All-in-ones: The slashers reinventing the work-life balance

Continuing our collaborative series with Rémy Martin, we keep investigating how some of the country’s relentless multi-taskers manage to live by the discerning cognac maker motto, “one life live them”. This time, we met up with Elsa Fralon, who quit her job as an editor-in-chief to become a freelancer, and Ophélie Mac, who runs between kids’ workshops, performances and exhibitions.

Photographer Thomas Ost (c)

Elsa Fralon

I worked for ELLE Belgique for seven years until two years ago, when I got so tired of and frustrated with sharing all my ideas and energy with people who don’t understand the industry, its evolution and challenges. I had already started working on side projects as a part-time freelancer, so after a short time working as an editor-in-chief for another media, I finally took the leap and became a full-time freelancer. Today I’m not only a journalist but also a copywriter, stylist, art director and music selector, and handle PR for several festivals and brands. The activity that takes up most of my schedule at the moment is WESHARE, a content-generating agency. This company was founded by a few friends of mine and it’s the one I enjoy working for the most – it feels like a family. That said, I don’t have a secret when it comes to balancing my various activities. I just work hard. Yet the simple fact that I get to make my own schedule is a game-changer: I can work from home, which allows me to put on different hats at once. I can also pick my son up from school and continue working once he’s asleep. As trivial as it might sound, it does make my life much easier. The thing about freelancing is that there’s no clear line between my private and professional lives; they interweave – and probably too much. What I enjoy the most about combining all these activities is that every day is different. As I get bored quite easily and hate monotony, it suits me perfectly.

Given the time, Elsa (1983) would get more involved in the music industry.

Ophélie Mac

I studied ceramics and performance at a fine arts school in a Parisian suburb before moving to Brussels to finish my studies at La Cambre. I got my agrégation later on, which makes me a ceramist, performer and teacher. As an artist, I question gender, religion, colonisation and black female archetypes, while my sculptures were never intended to be exhibited on a pedestal. Yet besides all of this, I also work as a life drawing model, personal shopper at COS and BOZAR guide to make a living. I’m also the founder of Opera Capture Club, a platform organising video and performance workshops for kids in arts institutions, with the aim of creating a children’s performance company. On top of that, I recently started throwing my own parties called LESSABBATS, turning the spotlight on the many extraordinary women spinning records, dancing, singing and tattooing. And last but not least, I work as an artistic director for Loom, a French ethical men’s fashion brand. As chaotic as it might sound, there’s a balance in all this: I finance my parties and artistic projects with the money I earn at COS, pay rent with the ceramic sculptures I make, and take my friends out for dinner and indulge in retail therapy thanks to Loom. I admit that I’m a rather messy person, except for when it comes to timing. I try to follow the eight-hour day cycle: eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and eight hours of play. But let’s be honest, I only sleep five hours a night.

Given more time, Ophélie (1988) would like to learn sign language, yoga, tango and the cello.