The Ultimate Girl Boss : Ludmila Bitar
Founded in the heart of the Middle East, a melting pot of culture and religion; Beirut, Ideo embodies warmth and inspiration within their perfume line. Their mission is to combine the energy of the city of Beirut to create unique and magical scents. The founder Ludmila Bitar is the prime example of an entrepreneur and a creative nose. She founded Ideo in 2013 using her hometown of Beirut as her sanctuary and Grasse as her place of creation and perfection.
For the Bel Rebel brand, it is important that we help our brands pass along their story, for our clients that have a better understanding. It is crucial that our clients and rebels feel close to the founders, for not only transparency but also motivation.
We asked Ludmila to be our first interviewee to make her #girlboss story come to life for our readers, clients and rebels. She is a pioneer in the field of perfumes and a true inspiration of a female entrepreneur. We asked her many questions to help further understand not only her brand but also her story as a business women
What made you decide to create your own perfume brand ?
I am a perfumer and I have worked in the marketing of beauty products, so creating my brand was a natural step forward. But the main decisive factor, was the fact that I am bored of all these copycat scents out there, created with little creativity and no real inspiration. I really wanted to build a brand that would be authentic, emotional, creative and smelled beautiful.
What were your main sources of inspiration ?
Really everything ! Obviously Beirut where I live is a major source of inspiration. Not so much for it as a city itself, but for the cultural melting pot it represents. It is Arab and European at the same time. It is anchored in history but very modern in many ways, it is ultra liberal yet conservative. I find these contradictions very inspiring to create different fragrances. Add to this my love for arts (think Kundera ) and for music (Queen, U2 , Lou Reed etc. ) and you get something people seem to love !
What makes Ideo unique ?
The inspiration process, our scents manage to be classical but also very daring. It is quite a unique mix, the scents are truly different yet there is something familiar, comforting in them. This is exactly what I think a perfume should be, it should bring out your character, encourage you to be daring, but it is also something you should always be able to rely on. I think - I hope - we managed to do quite that.
What is your favourite scent of your line ? And why ?
I love them all ! You do not choose between your babies. Each is different, and has it own character. It really depends on my mood and where I stand at a particular time. Nowadays I am into Prison Blues, a fresh oud , full of energy, yet that has something very down to earth to it. Exactly how I should be as an entrepreneur.
How is it being a female entrepreneur in the Middle East ? ( we admire that so much #girlpower)
Yes #girlpower !!! It is certainly not easy. Because there are so many expectations that arise from being a woman in the Middle East. It is a very competitive society where traditions are still important. A woman is still expected to be an educator, a socialite, a care taker, in charge of the home chores, yet you also are expected to have a successful career. That said, I am lucky to be in Lebanon, it is the most progressive of the Arab countries and women can be very powerful there. So even though as an entrepreneur, it is never easy anywhere in the world, being a woman in the Middle East adds an extra layer of difficulty. But you know what, we women can handle anything.
What are things you do to remain focused and driven ?
I just love what I do so much, that it keeps me going. The problem with being an entrepreneur is that you have to deal with so many things - finance, strategy, accounting etc.- that you end up losing the drive. When this happens I go back to what I love doing the most: creating fragrances and all the inspiration process that goes with it. It is like composing a music or writing a film. It is very intense, but when you are passionate about it, it keeps you going.
Bel Rebel strives on bringing rebels together, would you define yourself as somewhat of a rebel ?
You tell me !! Rebels see the world differently, and they believe they can change it. A rebel is never a passive person. I think all great entrepreneurs and immensely creative people should be rebels, else they are nothing but clones. I hope I am a rebel. Please tell me I am. That said, rebels don't care what others think (hahaha)
What are some things that make you feel confident ?
Great perfumes by Ideo Parfumeurs. When that fails (rarely, obviously) I take a deep breath, and I remember that failure is not dramatic. Accepting that failure is not the end of the world, gives a great boost in confidence.Positivity is the most undervalued invisible power, it can make miracles. That said, go tell a woman that is a victim of rape or domestic violence to stay positive or to feel confident... not easy.
And last but not least, do you have any exciting upcoming projects we should know about ?
Yes. I am launching a new perfume in Q1, 2019. The inspiration process behind this one is totally crazy, even out of this world (literally) Think space, think music, think energy, think art, and then imagine the type of scent it will be.