed. I have even found the dark circles under my eyes have lightened up.”
TraceyCanada - Verified Buyer
“La máscara nutritiva "LA FERVANCE" es magnífica, un producto muy elegante. Lo dejé durante la noche y desperté a la piel que estaba profundamente nutrida.”
MargueritaMadrid - Verified Buyer
“After only using ECLAT EXTRAORDINAIRE twice in the morning, I just love the smell and texture. It feels rich and it is very pleasant to apply. I also like the glowing effect it leaves on the skin. I could easily become addicted.”
CecileLondon - Verified Buyer
" I went home and opened my package! Such a treat, with the the ribbon, box and gold spoon! And I love how it smells and feels on the skin. 😍 LOVE IT!
RachelBRISTOL, UK - Verified Buyer
I have been using éclat extraordinaire for the past week as a night mask. I Just have to say it is really very beautiful. My skin looks so much better and it’s totally bought back literally the éclat I have been missing for the past few months. I wake up glowing!
I really like it around my eyes too. It’s very gentle, penetrates right in and it doesn’t sting like some other products can.
I think it’s great for the fine lines. There’s no more dry skin around my nose and chin and it’s perfect for this time of year. Bravo. So so good!
JoleneParis - Verified Buyer
I received this product just in time, as the weather had just changed from cold to very cold and my skin was starting to feel parched from the indoor heating. I have used La Fervence for a few weeks now and can truly say that I am hooked! It has everything going for it. In addition to the natural, quality ingredients backed up with all of the most desireable eco-qualifications, the first thing that hits is the heady, intoxicating fragrance. (I wish there were a perfume version available!) Then comes the texture: the cream (I know it's technically a mask, but I am using it as a face cream first thing in the morning, on my lips, and again at night as a mask) is wonderfully rich and creamy as it goes on, yet it quickly melts into the skin, leaving behind only the feeling of a light and nourishing barrier. I leave home feeling like my skin is protected against the aggressive urban environment. I use it again before I go to sleep and wake up to skin that feels plumper and softer than ever. The difference is marked. Finally, I love how so little goes such a long way. Congratulations on a stellar product - looking forward to the evolution of the collection!
TANISNYC, USA - Verified Buyer
After two weeks using this product I am delighted with my purchase! It really can be used in three unique ways: as a masque (my favorite), overnight and under moisturizer for a special glow. Give this rich product an extra five minutes to absorb... it’s worth it! I’ve seen noticeably plumper skin and fewer wrinkles, and overall healthier looking skin. A little goes a long way, so you will definitely get months of use from your purchase. So much value here with an all natural beauty product. Well done!!
LISANYC, USA - Verified Buyer
Love, love, love La Fervance's Eclat Extraordinaire Multi- Mask. From the very first application, my skin simply glows. Silky smooth and nourishing, I feel this multi-mask truly transforms my appearance. Using it during the day, it gives me a beautiful dewy glow. At night, I feel it's wholesome, clean and specific ingredients are working it's magic. Personally, I have been using clean brands for decades. And I am excited to experience a luxury skin care product of this calibre that actually does what it promises. Bravo La Fervance!
VickiBOSTON, USA - Verified Buyer
LOVE LOVE LOVE this product. Never experienced anything quite like it. The beautiful packaging, the amazing scent of honey and fresh herbs is uplifting, the colour, the texture. A little goes a long way which is fortunate as now my husband is stealing it! After about 5 minutes its sunk right in and skin truly does appear more plumped and fresh andRead more about review stating La Fervance-something truly special glowing all day. I've only used it for 2 days now and my friend commented at dinner how amazing and glowing I'd looked. I was impressed by this. I'd added a little to my cheeks before I went out. My skin texture looks more smooth and silky and it doesn't dry throughout the day. I cant believe the results already. This is product is a MUST HAVE.
EMMA WAUSTRALIA -Verified Buyer
I have eczema on my eyelids and have to be careful about what cream I use around my eyes, if not on my face. I recently started using La Fervance, drawn in by its 100% natural ingredients. I noticed immediately how soothing it was for my sensitive skin and especially my eyelids. A little goes a long way and unlike many other products, it does not cause my lids to burn or my eyes to tear. It leaves my skin soft and gives my face a sun kissed glow and smells wonderful. I highly recommend this product!
CLAUDIA C.AUSTRALIA - Verified Buyer
I discovered the newly launched LA FERVANCE whilst in Paris during the Christmas period and just had to have it. Being a consumer of luxury brands, I was intrigued by their proven claims of active skincare and within a certified, 100% natural framework. The results are fabulous. I love the three-way usage. Love La Fervance & now.....so do my girlfriends! the most natural, dewey shimmer, at night-time as a sleep mask, waking to beautifully plump skin and also as the occasional treatment mask. I'm receiving compliments on my skin by my entourage, asking me what I've been using and I'm recommending it to all my friends. Extremely happy to have discovered LA FERVANCE and the fact that it also supports the Aussie economy and puts Oz on the map of luxury skincare, is a bonus. Can't wait for their other products to be launched. I’ve also converted 2 girlfriends over & they also love it! Happy to share the secret & this little hidden gem!
VENDI E.AUSTRALIA - Verified Buyer
I don't often feel compelled to write reviews but I had to share the love with this one. From the very first application I noticed improved hydration and just a few weeks later, my skin is glowing. I'm obsessed!
SHARON P.AUSTRALIA - Verified Buyer
A beautiful product which I have now been applying day and night for just over a month and I have to to say it has given me a feeling of freshness that I have not experienced with any other product. I use it as a night cream after I cleanse my face and I go to bed knowing my skin is being rejuvenated and nourished. In the morning when I wake up I cleanse again and apply only just a little and I feel it gives me the lift and glow that I need to start me on my day.
P.s. How special that what I’m applying to my skin is also a “clean” product free of nasty chemicals!
Merci LA FERVANCE eclat!
CHRISTINE TAustralia- Verified Buyer
I have been using La Fervance for a few weeks now and it is so different from anything I have tried before. From the texture to the long lasting effects throughout the day. It gives a real glow without the oily aspect. It allows perfect applying of foundation. I also use it at night and my skin is much less dry in the morning. I will buy this again for sure.
FLORENCEPARIS - Verified Buyer
Quite literally liquid gold. Cleared up dry patches that have persisted for years after just 2 days’ use. Also met my needs as someone who has been searching for something GENUINELY 100% natural due to health issues. Thank you La Fervance.
NatashaPARIS - Verified Buyer
L'essayer c'est l'adopter..
Lorsqu'on le découvre c'est un enchantement des sens : à la fois la sensation de douceur sur la peau par sa texture, l'invitation au voyage par son parfum unique
Quand ouvre ce petit pot on s'offre une parenthèse de bien-être et dès les premiers jours votre peau commence à rayonner..
A vous de le découvrir vous ne le regretterez pas.. Vous allez l'adorer ❤️🧡💛
ISABELLEAIX EN PROVENCE - VERIFIED BUYER
I have been using the La Fervance Eclat Extraordinaire for about one month now (broken by one week of travel).
My first impression is that the cream itself is nothing like I’ve seen before - the gold specks really make it unique. The smell is also divine, very luxurious without being overwhelming. The texture is also unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, It starts as very viscous and then spreads beautifully like butter once applied onto the face.
After a week of use I noticed that my redness/blotchiness disappeared, my face is brighter and skin tone appears more even. I was getting compliments that I’m glowing! I stopped wearing light makeup (foundation).
KARLANYC - VERIFIED BUYER
I have been using this product for almost two months now and there are so many things I love about it. Firstly, the packaging is stunning, very high end.
Secondly, I understand that you are supposed to ‘slowly’ introduce new products into your daily skin routine to avoid irritation and harsh side effects however I was far too keen to use this particular product. I used it every day from day 1 and experienced no irritation, AT ALL!
I use La Fervance in the evening before bed (after cleaning and so on) as I feel it really gets an opportunity to soak into my skin over the night time hours. These are a few of the clear benefits I have noticed. My skin is softer and more even. Fine lines are fading and my face just feels plumper, fresher and younger. Blemishes (notably pimples) will disappear in a day or two and I have never achieved this outside of using harsh prescription creams, incredible!.
ASHLEYAUSTRALIA - VERIFIED BUYER
What an amazing product! I've started using it only recently and I can already see a big improvement in my skin. Thank you The Fervance. I highly recommend it.
TULAYPARIS - VERIFIED BUYER
Every skincare brand makes promises, but it's the first time that they become reality on my skin.
Each time I use La Fervance I feel an immediate sensation of wellbeing: its richness, texture and parfum are exactly what my skin was looking for.
It's my pampering ritual, morning and evening ... and I don't need any other product.
And the results? Amazing! After 2 months I can definitely say my skin is more hydrated and smooth.
MANUELLAROME - VERIFIED BUYER
A high quality product, from an excellent female-led organization, that holds to the highest standards. Rich texture, versatile, and truly plumps the skin for a radiant, youthful look. You only need a tiny amount, so a jar lasts for months! My favorite use is the mask for a quick boost. I'm so happy to have this to stay on top of my beauty routine here in NYC!
LISA KNYC USA - VERIFIED BUYER
The texture of the cream is magical and the little is hydrated. I have the impression that my face is immersed in the light.
ZLATAPARIS - VERIFIED BUYER
How do you describe Fervance? A viaggio dei 5 sensi: la lucentezza dell'oro su una pelle idratata, una fragranza che immediamente ti trasporta in vacanza, note calde e che risvegliano ricordi. La mia pelle è stata nutrita ed è risultata morbida e raggiante già dalle prime applicazioni.
Una routine di bellezza fantastica di un prodotto di qualità.
ANGIEITALY - VERIFIED BUYER
I absolutely love this product! I wear it at night and wake up to a beautiful fresh complexion the next morning. I love that you can leave it on making it so easy to incorporate into my nightly routine. I couldn't live without it!
VICKIAUSTRALIA - VERIFIED BUYER
My all time favorite product, smells amazing, lines dissapear, collageen production starts working again your skin is glowing with a touch of gold. All natural, all me.
Marianne -The Well CoNetherlands - VERIFIED BUYER
I Love it ! And my friends do too. One friend sent me a picture and said it took five years off.