Hello to you, keen on entrepreneurship and ecology!
Today, let's meet Matthieu Batteur, co-founder of Les Petites choses and Les Petits Culottés:
- Les Petites choses are period protections with 100% organic cotton and without endocrine disruptors, so as not to disturb the hormonal cycle of women.
- Les Petits Culottés are natural, ecological diapers, also without endocrine disruptors, created in 2018 and sold in short circuit.
How did these “Little Culottés” come about?
These layers are the fruit of the meeting between the two founders of the project, Matthieu Batteur and Johan Bonnet (childhood friends). Before creating this start-up, Matthieu had worked ten years in a laboratory and launched the first water wipes in pharmacies. For his part, Johan had launched the first organic cottons in pharmacies. Both were therefore already well into the world of healthy hygiene products.
Together, they decide to leave their respective boxes to stand on their own two feet. Realizing that the healthy diapers already on the market were very expensive, they decided to sell ecological diapers at a more affordable price, while ensuring the quality of the products. This is how the Petits Culottés were born!
The name of the company comes from a play on words between nappies (baby panties), and the spirit of the founders: real cheeky! Or even "stamped" if we are to believe Matthieu.
Short and organic circuit
The founders opted for a direct delivery system to families on a short circuit, from the Vosges. They oppose the sale in supermarkets for two reasons: to minimize their carbon footprint and to reduce prices for families. Moreover, they do not want to have an intermediary between them and their customers, finding that mass distribution limits the quantity of products accessible to consumers.
Matthieu and Johan both have very pronounced ecological consciences. They are convinced of organic, but not "organic from Brazil". They recommend paying attention to terms and statements, because organic does not necessarily mean healthy or without endocrine disruptors!
With the Petits Culottés, the objective is to protect the health of children while preserving the environment. They are therefore anchored in this local approach, wanting to take advantage of French know-how. And for every tree cut, a tree is replanted!
The importance of a partner
Les Petits Culottés was the winner of the Réseau Entreprendre Paris in 2019. Réseau Entreprendre works to support entrepreneurs with other volunteer entrepreneurs, by offering them training, financing, etc.
Matthieu 100% recommends going into entrepreneurship with a partner. He finds that having 4 eyes and 4 ears brings a lot more, plus it has the advantage of dividing the work by 2. The ideal is that everyone works on different missions, in order to be complementary. Thus, Matthieu deals in particular with baby products, while Johan focuses on quality sourcing .
According to Matthieu, it is essential before joining forces to check that we have the same vision of the company, that we are projecting ourselves over the same duration, etc. The partners must be in perfect equality and hold the same number of shares, thus allowing them to have the same decision-making power.
When and how to start?
For a majority of start-up managers, the best time to embark on entrepreneurship is after school. Conversely, Matthieu considers that it is useful to have had experience in business before embarking on entrepreneurship. (If you read all of our blog posts, you'll see that this opinion differs from contractor to contractor!)
He himself began to take an interest in entrepreneurship at the age of 29. Every morning he woke up and said he wanted to get started...until he did. But how to get started? Matthieu gives a tip: first try to find 1 client. If 10 people buy our product or our service: that's it, we start.
Matthieu came up with the idea for the diapers on December 24 (great idea for a Christmas present), and Johan found the contact details of the manufacturer. A year later they produced their first diapers! In the beginning, it was mainly thanks to influencers that their brand gained notoriety. Then, a week after the launch, it was a study revealing that ordinary nappies contain substances harmful to health that propelled Les Petits Culottés to the fore. Like what, luck and timing also have a role to play in the success of a product.
The founder believes that it is quite possible to create his start-up without having any money at the base. From the moment a person releases a strong unifying power, investors will volunteer. If the project is interesting, you will always find money.
Like many entrepreneurs, Matthieu would not see himself becoming an employee again. He meets fascinating people, has the feeling of giving meaning to his life... he would miss his freedom too much. He also appreciates the fact that he does not have a typical day at work.
Some tips for embarking on the adventure of entrepreneurship:
- If you have a project idea, talk about it as much as possible around you in order to receive objections, to be challenged, to improve your idea: "The idea does not make a box". If 30 people tell you that you have to go to the end of your project, then go for it, then word of mouth will do its wonders.
- What matters is who you work with. Why would manufacturers work with a small start-up like you? What is your added value? A guideline must also govern the box: its DNA, its identity, everything must be well thought out to bring consistency.