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Almost a year ago, we met The French Viking for the first time, thanks to lovely Aurélie F. (who by the way hasn’t been written about yet in this column, that has to change soon)! Last November, we all went to a concrete workshop as a team building exercise. Honesty, everyone at the Lemonade Studio fell in love with these guys. Billy and Nadir are the dynamic duo: the French Vikings! They make concrete objects at their workshops, custom orders for construction, and ready-to-order products available on Etsy. Simple concrete, pretty like marble, rare and solid as a rock... with our love for DIY’s, challenges, and ambitious projects, we couldn’t help but be charmed by the boys! Together, we made a concrete DIY flower pot a few months ago. Today, The French Vikings are here to tell us a little bit more about their adventures... The French Vikings are working on a big project- completely re-doing their place at Aubervilliers where they can set up their huge workshop, teach concrete lessons, and offer young entrepreneurs a work space and valuable advice for 6 months! I love and admire their entrepreneurial efforts and how no project is too big for them!

Photos: Genaro Bardy. Aren’t they so cute!?

In order to achieve their dreams, they need us and especially you. They started the ‘concrete revolution’: a Ulule campaign that’ll be over soon, with lots of nice goodies for contributors so that they can open up their workshop soon: the Drakkar! The Drakkar will be a nursery for helping up and coming entrepreneurs and will be a place to work on their dreams and workshops! The Lemons from the Lemonade Studio went to give them a hand on their construction site. Check out a sneak peek on their website and take a look at all of their work! Anyways, I’ll leave it to Billy and Nadir, hugs and kisses! Just between us, since I married a Danish, I’m a French Viking too more than ever!

Vidéo : Olitax

  • Guidance Counselor’ Question: Guys, tell us about your careers...
Nadir: I was in law school for five years after high school. At the end of my studies, I worked as a computer programmer (my dream) for a while before starting to work with concrete with my dad. Billy: I have a degree in engineering as well as one in finances. I worked as an auditor for a few years before everything changed!
  • ‘Career Change’ Question: Isn’t there a big different between law/finance and concrete?
Oh yes, it happened so fast. We met two years ago and found out that we were passionate about the same thing: building and making things. We decided very quickly to leave our jobs and start The French Vikings. We started out making little things (flower pots, platters...) then we improved our techniques and started working on bigger projects (Milan Lunetier, La Cabane...).
  • ‘What’s Next’ Question: Today you’re working on building an amazing workshop, lots of custom orders, what are your next steps?
We’ll be finishing up our first crowdfunding campaign in a few days, #RevolutionBeton (Concrete Revolution), to help us move into our new DRAKKAR workshop. We have great projects in store for The French Vikings, we’re being contacted by more and more architects. We’ve been working for months on a project for the city of Paris that’ll happen in August 2017. We’re having a hard time keeping the secret. Most of all, we really want to get involved in a jump-start program for creative entrepreneurs that’ll open in October 2016. It’s a free program that aims to welcome and help out 6 creative entrepreneurs for 6 months. A program to encourage each person endowed with a talent to get started on their business. We’ll have part of our workspace open for them, offering advice and encouragement. We really want each person to come out of the program ready to start their own artisanal trade.
A sneak peak of the new DRAKKAR layout!
  • ‘Master Yoda’ Question: What are three pieces of advice for someone wanting to change careers and start their own business?
1- Don’t question yourself and believe in yourself. Don’t give up. 2- You can do anything, take anything on, and live your dream. You just have to get started and give yourself the tools to succeed. 3- Surround yourself with people that know how to support you and who can give you an outsider’s view of your project.
  • Experience Question: What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
Our monthly meetings with the accountant ?:)
  • “In Search of Lost Time” Question: What was your first Proust Madeleine?
The first lamp we made together. Far from being a masterpiece, it was wobbly, ill proportioned, and way too heavy to move. This kind of painful memory reminds us to never give up.
  • ‘Throwback’ Question: What did you want to do when you were little?
Nadir: I always wanted to work with computers (seriously)! Billy: I wanted to be a fighter pilot, at least I always promised myself to say that in an interview ?;)
beton-french-vickings-1 copie Translated by Whitney Bolin[:]
06 septembre, 2016