1- Bonjour, avant tout, pouvez-vous vous présenter, nous raconter votre parcours et vos activités
Hello, let me start by thanking you for inviting me to this interview. It is such an honor for me to be part of “lemondeféminin” community; a platform that introduces, connects and empowers women entrepreneurs all over the world.
Today, I am going to share something very personal with you: My Story!
The REAL story of how I started my pastry/Catering business « Maison Lubina ». But first let me introduce myself, my name is Loubna Kassed, I am 34 yrs old. Born and raised in Rabat/ Morocco until the age of 18 into a family of 2 boys and one girl.
I have a bachelor degree double major in Business Administration & Finance. And I also graduated from Ulster University in London where I obtained a Master degree in Science of Marketing.
2- Et votre vie professionnelle
I have 14 years of working experience in various sectors. My first job was at the age of 18, I worked as nanny for a Jewish family; I used to babysit their 5yrs old twins. I’ve always worked in parallel with my studies (cashier, dog walker, sales-assistant, receptionist …) you name it !
When I graduated from college, I started a banking career that lasted 3years, but ultimately my love for fashion took over and so I joined Dior Academy for an excessive training in luxury fashion retail; which later opened so many doors for me to work for some of the top popular luxury brands such us Hermès, Chanel, JPG, Dolce&Gabana, Louboutin, GZ and many others..
While completing my masters degree in Marketing in London and working in the fashion industry at the same time. One day, I got a phone call from my mother telling me that my father had been taken to the hospital by ambulance with severe back pain. My father was in his early sixties, suffering from a herniated disc and doctors were keeping him in hospital for a potential surgery procedure. At this point, I could tell my mother was extremely stressed and needed me with her and being the family oriented person that I am, I left everything behind and flew back home. So at the age of 25. I found myself back to my hometown that I left for almost 8 years ago. As things seemed to peak to a terrible crescendo. Fervent prayers led to a sudden breakthrough. I can’t explain it but I know god did his thing one more time. My dad started recovering, I received a call from the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi; whom my boss in London referred me to; offering me a job as a Consultant of the CP in Morocco, whom I worked for over then 4 years.
In January 2020, our office shut down and I was invited to join the team in AD, which ultimately meant me moving to the UAE. An offer that I have politely declined, family was and still is my top priority and being away from home for so many years just made me realize how important and crucial it is for us to spend time with our parents be there for them, spend time with them and make memories .. 2months later, The government announced the start of the pandemic, which then led to an official lockdown. The impact of Covid-19 on the economic growth and job market was so bad, causing a massive rise in global unemployment.
3- Et pourquoi ce secteur d’activité
In 2022, I knew I needed to embark on a new career path. The only question was… what? Starting a business couldn’t have been further from my mind. What I needed was a safe, secure job which paid bills and put some stability back into my life.. my brothers started a coffeeshop business and asked me to bake some cookies for them to serve along with their menu beverages, and so I thought “how hard will it be to figure it out.. I wonder” living alone for 8yrs, I sure knew how to cook and bake few things so I said:
Yea sure !
My baked goods started selling and my brothers were asking for bigger orders until the day when I am on a trademill doing my morning workout with my bestfriend; whom then hears about the story, froze for a second and tells me “why don’t you open a pastry business”
Being a food fanatic and my passion for cooking and baking. The decision was made and I went for it. I started an online business and named it “Maison Lubina”. First day of Ramadan, first order my first sale was born. TA-DAAAHH !
A spark was lit and I enjoyed making fresh homemade pastry and selling it to someone who appreciated and loved it so much. It was a no brainer for me. I realized I didn’t JUST want a job, I wanted to create, improvise, I wanted to bake. I wanted to be a #girlboss (cause c’mon, that just sounds way too cool)
4– Quels sont vos projets à venir ?
When I initially started this business, I never thought it would get this big. I never thought It would get to this stage of growth. Last month, I had my first two catering orders; too much work too little time but i delivered and I couldn’t be happier. Currently I am investing, I am taking pastry classes with an academy in London. In the meantime, I am practicing, Everyday constantly thinking of ways to improve and grow the business (new recipes, new menu, different ways of approaching new clients and keeping the existing ones)
You have to faith it till you make it ! It’s actually possible to make a career out of something you love. I’m living proof !
5- Quels sont les moments ou événements qui ont changé votre vie?
During my years at university, I lived in so many places from Washington DC, Barcelona, Stockholm, London .. a journey of discovery that I wouldn’t change for anything. A journey that had pushed waaaaay outside my comfort zone. Many ups and downs, so many experiences and memories that forged and shaped me into the woman I’ve become that I embrace and respect so much.
6– Quel est votre conseil pour les femmes qui veulent réussir ?
Success doesn’t come by luck, accident or ease. It costs us something. Hard work, focus, learning, persistence, self discipline and patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day
7- Votre avis sur la situation de la femme
Women are still facing sexual harassment, lack of respect, sexism etc… There is still a long way to go – but attitudes are changing.
8– Votre avis sur le site ?
A great platform that allows Female entrepreneurs to share their stories, their own adventures, their experiences, their paths to may be why not inspire and encourage other women to pursue their dreams.
9– Dernier mot ?
« Respect your efforts, respect yourself.
Self-respect leads to self discipline. That’s real power. » Clint Eastwood
Entretien réalisé par Aziz HARCHA