Woman of the Month
Woman Of The Month - Tracy Leonetti
We were delighted to feature Tracy Leonetti this month to congratulate her 5th year in business as an entrepreneur. Her achievement and her determination to make a success of her business in a foreign country is an inspiration.
Tracy is a Yorkshire girl, and grew up in Hull in the UK. Her father worked on the trawlers as a fisherman and so the early days were often a struggle with Tracy's mother being a stay at home mum, taking care of 3 girls.
"I have fond memories of family ‘summer’ vacations in Withernsea and Bridlington, which were the main seaside resorts when I was a child! I remember swimming in the sea and it was just so cold."
Recently Tracy had the opportunity to go back to Bridlington after many years, and it was just as she remembered! "Fish and Chips on the sea front, yum!" says Tracy.
Tracy's dreams of travelling further started when she was very young. She always knew there was more out there and just needed to take a step.
Her friends thought she was crazy to have left her position as a civil servant in Hull, to start the discovery of the big wide world to travel around Australia and New Zealand with a girl friend. Tracy recalls the year being truly amazing and filled with new encounters but this was the perfect opportunity to learn a great deal about herself. After Australia, Tracy applied for a job in Bermuda and went to work at the Bank of Bermuda. With Bermuda being small, it was not long before she was looking for her next destination.
They say that behind every story, there is often a man and although Tracy would like to say that she came to France as part of her travelling dream, she initially came to France thanks to an ex-boyfriend! He was living in France and invited Tracy over and very quickly she fell in love with the French Riviera and has now lived in the region for 26 years. Tracy married a French man and they have two children Victoria 25 and Lucas aged 9.
"We are very lucky to be living in this beautiful area of the world."
Tracy learned the French language quickly and once she had the basics under her belt, she worked in the Corporate world in Business Development and Event Management for almost 20 years in Sophia Antipolis for the likes of Nortel Network, Texas Instruments and Honeywell. Always feeling like a square peg in a round hole, when she had her second child, Tracy took this opportunity to work on setting up her own business.
What business did you create?
"The struggle I had when I first came to France was always in the back of my mind. The endless paperwork, the often unhelpful and difficult civil servants and of course the language barrier was part of the struggle. Even setting up my business was a bit like an obstacle course! So that’s where LBS came from, the aim to help people who are really looking for a seamless transition to their dream life in France and I’ve made it my mission to provide the most up to date information so that people can integrate into the French system as quickly and as smoothly as possible. So what do I actually do? From property search, school registrations, business creation, health care, car registrations. Of course since Brexit, citizenship has been in the forefront of many people’s minds and I have been helping many people with this. It’s not easy every day as the administration far from simplifying, seems to become more complex each year.
Over time, I have become specialized in setting up small businesses and managing them via my membership program, the Auto Entrepreneur Serenity Pack. I absolutely love helping entrepreneurs getting started and getting them through the paperwork and then supporting them whilst they grow. I have set up over 30 Micro Entreprises over the past 3 years, I think I’m helping the French economy!!!"
Once again The Riviera Woman congratulates Tracy for her 5th year in business and here's to the next 5! Talking of 5s, we asked Tracy our famous 5 questions and this is how she replied...
1) What makes you smile?
So many things really! Walking down the beach front from Golfe Juan to Juan les Pins early in the morning, going to the mountains and watching my 9 year old son fish with his dad. Unexpected shopping trips with my daughter. Taking a coffee on any seafront is pure happiness and of course spending a day on the beach has never lost its pleasure even after over the past 25 years of being here.
2) What or who motivates you?
My family. From a personal perspective, simply spending quality time with them and being a good role model for my kids is what makes me tick.
From a business perspective, I am really motivated by helping people take a step forward towards their objective, whether that be getting their paperwork organized, working on their business project or finding their dream home in France. I absolutely love it when people take that extra step and it all falls into place.
I also love connecting people as I really believe that everyone can help each other taking their steps forward and that we all have the right connections, we just need to share them.
3) Do you believe in gut instincts?
Absolutely yes. If it doesn’t feel right, then there is definitely something wrong! I always trust my instincts.
4) Your three essential things if you were stuck on a desert island would be what?
So this is a bit more complicated! Let’s take family out of the equation and in that case I would say I’d love to be stuck on a desert island for a short while with my factor 50, a really good book and a Mojito!! Sounds like a good plan to me!
5) If you are planning a day/night out, what do you enjoy doing the most?
I love having a girls night out! Doesn’t happen often but when it does, it’s a lot of fun. For a day time, it would be a day out with my husband and son, usually fishing in the mountains or going for a walk on the seafront, depending on the seasons.
Tel: +33 (0)6 59 04 01 51