Business name / website address?
Andrea Wilkin – owner of Maison Tranquil – Lakeside Retreat www.maisontranquil.com
Providing the perfect sanctuary to restore tranquility and calm for those wanting to reconnect with nature, friends and family or just themselves….
Our desire is to be the go to retreat venue for individuals or groups coming together to enjoy their chosen ‘distraction from their world’
Where are you based?
Based in the Languedoc region of Southern France close to the historical towns of Carcassonne and Mirepoix – perfectly located between the Pyrenees mountains and Mediterranean beaches.
Where are your clients based?
People travel from all over the world to enjoy this beautiful quite untouched part of France. Le Cite, Carcassonne has a certain air of magic and mystery amongst its walls.
Where are you now in the lifecycle of your business?
Maison Tranquil is the ideal venue for a retreat of any kind – whilst we are enjoying great reviews from healthy eating and yoga breaks we also have writing groups, artists, photographers, horse riders and cyclists rave about how they find our surrounding nature and scenery so inspiring.
What motivated you to start your business?
Having lost both parents quite young to cancer the choice to leave the corporate world of sales and financial pressure was a no-brainer – we spent a year as crew on a yacht in the British Virgin Islands (which is far harder work than it sounds) and then traveled Portugal, Spain and finally France where we found this beautiful spot.
What have been your most difficult challenges so far?
Biggest challenges to date have been starting a completely new business from scratch, renovating an old building to make a home and business with two small children in a foreign country & foreign language. Also getting used to french bureaucracy and their ridiculously long lunch breaks.
What have been your biggest wins and most satisfying highs?
When people tell us they feel ‘restored’ having spent some time here. Knowing i’m enjoying the best years of my children’s lives with them, seeing them appreciate nature and giving them a grounded start to life. Being invited to great local wine houses for tastings!
How do you let off steam/relax?
Walking and cycling with the dog round the lake really lift me.
What are the most valuable tools you use to communicate with your clients?
The internet, recommendations and networking are the key to our future growth
What’s your personal motto?
‘what if I fall….oh, but my darling – what if you fly”
Pick one person (male or female) who has inspired you most on your journey?
Coco Chanel – daughter of a laundrywoman & market stall holder – ‘fashion fades only style remains the same’
Pick one person who would be your dream business or life mentor?
Indra Nooyi & Richard Branson both really value health and lifestyle and have created fantastic businesses.
Why is being part of a membership organisation like The Goddess Formula (ie. creating a likeminded business support community) important to you?
I love the Goddess Formula for being real, honest and open about the challenges of everyday life whilst offering opportunities to meet women who are ‘making it happen despite those everyday challenges’ – having a network of strong women with good values and ethics is hugely supportive especially for those of us running businesses away from the normal networking facilities.check out Maison tranquil