Madeleine Hubner: Le Bijou Hotelier Shares Success and Valuable Lessons

Madeleine Hubner, co-founder of Le Bijou, embarked on her entrepreneurial journey at just fourteen years old. She initially worked at a local Zürich supermarket, an experience that sowed the seeds of her passion for business. Over the years, she transitioned from that early job to co-founding a thriving luxury hotel chain, even amidst a global pandemic. Hubner’s journey offers insights for aspiring young entrepreneurs facing challenges in today’s turbulent times. Here are the key takeaways from her exclusive interview:

Becoming an Entrepreneur:

Hubner officially became an entrepreneur in 2011 when she and her husband, Alexander, took the risk of starting Le Bijou. They faced a challenging but exciting journey.

Overcoming Fear of Failure:

Rather than worrying about failure, Hubner focused on finding ways to survive and make their unique business model work. Their belief in their vision and partnership kept them moving forward.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit:

Entrepreneurship requires not only a clear vision and hard work but also the courage to bring an innovative product or service to market. This involves a certain level of risk and challenges.

Role at Le Bijou:

As co-founders, Hubner and Alexander share responsibilities but have distinct roles. Hubner primarily manages customer care, daily operations, and investor communication.

Inception of Le Bijou:

Le Bijou started as a small startup with just one apartment and gradually expanded. They aimed to create a unique luxury travel experience that had always been a dream but was missing from the market.

Building the Le Bijou Prototype:

The early days of Le Bijou involved strenuous renovations, including custom carpentry, tiling, painting, and finishing. Hubner recalls the challenges but takes pride in their achievements.

Perilous Moments:

One of the most perilous moments occurred when Hubner experienced severe pain on Christmas Eve while working on an apartment renovation. Rushed to the hospital, it was discovered that her appendix had almost burst. Her recovery was crucial for their business’s success.

Steady Growth:

Le Bijou’s growth was steady and organic. The founders took it step by step, starting with one apartment and gradually adding more properties. Their approach contrasted with the “grow or die” culture advocated by venture capitalists.

Hiring Challenges:

Early hiring was challenging for Hubner. The experience of hiring interns who did not align with the company’s values taught her the importance of recruiting the right people.

University and Entrepreneurship:

Hubner left university to focus on establishing Le Bijou. She realized that university lacked the discipline and culture she required for her entrepreneurial journey.

Discipline and Motivation:

Both discipline and motivation are essential for success, and they go hand in hand. Setting clear goals and objectives helps maintain discipline, and self-motivation drives the pursuit of those goals.

First Job Lessons:

Hubner’s first job at a supermarket taught her the importance of taking initiative and doing what you believe is right. She was motivated to build her own company to avoid carrying out actions that contradicted her beliefs.

Challenges and Perseverance:

Hubner advises young entrepreneurs to try out their ideas, embrace the challenges, learn from failures, and stay committed to their goals.

Responding to the Pandemic:

Amid the pandemic, the Hubner family transformed their apartment-hotel units into “luxury quarantine” accommodations and offered free nights to healthcare workers and those in need.

Madeleine Hubner’s journey exemplifies the importance of staying true to one’s vision, maintaining discipline, and persevering through challenges to achieve entrepreneurial success.

About Author

Kathleen Smith is a seasoned author at Influencer Gazette, a magazine celebrated for its comprehensive coverage of lifestyle, news, and celebrity updates. Her writing seamlessly blends informative reporting with a flair for celebrity news, providing readers with engaging insights into the world of pop culture and entertainment. With a finger on the pulse of current trends, Kathleen's work is a go-to source for those seeking a captivating mix of lifestyle features and the latest in celebrity news.