Change of scale for Laurent Gaudens, the founder in 2018 of the inclusive Parisian well-being and beauty institute Dulcenae. The 54-year-old entrepreneur is preparing to carry out his first fundraising, to duplicate his concept in the provinces, by initially opening two establishments of his own in Nantes and Lyon.
Nestled on the ground floor of a peaceful interior courtyard in the 9th arrondissement, the 100m² institute is accessible to people with reduced mobility. If Dulcenae has “70% of ordinary people among its clientele”, as its creator indicates, the institute was specially designed to accommodate people with particularities, for whom specific care protocols have been implemented. elaborated. The establishment is mixed, but its attendance is predominantly female. Many clients have been faced with the ordeal of cancer, including breast cancer in particular. Others have unique skin types (eczema, psoriasis, scars, etc.) or sensory or motor disabilities.
It was in particular because he had a very unpleasant experience in a spa that Laurent Gaudens, burned on 60% of his body at the age of four, in a barbecue accident, had the idea of creating Dulcenae . Unable to bear the sight of his scars, an employee refused to take care of him, in indelicate terms.
At the same time, the surgeon who has been following him for several years, impressed by his professional development, encourages him to speak to burn victims, who very often lack the self-confidence to achieve their goals. After working for around twenty years at PSA, Bouygues Telecom, and SFR, in customer relationship management, Laurent Gaudens is then at the head of a company that he created in this field. Seduced by his doctor's idea, he founded Burns and Smiles, an association which supports burn victims, and leads awareness campaigns to change the way people view this subject. There, he discovered, through encounters, the profession of socio-aesthetician, dedicated to the aesthetic care of vulnerable people.
He then decides to sell his consulting company and invest in the creation of an establishment that can accommodate people with physical particularities. “I was able to notice two things. Not only did these profiles restrict themselves because they did not want to impose on beauticians the vision of their bruised bodies, but also in the institutes, the staff were not trained for this type of public, with whom they were very often clumsy, both in gestures and in words,” points out Laurent Gaudens.
Thus at Dulcenae, an anorexic person will not be advised to “eat a little more”, any more than someone who is overweight will suffer the affront of hearing a beautician tell them “I hope my table massage will resist”, as has already happened to certain clients in other institutes.
Like the three employees of the establishment, Sophie Massé, the wife of Laurent Gaudens, previously a school teacher, has also trained in socio-aesthetics, and accompanies her husband in this adventure. “We took a little time to make people understand the specificity of our institute, capable of adapting to everyone. Many women come with friends. We also welcome family caregivers and those receiving care, who present at the same time for care, each on their own,” she emphasizes. The couple has an eye for detail. The three spacious treatment cabins are notably equipped with triptych mirrors which can be closed, if the person prefers not to see their reflection, and discreet hair prosthesis holders.
With an annual turnover of 200,000 euros, the couple aims to create their own brand of care and develop their franchise network, once their first institutes are well established in the provinces. He is counting on eighteen establishments in the next five years. “We would like to offer our first franchises to our employees, who are trained in our protocols,” explains Laurent Gaudens.