Suomi Park-Fujiwara started Prestigious in 2014.
What led you to the creation of Prestigious? Where did the inspiration to become an entrepreneur come from?
Suomi Park-Fujiwara : Thanks to my parents’ career in classical music (nb: her father was a conductor, her mother opera singer), I was lucky enough to be able to travel a lot and live in various countries of the world. From these experiences, I got an open mind, creativity, and of course: a passion for travel.
I started my career in luxury, first at Chanel, then at Philippe Starck, which consolidated my choice to work in this universe. Subsequently, the idea of creating a company that reflects my passion for design and travel was obvious to me.
Thus was born PRESTIGIOUS, that I founded in order to share my inspirations for exceptional stays, and to bring an incomparable quality of service to deliver a unique travel experience.
What was your biggest challenge when you started your business, and what do you think are the keys to success in creating an international start-up?
Suomi PJ : Recruitment and management.
It was a real challenge for me to learn and execute the right hiring and management procedures, not having the codes of the professional environment “à la française”.
The first mission of a good entrepreneur is to surround yourself well to create a “top team” that will go through the hard times together. The parts concerning the human aspect and the corporate culture are essential. The well-being of the employees, as well as a good team management are therefore in my opinion the keys to succeed in building a start-up. This requires effective internal communication and a strong corporate culture, which is essential because it can otherwise create team division and misunderstanding, which can quickly kill a start-up.
Our years of experience have made it possible to design a human-centered recruitment procedure: of course, it is important that the candidate’s profile meets our expectations, but his/her personality is our main criterion.
How do you succeed in combining your role of entrepreneur and mother?
Suomi PJ : Organization.
Of course, we all only have 24 hours a day. A good planning of my time allows me to be efficient and to execute all my missions on time. I also set up a one-on-one meeting with my daughter, at least once a month, to have a special moment with her and follow her evolution. It is also a matter of prioritization: important events such as birthdays or Christmas are my priority in front of all my other duties.
What is your favorite motivational quote to stay energic every day?
Suomi PJ : 노력을 이기는 재능은 없고 노력을 무시하는 결과도 없다.
No talent in the world is stronger than motivation, and there can be no results without work and the will.
To conclude: do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs, especially women?
Suomi PJ : Dream BIG !
Despite the fact that there is still a lot of work to be done in the workplace regarding gender equality, we are fortunate enough to live in a time of change and innovation in which everyone can have a chance. Whether you are a woman, an immigrant, a young graduate or from a disadvantaged background, do not be afraid to dream big and to give yourself the means to get there.
For young entrepreneurs, I recommend writing, planning your dream, rereading it every day and imagining its future and success each morning. And do not forget to take care of your body, in order to stay fit and strong, which allows to keep the mind sharp, too. Entrepreneurship is a long marathon!