If you’re a parent, chances are you’re already familiar with Orchestra, an affordable French fashion brand for kids that has its international headquarters right here in Philadelphia. At the helm, is 47-year-old CEO Agatha Boidin, who lives in Villanova with her family and commutes to Center City everyday for work.
Boidin is originally from France, and got her start with the company in 1995 when she came onboard as its CFO.
“I previously worked for an intimate apparel bra company,” Boidin says. “When my husband and I were looking to relocate from Paris to the south of France in Montpellier to start our family, I saw Orchestra was seeking a CFO and that’s where they were based. I demonstrated my combined financial and retail experience and happily got the job. That was in 1995 and I’ve been with Orchestra ever since. It’s been an exciting ride of growth and expansion.”
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Given the global nature of her work, commuting from the suburbs to the city everyday is a breeze for this international businesswoman.
“I drive from Villanova to our Philadelphia office, and always start my day with a call to our French team and try to arrive by 8:30 a.m.,” Boidin says. “Right now, I enjoy the best of both worlds – living in the suburbs while working in the city. I like the energy of Center City, but also love retreating to the suburbs with my husband and three children for some relaxation.”
With 600 Orchestra locations around the world, Boidin’s work involves lots of travel, so leisure time with her family is a key part of staying balanced.
“I am the CEO for Orchestra in North America and the CEO of Retail and Marketing for Europe and the rest of the world,” she says. “I may be traveling to any of our 600 stores in more than 40 countries. My job is very global – you may find me here in Philadelphia, in the suburbs of France or hopping from one European country to another.”
So what does a CEO at a major fashion retailer do day-to-day? Boidin has a long list of responsibilities.
“As CEO, I am checking on sales, marketing promotions, supply chain, and the financials of the company on a regular basis,” Boidin says. “There’s always lot on my plate, but there’s nothing I can’t handle or a challenge I can’t overcome.”
What Boidin loves most about her industry is that it’s constantly changing.
“The retail industry is more dynamic than ever, and every day is different,” she says.
She also loves the people.
“Not only is it a fun and exciting space to be in, but I what I love most is working with a diverse team and meeting different people from other countries, with different personalities and stories. It’s amazing to meet and interact with the many people the Orchestra brand touches.”
For those aspiring to a career similar to Boidin’s, she offers the following advice:
“Believe in your dream and in your capacity to achieve it and never give up—that’s how I’ve rose up the ranks to the position I am today,” she says. “A good leader needs to surround themselves with diverse and talented people; they can make all of the difference in their success.”
For more information on Orchestra, visit: shop-orchestra.com.