We had the good fortune of connecting with Louise Vongerichten Ulukaya and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Louise, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was a new mom and looking for sustainable clothing options when I realized there weren’t any that fit the bill, so instead I created Mon Coeur. Mon Coeur is a truly sustainable clothing line for babies and kids that is not only good for the planet but also cute and comfortable. As a mom I didn’t want to compromise on style or comfort in order for the brand to be sustainable and benefit the planet.

When I started Mon Coeur, I did not know anything about the fashion industry, how to make a t-shirt or even how and where to start – I knew I liked fashion and lived sustainably for me and my family and that I wanted to make an impact for kids and future generations to come. From there, I started to look into sustainable fabrics and technologies, I took online classes during the pandemic, even sketching classes. It was important to me that I had an understanding when working with professionals so that we would share in the workload. I am a strong believer that you have to be knowledgeable about everything that touches your business, without being an expert, but you can’t just go blindly and make critical decisions without that knowledge, at least not for me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career path is a little atypic, I was on my way to become a professional ballerina, then shifted towards my calling, which is business in general. I studied and earned my MBA in finance and hotel development and was always in the hospitality industry. I worked in Asia and the Middle East and always loved the hospitality industry. When I started to have a family on my own, I stepped away from the hospitality industry. It was intense and somehow difficult combining with a family life. I decided to create a non profit foundation 501 c 3 called Food Dreams Foundation with my brother Cedric and my father Jean-Georges, both amazing chefs. Food Dreams helps underprivileged culinary students access culinary education with scholarships and mentorship opportunities. With the foundation I was able to shift towards what matters the most to me, and it fulfills me to help people in need, especially talented, ambitious people. I just think it is so unfair that one’ social economic background refrains from excelling as a chef. Food Dreams is a big part of my life and will always be, along with Mon Coeur which has been for me the most amazing journey.

I like to use what I know, what I learned, and my exposure to the different industries I am involved in, for the benefit of others, if possible and if it can make a difference in someone’s life, form a young kid wanting to become a chef, to our children wearing their hearts on their sleeves- then I am a happy woman and mother.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Restaurants In NYC I Love the Mercer Hotel (lobby especially), abcv restaurant for being so fresh and clean (sorry for mentioning a lot of my father’s places but I would literally go to all even if it was not related!)

In Miami, I love Joe’s Stone Crab, Mandolin, have a drink at the Faena bar, and taking a walk in Wynwood.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First of all, my biggest shoutout is to my mom, who raised me with the most unconditional love anyone could wish for. I am also so grateful to her for raising my brother and I sustainably, without making it a statement or calling it ‘being green’, rather raising us to be conscious of our environment, of the planet, respecting it and being in touch with nature. My dad is my second shoutout giving me the values of hard work and I like to describe him as the incarnation of the motto “work hard, play hard” because it is him by definition. He loves working, he is passionate about his work and he is the biggest epicurean. He loves life, and lives fully because as he always says: “every minute counts..” and I learned all those from him, which I try to apply everyday!

Website: https://moncoeur.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shopmoncoeur/

Image Credits
Mon Coeur

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