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Natalie Massenet Overcomes Motherhood to Launch Net-a-Porter

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Natalie Massenet via Getty

Natalie Massenet, founder of upscale e-commerce site Net-a-Porter, used her Vogue Festival speech to address the effects of having kids at the same time as starting business. If we used her as a test subject alone, it seems like a good idea considering the fashion industry holds Massenet up as one of its most clear-cut successes. Depending on who you ask, however, having children was the worst part or essential part of her business (e.g. Compare and contrast the Daily Mail headline "You CAN'T Have It All, Says Net-a-Porter Boss" to Vogue UK's "Motherhood Gave Me Balance").

Her conclusion? Combining the two is a mixed bag. She joked, "I made a dreadful mistake or opportunity I'm not sure, of doing both of them at the same time, and it was enormously hard. [...] I was so traumatised by having a baby and starting a business in the same year that it took six years for the next one to come along." See below for her candid and ultimately positive grasp on the subject.

And now for the positives: "I loved this little girl so much and couldn't wait to be with her every hour I wasn't in the office. Similarly, the business captivated me beyond my imagination. Having the two simultaneously somehow balanced me. And my priorities were quickly defined: family and business, home and office, head and heart. All the rest had to go. I was also very lucky to have a lot of support at home. Significantly perhaps this also gave me, and the other new mothers on the Net-A-Porter team, insight and empathy into the lives of our consumers—something had to give, and we would be there to provide women like us with reliable service."

If her words are not inspirational and/or testy enough, feel free to view Net-a-Porter's Instagram for her story in pictures and quotes.
· Natalie Massenet: Motherhood Gave Me Balance [Vogue UK]
· Net-a-Porter's Natalie Massenet Makes Britain's Most Eligible Bachelorette List [Racked]
· 8 Fashion Brands Creating the Best Online Content [Racked]