She looks a bit like Emily in Paris but she's Clara Victorya, an exquisite young woman with cat's eyes. Like the heroine of the Netflix series, this liana with 132k followers on Instagram (and 213k on YouTube) became in a few clicks, and at just 24 years old, a respected influencer.

Last December, she opened Relique – in the middle of the Covid crisis! – a pop and glam boutique, rue Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth, dedicated to vintage clothing and objects, her passion, with Funk or Fleetwood Mac music in the background.

How did you start?

I am originally from Annecy where I lived until I was 18 and after spending a year in Lyon, I arrived in Paris. I was doing a bachelor's degree in photography and I pretty quickly stopped my studies because I didn't have the means to continue them while living in Paris, which is an expensive city.

I had to find a job. I was a saleswoman in a store in Saint Paul, in the Marais and I fell in love with the neighborhood. From there, I was determined to find my way and make a place for myself in this city. I worked to accumulate savings and thus give myself a sabbatical year in order to launch projects. It was my fixed idea.

I opened a vintage account on Instagram and started posting, but quietly, without telling my friends. My boyfriend pushed me down this path, he said I had potential. With this trust he placed in me, I created my account in January. I waited until I had 10 subscribers to talk about it. This happened in March, only 000 months after starting. Amazing !

Why did you do this in secret?

I wasn't really putting myself out there, but as it worked, this validation allowed me to feel legitimate.

The reason for your success?

I was one of the rare people to talk about vintage, with perhaps an artistic touch as well.

How, as a girl, do you manage to achieve this success?

Girls often fend for themselves. I think they get less help than boys. Probably because boys' friends believe more readily in their potential. However, I am lucky to only be surrounded by boys (my brother, my boyfriend, my friends) who give me a moral boost. Plus, they are physically stronger than me, which is very practical for carrying large packages of clothes (laughs)!

Often, women self-censor because they know that derogatory comments will rain down on them at the slightest mistake, which inhibits some of them. It's not my case. My luck is that I struggled with shitty “jobs”, so the critics slide all over me.

Where does your maturity come from?

I come from a Portuguese family in which everyone achieves and builds lots of things. My parents taught me that you have to do as much as possible. My team says I'm a perfectionist, a big stickler. Another asset: my father raised my brother and me in a spirit of equality.

How did your parents react to the fact that you left school to embark on a working life without any real background?

My parents have always supported me, if that hadn't been the case it would have saddened me. I believe in myself because my parents believe in the value of work. With them I learned that it is by practicing that we learn. My father is a mason, he's a manual, he knows how to build crazy things! He built our house from A to Z. And then, in our family, there is a strong culture of mutual aid.

Did you receive financial help to set up Relique?

I managed on my own. I took out a student loan that I'm still paying back. The idea of ​​starting my adult life with a loan traumatized me. This is why I chose to self-finance my business. I lead a simple life, I live with little, I go on trips with a backpack. My dream is to save money to eventually create hotels.

Why work with second-hand clothes?

I have always loved second-hand clothes. My mother gave me a taste for it very early on. She is the queen of good deals.

Where does this entrepreneurial passion come from?

In college, I was already haggling! (laughs) At first, it was lollipops and, very quickly, it became clothing. Even the “pawns” bought me clothes. I like to communicate and bargain, plus I have a passion for objects. But I wasn't ready for everything: I didn't want to do an "e-shop" or "drop shipping". It was important to me that people see the clothes in real life, that the exchange is authentic. Having an IRL (in real life) store suits me better. I never doubted that people would come to see my store in real life.

Your advice to young people who want to start a business?

An entrepreneur must listen to himself and take risks, but measured ones. The most important thing is to do something you enjoy, to be your own boss rather than thinking about money right away. In truth, being a business manager is a hassle, you have to be solid, be supported, not count your hours, pay yourself little or not at all at the start. This requires getting your hands dirty; Besides, I spend a lot of time unpacking, ironing clothes, doing my accounting and a lot of administrative procedures. You need to talk about your project with people who have already undertaken it and who are positive.

Women who inspire you?

I'm interested in women who have validated lots of skills and who don't listen to others. I like the Belgian influence Gaëlle Garcia-Diaz, a sexy female character and former professional poker player who uses bad words. She is true to herself and founded her own cosmetics brand. In another genre, I also like Michelle Obama, she has crazy charisma.

Relic Paris
25 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 75003 Paris
Tuesday to Saturday from 11 p.m. to 17 p.m.
Closed on Mondays

Text: Katia Barillot



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