Home > Life > TMC Talks > TMC Talks To Ali Cavaille Founder Of Tajinebanane
Explain what you do in a sentence?

I am the founder of a brand called Tajinebanane, we make breastfeeding clothing and clothes for kids.

How long have you done your job?

I launched the brand in August 2018, so a little over 3 years.

What’s the coolest thing about it?

I think that the coolest thing about this job is waking up in the morning knowing that you’re making a difference and that what you’re doing isn’t superficial. You’re moving the conversation forward and making yourself useful.

What does your day or week entail?

So, each day we drop our children off at school in the morning, I work with my partner so we then usually go to the office. It’s a big office in the centre of Bordeaux, it’s difficult to describe a typical workday as I’m in charge of everything creative, you could say that I’m the creative director of the brand, so I can find myself working across the new collections as much as on the communication and marketing projects.

Where did you start out?

I started in the same position as I am today, I started by creating the brand and I work at it every day.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is to learn a thousand jobs, I am constantly learning new ways of doing things, discovering new techniques, perspectives or details and that is a daily challenge.

What piece of advice would you give to someone hoping to do the same?

If I had to give advice to someone who wants to do the same as me, it’s simply to get on with doing it. I know it sounds a bit cliché or cheesy, but I think that we make up so many reasons to ourselves as to why we can’t do something, and it’s only because of the things we don’t try, that we don’t know what we are capable of.

Something you’ve learnt that is crucial to either your job or to success:

In a similar vein to my last answer, I learned that everyone can succeed, that everyone can do great things. This was crucial in the way my adventure has developed in the sense that, starting out, I had the impression that it was necessary to graduate from a certain type of studies, I thought that entrepreneurship or to start a company was only for a certain type of person!
In fact, when we realise that everyone can start a company, everyone can succeed just like everyone can fail, I think that when we become truly aware of that, the possibilities start to open up.

How important is it to switch off?

Disconnecting is a big subject, I think it’s very important because when you have your head in the job, you have trouble taking a step back and when you take a little step back on things, it gives you a chance to look at the path already taken. You can refocus on certain choices that went well, and assess the ones that did not. Disconnecting allows us to question ourselves and the project, allows us to breathe, to catch our breath and then to better relaunch ourselves back into the project, it’s positive and very, very necessary

How do you manage your work / life balance?

So my work-life balance is very thin, my private life is completely integrated into my work. I work with my brother, I work with my partner and my children are, indirectly, part of the DNA of Tajinebanane.
So I can’t say that when we get home we stop working, because that’s not true, but I also feel like that’s what keeps me balanced. In the sense that, when I’m not feeling good or when I’m stressed or if I have anxiety about work, my partner understands it right away. I can also so heavily rely on my brother to discuss everything we go through because he is equally invested in the project. So I feel like I don’t have a real boundary between my private life and my work but that actually allows me to better navigate the stresses and keep the balance.

How do you manage mum guilt?

I have zero guilt about being a working mother. I may have to be reminded sometimes to put my phone down if, on the weekend, I have trouble disconnecting and I am working too hard, but that doesn’t make me feel guilty.
I think that work is a good thing and I have the chance to show my children that my work is fulfilling and even if it’s demanding, I believe that it’s also a good lesson to show my children that I’m fulfilled by what I do.
Showing them that we enjoy working hard and that yes, if you want to go on holiday that you have to work a little, and if you want to defend the battles that you’re fighting, you don’t necessarily have to count your working hours, but that worthy causes require hard work. I think it is a good education for my children and I don’t feel guilty.

How did you get over the feeling of missing your baby when you went back to work?

I know I’m not capable of it, I’m not capable of letting my 2 or 3 month old child be looked after by someone else. So I didn’t choose, I decided to take my baby with me, I started to build the brand when he was 3 months old. So, I took him with me to the meetings with the bank, I took him with me on my business trips to Portugal, to the factories, I took him to Morocco, I took him with me everywhere in fact.

So the first 10 months of his life we were always together and it went really well, I didn’t find it hard, neither for him nor for me. People around me got used to the idea of me coming to meetings with a baby and it never posed any problems, I never had any remarks and it allowed me to live my motherhood and my desire for entrepreneurship in total harmony, which was pretty cool.


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