Reading Time: 2 minutes
By Ella Brown
As we sat there together in November 2019 at the CopperBay cocktail bar in Paris with a mutual friend who has been wanting to introduce us for quite some time, it’s hard not to notice our differences.
Zoé had brown hair. She was short. She has two older brothers. She was very stylish. She was design-oriented and was working on the textile team for a made-in-France underwear company. Céline had blonde hair. She was tall. She had an older brother and a younger sister. She was very business-professional. She was working for a strategy consulting firm and is very tech-oriented.
But… we both rode motorcycles.
[@ Zoé add photo] [@Céline add photo]
As soon as we discovered our mutual love for being on a bike, everything seemed almost too good to be true. It was kind of crazy to randomly meet another girl who loved motorcycling since the community is so small. And for two girls to meet who both love motorcycling (and anything that has wheels) so much that they wanted to build a clothing brand from scratch with the hopes of influencing more girls to ride bikes… What more could you want?
But the similarities didn't stop there. We discovered that we were both born and raised in Paris and were living a 10-minute walking distance from one another. We both had plans to leave our jobs with about a 1-month difference. And we were both interested in possibly having an entrepreneurial experience.
We were so complimentary: If one was good at something, the other was bad at it. And if one loved something, the other hated it.
During the few weeks after we first met, as Céline went motorcycling through Chilé on holiday and Zoé finished working at her old job, we started to really think critically about the possibility of an entrepreneurial adventure. It was scary because it was so unknown, but deep down, we knew that there was never going to be a better time than the present. And we may never meet a better business partner again.
At one point, Zoé got an incredible opportunity to interview for a position as a creative director for the technical line of a luxury clothing brand. She decided to go through with the interview process because it was something she has always dreamed of, but the more she thought, the more she realized how right for her a technical brand of her own would be.
Zoé called up Céline one day and said, “Céline, I'm quitting the interview process for the luxury brand and I want to do TOMO.”
And that was the beginning of TOMO Clothing.