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In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.

Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.

Meet Delphine Leon Bellancourt (The Live Design Project)

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Delphine Leon Bellancourt (The Live Design Project)

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Delphine Leon Bellancourt (The Live Design Project)

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/ brand about?

I am a French-born interior designer who obtained my Masters from École Camondo, Paris, and have worked on various global projects from Singapore for 25 years.

I founded The Live Design Project in late 2021 to address the three-fold challenge of fair game in the industry. The platform allows juniors, clients, and mentors to collaborate virtually on design projects. I am committed to sustainability and have purchased a forest of 1000 trees, with each client on TLDP having a tree planted in their name. I am an active member of the Design Business Chamber Singapore (DBCS) and the Society of Interior Designers Singapore (SIDS), staying connected to industry trends and resources. With a client-first mentality, I design spaces that prioritize client needs and preferences. I also mentor junior members of TLDP (The Live Design Project), instilling in them the importance of client-centric design.

My portfolio includes global brands such as Hermes, Chopard, Bollore, Sennheiser, Club Med, Opera Gallery, Christofle, Sanak Retreat, Coco Palm Boduhiti, Ipsen, Idemia, BlueSG, and Enterprise Island, amongst many others.

What got you started on your business? 

Throughout my career, I found myself confronted with a puzzling predicament that motivated the creation of The Live Design Project (TLDP). This challenge revolved around bringing fairness to the Interior Design industry.

Over the years, I came to realize that this challenge had three distinct facets. Firstly, the prevailing practices in the industry tended to favor those who could afford high-quality design services, leaving many unable to access the benefits of good design. Secondly, students are not work-ready and often lacked exposure to the full spectrum of industry experiences during their brief internship periods, which could significantly impact their employability. And finally, experienced interior designers faced difficulties in finding and recruiting the right talent to meet their project needs.

These realizations propelled me to establish TLDP, with the goal of addressing these three-fold challenges. By providing accessible design solutions to clients, offering comprehensive industry experience to bridge the experience gap for aspiring designers, and bridging the gap between talented individuals and design firms, TLDP aims to foster a more equitable and inclusive landscape within the Interior Design industry.

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Delphine Leon Bellancourt (The Live Design Project)

The Live Design Project

What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?

In my experience as an Interior Designer, one of the challenges I’ve encountered is the lack of recognition for the extensive amount of work and time required to excel in this profession. It’s disheartening to see that many people, especially those in my age group and industry, are often burnt out and choose to quit.

Personally, I reached a point where the demands of my previous design practice became overwhelming. Recognizing the toll it was taking on my well-being, I made the difficult decision to close that chapter of my career. I opened The Live Design Project, a new venture through which I approach design in a different way, with the hope of reducing the strain on myself.

The shift to TLDP has allowed me to explore alternative methods of working while still staying true to my passion for design. I strive to find a balance that prioritizes both my professional growth and personal well-being, which ultimately enhances the quality of my work. As a professional juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, achieving a work-life balance has been an ongoing struggle for me. Being a mother, wife, and daughter, along with the challenges of living abroad, adds another layer of complexity to my daily life.

To navigate this delicate balance, I have adopted a mindset of prioritizing quality time over sheer quantity. Instead of spreading myself too thin, I focus on making the moments I have with my family count. By being fully present and engaged during those precious moments, I can create meaningful connections and forge stronger bonds.

While it is not always easy, this approach has proven effective in maintaining a sense of equilibrium between my personal and professional life. It allows me to invest my energy and attention where it matters most, ensuring that I am able to fulfill my responsibilities while still finding fulfillment and joy in my personal relationships.

Who inspires you?

I draw inspiration from several influential figures in the design industry. Christian Liaigre, the renowned French interior designer and furniture maker, holds a special place in my heart. His elegance, sophistication, and commitment to high-quality materials resonate deeply with me. Tadao Ando, an architect and interior designer, serves as a significant source of inspiration for me. I am captivated by the simplicity and clean lines evident in his work, as well as the striking perspective effects he achieves. His ability to frame views is truly remarkable and continually motivates me. Furthermore, Ando’s work represents a compelling intersection of ecology, technology, and sustainability, further fueling my admiration for his contributions to the field.

What excites you most about your industry?

The ever-evolving nature of the industry excites me the most. Each project is unique, and I love the process of presenting and continuously seeking ways to improve.

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Delphine Leon Bellancourt (The Live Design Project)

Fempreneur Delphine Leon Bellancourt

What is your vision / personal motto?

My personal motto and vision revolve around designing with people in mind. In my perspective, there are two distinct types of interior designers. The first type seeks recognition from their peers, striving to attain fame and acclaim within the industry. On the other hand, there are designers who prioritize recognition from their clients above all else. I proudly belong to the latter category.

My focus is on understanding and fulfilling the needs, desires, and aspirations of my clients. I believe that the ultimate measure of success lies in the satisfaction and happiness of those with whom I co-create spaces. By placing their vision and preferences at the forefront of my designs, I aim to deliver personalized and meaningful experiences that resonate with them on a deep level, whilst staying true to their original idea.

For me, the true essence of interior design lies in forging strong connections with my clients and taking their dreams to the next level. It’s about creating spaces that not only meet their functional requirements but also evoke emotions and enhance their quality of life. This client-centric approach is at the core of my design philosophy and serves as a guiding principle in all my endeavors.

Do you have any words of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?

First and foremost, starting a business or pursuing your dream requires a significant investment of time and energy. However, the rewards can be incredibly fulfilling. When your clients express their enjoyment of your design and the happiness it brings them, it becomes a truly rewarding experience. Particularly when clients realize that they couldn’t have achieved that level of design on their own, it reinforces the value I bring and makes me feel appreciated as well.

When starting a business, it can be beneficial to begin small, allowing yourself to learn quickly from any failures or setbacks you encounter. Embrace the permission to dream and follow your aspirations. Many people are afraid of failing, but it’s important to recognize that mistakes and challenges are part of the journey. Reflecting on my own experiences, I have learned invaluable lessons through trial and error that have shaped me into the entrepreneur I am today.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is crucial. Acknowledge that you can’t excel in every aspect of your business, and seek out individuals who complement your weaknesses. Recognize that successes come from the sum of the collective’s strengths. Building a supportive network is crucial during your entrepreneurial journey. It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your goals and values. However, it’s equally important to seek out those who may challenge you and offer different perspectives. This diverse network can provide valuable guidance and inspiration as you navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is crucial. Acknowledge that you can’t excel in every aspect of your business, and seek out individuals who complement your weaknesses. Recognize that successes come from the sum of the collective’s strengths. Building a supportive network is crucial during your entrepreneurial journey. It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your goals and values. However, it’s equally important to seek out those who may challenge you and offer different perspectives. This diverse network can provide valuable guidance and inspiration as you navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

Lastly, draw inspiration from the best in your field. Study their work, learn from their achievements, and allow their successes to fuel your own aspirations. Surround yourself with sources of inspiration, whether it’s through books, online platforms, or attending industry events. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow, constantly pushing yourself to reach new heights.

Starting a business or pursuing your dream is like climbing a mountain. Don’t get caught up in looking at the peak; instead, concentrate on navigating the path directly in front of you. Take one step at a time, overcome the obstacles along the way, and keep pushing forward. This will be filled with both challenges and triumphs. Stay focused, be resilient, and never lose sight of your passion and drive. You have the ability to make a meaningful impact and achieve incredible things.

What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?

Recently, I have learned the importance of cherishing the time we have with our children. It’s a realization I am experiencing firsthand as my first daughter is preparing to leave this summer. The 18 years have passed by in the blink of an eye. My hope is that other ladies can take away the importance of appreciating quality time with their children and treasuring the moments they have together.

How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?

To help women feel confident and empowered, it’s important to emphasize that failure is a natural part of the journey and should not be feared to be judged by others. Encouraging a mindset focused on self-belief and self-acceptance is key. Building supportive communities, seeking mentorship, and promoting self-compassion are also effective ways to boost confidence and empower women.

TLC x Fempreneurs Series: Delphine Leon Bellancourt (The Live Design Project)

The Live Design Project Brand Logo

What is one thing you are grateful for?

One thing I am incredibly grateful for is the support I receive from my peers in the industry. Whether it’s fellow small business owners, talented designers, or platform owners, I am fortunate to have intelligent and experienced individuals who are always there for me. They willingly lend their expertise and offer valuable advice whenever I reach out to them. Their support and willingness to pick up the phone when I need guidance is something I deeply appreciate.

Moreover, I am extremely grateful for my husband, who has been a pillar of support throughout my journey. His unwavering belief in me and my aspirations is truly remarkable. He is always there, understanding the demands of my busy career and providing unconditional support. According to my friends, he speaks highly of me even when I’m not around, although I’m not sure how true that is! His support is invaluable to me, and I am lucky to have such a strong advocate by my side.

What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?

In my free time, I engage in various sports activities four times a week, including power stretches, gym workouts, dancing, and yoga. Yoga specifically grounds and decompresses me, as it slows me down after operating at full capacity throughout the day. The other activities I participate in, such as gym workouts and dancing, serve as stress relievers. Additionally, I find solace in taking walks, which allows me to connect with nature and find tranquility. Engaging in these self-care activities helps me unwind and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

I am also a huge foodie – I appreciate a good glass of red wine shared with my friends. Come on, I’m French! I need to talk about the wine!

Let us know more about what you do!

TLDP is a design initiative leveling the playing field for global junior designers, clients, and mentors. Our platform offers low-cost, self-assembling, quality designs, allowing for 100% virtual collaboration. Clients receive triple design options at a fraction of their typical cost, mentors find potential hires, and juniors gain industry experience and networking opportunities. TLDP values equal opportunities, simplicity, effectiveness, and brilliance.

My works have won several design awards, including the Singapore Interior Design Awards, Asia Hotel Design Awards 2015, City Development Limited, World Luxury Hotel Awards, and the Singapore Enterprise Medal of Honour.

Connect with The Live Design Project!

Website: https://thelivedesignproject.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelivedesignproject
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelivedesignproject/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/79376517/admin/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dndbsg/_created/

Are you a Fempreneur too?

Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at [email protected] or reach out to us via our social media.

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