EVERY DALB WOMAN HAS A UNIQUE STORY TO TELL
SUCCESS, CHALLENGES AND STYLE FROM REMARKABLE WOMEN
Ioana Enache is a true inspiration, online and offline. Co-founder of Poem Boem and Leadership with Grace, Ioana has an enviable career at executive level and a number of award winning projects, while managing to keep her artistic side very much alive as well. Follow her Instagram page (if you’re not doing it already) for imagery that transports you into a world of beauty, poetry, kindness and happiness. Follow her for daily, significant reminders, that a life best lived is a life by design.
Living up to my values is key to the way I approach my goal for a “challenge-less” life equation.
ON THE CHALLENGES OF BEING A WOMAN IN TODAY'S BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Living up to my values is key to the way I approach my goal for a “challenge-less” life equation. It helps me make decisions in harmony with who I truly am. Be it in business, in life, in coexistence, in teams, in friendships, in partnerships, in marriage or in parenting.
All sides of life have their own challenges, not only business related. And not only for women. And not only for a certain age. Yet again, even with a good set of well defined and interiorized values, life does not protect me from the huge amount of decisions needed that are generated by the unpredictable environment, or the complexity of strategy, or the transformational projects I am running as consultant, or by being part of an advisory board. Or as I am now, setting again an entrepreneurial venture in working with people interested in leadership with elegance, in transition and transformation.
However, none of them are as difficult as witnessing the aggressivity we often see in business or the fragility of the elegance or business etiquette. Unfortunately, we still live in a business society where we see people striving to deliver results, objectives, figures, profit, without thinking to invest in planting at least a seed for a better society, to have a word of kindness, a tone of voice that shows respect, a drop of empathy or simply and genuinely being open to realize that the person they are hurting with this toxic combo is another human being, just like them.
I have been writing about this in my social media notes: we forget that we are human beings and we turn into human doers. Not only in business…though.
ON HOW TO SEE THE BRIGHT AND ROMANTIC SIDE OF LIFE
I clearly remember one day in the office, many years ago, when I was having a very high, important and demanding role. Each morning I'd parked my expensive company car in the underground park, then I'd worked hard and committed until 10pm and late in the evening, when going home at that “normal” hour, I noticed it was snowing (probably it had been for the entire day). There were 30 cm of beautiful white snow in the city and I had no idea this had been happening. No idea. My office had one of the largest windows, with a beautiful view towards the Opera building. And I did not see the entire day that it was snowing. Probably many mothers were out with their children on that day, enjoying the snow. Luca (our son) was 4 or 5 years then and his mother was not even knowing that it was snowing. I just had a hint of comfort in the idea that Marius, my husband, must have had taken him out for a white joy.
There is an awakening call for each of us. Actually, there are many until we realize that we are derailed from our own life.
That was for sure one of my “give yourself the life back” alarm. It hurt. But it helped.
As I shared, there were years of working with myself, as there were no programs like the one I will launch this autumn under Leadership with Grace umbrella (it will be called WISE YOUR FUTURE and I truly hope it would be of help for thousands of people) where I could get support to redesign my journey, to transit towards a transformation for a better life, a better, fulfilled and happy me.
So step by step, things changed in my life, I redesigned almost everything, I clarified my values, what I stand for, what is my part in the beautiful life game of “giving and receiving”. Then I finally started to love myself, to value and respect myself, to clearly articulate my choices on what brings joy into my life, I started to secure time for me, for my likes and joys, for art, creativity and design, for books and good music, for being rather than just doing.
Don’t get me wrong, doing remained. We will always do things. Just that we need the being first.
So do I see light in life? I do.
Do I see its bright and romantic part? Do I see love and beautiful living? Do I see the sun, the birds, the nature….and the snow? Yes, I do. With eyes and soul wide open. I do.
ON A VALUABLE LESSON THAT SHE HAS LEARNED AND WOULD LIKE TO SHARE
Beautiful living is a choice. We owe it to ourselves.
If we know we have a soul, we know we need to feed it.
Then good life will happen. Our life.
ON HER SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
There is inspiration in everything.
In a good conversation when is not a monologue. In a good book when your soul and mind is in the understanding and not somewhere else. In an evening with classical music when you simply embrace the emotion and understand something more about your existence. In the travel when your eyes are open, and your mind is happy to play with the unknown.
Or in listening of a podcast that is in your zone of interest when this is not just a walking or driving companion.
I could not list one source or limit the list, life would be too poor for me if I would do this.
ON THE 5 THINGS IN LIFE SHE COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT
Water. Sun. Love. Food. Coexistence
ON HER STYLE EVOLUTION
I am truly hoping for evolution. For fine tuning. For embracing the journey to come.
Once a transformation lady, always a transformation lady!
Values. They will probably stay. But the style, this will evolve for sure. Or at least I am open to this.
Beautiful living is a choice. We owe it to ourselves.
ON HOW TO ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FEMININITY AT WORK
This is an intentional and educated choice.
I grew up with double, triple standards…. or how many standards you want to count. My programing was that I must prove that I am good, that I must generate results, that I must work a lot, be extremely serious, be highly professional, be highly performing, do my outmost for any project I am working at, or for any company I am working for. I still do this, is in my DNA! Just that nobody taught me how to be feminine, how to respect myself first, my needs, my reality, how to take care of my body or my mind in the most gentle and honest way. How to elevate my senses, how to feed my soul.
That was my personal quest. Years of search, of looking for a mentor, for a role model, for any way to approach this. I didn’t find one. So I started my own journey. There were years of introspection, of working with myself, of reading or going to countless number of workshops or leadership programs around the world. I was always thinking that we are more than our job titles, or our roles, as well as we are more than just the mother, the wife, the lover, the friend, or the daughter…it was in this search where I found who I truly am. In working on my own “interior design”.
This is where I found my femininity as well.
After that I was also able to clarify and better articulate my voice in business, a voice that really represents me and has its own elegant determination, that #leadershipwithgrace signature.
ON A CLOTHING PIECE THAT NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE
A white shirt. Beautifully tailored. With really good texture. That fits your personality.
ON HOW SHE PREFERS TO COMPLETE AN OUTFIT
Even if I am going to buy a baguette in the morning, wearing only jeans, a white t-shirt and my Bensimons, without any make-up or jewlery, in pure simplicity, I still have a small drop of my perfume. I am very particular about perfumes, searching THE smell until I find it, usually in small boutiques like Createur5, Madisson Perfumery or Beautik Haute Perfumerie – the provider of my all-day favourite: Aqua Universalis (the eau de toilette, not the perfum, it smells different) by Maison Francis Kurdjian.
Always. Beautiful yet discreet. And always with a story.
I am lucky to have some beautiful old ones from my grandmother and my aunts and I find pure joy in combining them with a twist of organic shapes like the ones from my favourite Romanian jewlery designer, Madeleine. I also wear with infinite joy a beautiful ring gifted by my friend, Andreea, when I turned 50. It is a ring with a story: I have always had a ring from my grandmother with a special design, that I was not comfortable wearing, and with this new ring from my friend that also has a very particular design, they pair together just so beautifully. So when I combine them I am wearing two loves: a present love (my love for Andreea) and an eternal love (my love for my grandmother).
I also have to speak about all other kind of accessories: belts, flowers, ribbons, scarves, flowers, hats, basques, hats, gloves, chains… they can always change an outfit.
If they are used with elegance and simplicity, they can be your best friend and create memorable visual stories.
ON THE MOST CHERISHED ITEM IN HER WARDROBE
My Gianvito Rossi stilettos. Just perfect.
I also cherish that in time I have bought timeless pieces, many from Romanian designers (I adore buying from my own country) in earthy & neutrals tones mostly, so that I can, at any time, be ready in 20- 30 minutes either for a Black Tie evening, for a concert at the Atheneum, or for the opera in Paris that might require some good walking, for a C suite business meeting or simply for a dinner at home with dear friends.
ON THE OUTFIT THAT IS 100% IOANA
I am a big lover of life, sun, water, waves, speckles, skin that gets brown from the sun, the freedom of doing nothing moments, a good swim, a good laugh, Italian or French music, friends, textures that play in the wind, the skin that is caressed, a heart that is spoiled and hundreds of sunsets to get lost into. I love #MyJune that represents my way of taking the most out of this life, when I decided to have an entire month to celebrate my anniversary, any new year that comes into my life, for an entire month, not only for one day. By the way, we can all have our own #MyJune or #MySeptember….is truly, entirely in our soul.
So an outfit that describes me would be the beautiful red dress from Les Vacances D’Irina, an ode to femininity, freedom and life. It is made by a super talented Romanian, Irina Morosanu, and this adds its part in the love game.