Publié le by NmNomador
Meet Mariannig – the face behind Nomador.com
At Nomador, we believe that the lifestyle and values of founders go a long way to explain the businesses they create. And, we also believe that as savvy travellers it’s important to know, understand and respect the people with whom we travel. If you’ve already discovered the wonders of house-sitting, then chances are you’ve already been travelling with Nomador.
Now that we’re close friends (or perhaps we’re about to be), we thought it was time we revealed more about who we are and how we think. So, it’s time to introduce you to our face - the face behind Nomador: Mariannig Ferrari.
She describes herself as a "curious, optimistic, working woman and mother” - so why did this curious, optimistic woman decide to build a peer-to-peer house-sitting platform? We thought it was time to share her passion with you and other community members. Introducing: Mariannig Ferrari.
"Nomador is the place where my steps led me after a life path."
Tell us about your personal passions and where you find your inspiration.
The words that spontaneously come to mind are: people, foreign civilisations, travel and pets. I am 55 now, and my whole life has been nothing but a loop around those cornerstones. The books I read, the music I listen to, the friends I have, the art I like, the pictures that make me dream, the projects that excite me, my great memories and my regrets-not-to-have-gone-there-yet, all turn around those words.
I hate staying in one place, I love change, I adore meeting different people and I can’t imagine having a home without flowers and pets.
You have been running ILIDOR, (a fee based house-sitting agency) in France for about eight years with your partner. Why, then did you start Nomador.com?
With Nomador, in a certain way the loop is complete for me. Nomador is the place where my steps led me after a life path – it’s more than just a marketplace I created to catch a market opportunity or follow a trend.
I have always been keen on sharing. Long before the word ‘sharing’ described the so-called economy, I developed in my community a sort of a ‘local social forum’ in order to lend and borrow toys and other things between friends and neighbours instead of buying them.
I started ILIDOR eight years ago because of my love for pets. I found myself experiencing a need to have them looked after, and because of my previous work experience in personnel recruiting and management, it was easy for me to apply these techniques to house-sitting. ILIDOR fast became a leading European agency and it still is.
Nevertheless, I was not fully satisfied. It became clear to me that some homeowners and pet-owners would not or could not afford the fees of an agency, although they did have a need to find house-sitters.
For example, I remember a young woman calling the agency one day. She lived in a charming one-room flat near Convention in Paris, and she had a kitten. We spoke on the phone, she had not really looked at the website, and she rapidly apologised when she realised that it was not free of charge. “I’m so sorry, I didn't realise that of course you cannot work for us for free… but we’ve just married, and we can’t afford it, too bad we will have to ask our parents to mind our cat at their home.” What a pity! Her flat would have put a huge smile on the face of any young couple of foreigners willing to discover Paris.
I was sure that there was a growing demand for house-sitting and pet-sitting and the solution needed to be affordable. It was just obvious: if we wanted to open the solution to more people, we had to go global and offer a DIY solution. Our P2P website, Nomador.com, was launched in February 2014, in Sydney, Australia, starting out on an international basis.
"We’re there to support our community to make the most of the sharing economy."
Then in 2012, my elder daughter, who was studying in Paris, sent me an e-mail saying, “I have attended a super TedX conference at La Sorbonne, here’s the link, and you should have a look! I know it will interest you.”
It was a conference by the founder at BlaBlacar, a leading car-sharing platform, speaking about trust on the Internet.
That was a triggering factor: I realised that we had already taken the first steps on a small scale at ILIDOR and that we were ready to take the plunge to a DIY collaborative platform.
The problem I was looking to solve with Nomador.com was to help make affordable travel more accessible, so that travellers can experience the often unexpectedly positive experiences of connecting with like-minded people all over the world.
Since we’ve launched, the ‘sharing economy’ has become a real revolution and we’re there to support our community to make the most of it: people, pets, homes, places and of course travel! However, there is so much more we can do and so much more, we will be offering. It’s really challenging and exciting.
"My dream is also to help families to potentially create links with other families abroad."
You seem to have a particular interest in helping, connecting people and offering opportunities so they can improve their long term options. What’s behind that motivation?
Besides my work, I was a volunteer over a four-year period in an organisation dealing with youth with learning disabilities and this really influenced me and caused me to think deeply about the issue.
I ended up convinced that travelling and seeing new horizons (among other things) would help a lot of young people grow up happier and wealthier and learn much more than by only studying.
In May 2014, a survey by the WHO revealed that depression had become the first illness among people aged 10 to 19… How could it be different? The world is so unpredictable now, which pleasures do we encourage our children look forward to?
By launching Nomador, my dream is also to help families to potentially create links with other families abroad - international links that can be helpful to a lot of families, whatever the nationality. International friendships are often long-lasting ones and can have unexpected and positive consequences such as mentoring, internships etc…
So Nomador.com was born out of all those experiences and thoughts: all about people and connections and travel and enhancing life’s experiences really. Building the Nomador.com platform and website has been a natural culmination of everything I’ve done in my life so far and everything I believe in.
Stay tuned for more with Mariannig and her inspiring story…
Part 1: This article
Part 2: The story of Nomador itself - how is it different?
Part 3: Mariannig's own home-sitting journey