9to9 Girls: meet Esther

9to9 Girls is a collection of interviews with strong and creative women who have all, in their own rights and on their own terms defined what a successful life is to them.

Meet Esther! Esther has been in my life for as long as I can possibly remember, our families growing together over the years. We call each other the 'Chosen Family', the extra pair of parents and siblings that life gifted us with. Together we have laughed and cried and traveled a lot, and created this unbreakable bound despite distances and time. Our latest adventure was last year, when Esther got to marry her prince and I had the honour of translating their wedding. Esther was my hero growing up. The role model I copied and followed and found peace with. Her grace, her courage - despite trying times- her beauty and determination to become the best version of herself; gave me the motivation to keep pushing. The direction to keep following. Few years younger, I remember looking up to her and asking myself `What would Esther do?`. She is the funniest, most graceful, intelligent and self-aware woman I know. She is the light in a packed room, the face that your eyes can't stop on fixing.

Born and raised in Burgundy- France, Esther has studied in Lyon and California; moved to Italy and finished her training in Florida. She now gets to lives her dreams as an helicopter pilot in Nevada, where she resides with her husband.

esther cranga

Where can we find you on Instagram?

@esthercranga

What is the thing you love most about yourself?

In French we say: I forgot to be stupid.

What holds you back in life?

Impatience and anxiety.

What advice would you give your 23 year old self?

You’ll see, keep having faith because it gets much better from here on. You will get to live the destiny of your name! 

´My life is successful because...´

I am extremely wealthy by the quality of my relationships with friends and family.

What is always in your bag from 9 to 9?

I learned from my mum to prepare a little pouch with essentials and just move it from handbag to handbag. It carries a lip balm, some cash, Tic-Tacs, 2 business cards, tissues and...honey! The honey is my trick for topping any espresso macchiato extra dry. That got me the nickname «honey foam» from my colleagues. And it stuck! I also always carry sunglasses and my iPhone, sometimes with an external charger but I don’t mind my phone dying on my days off. I often carry a pashmina in my bag to brave Nevada´s air conditioning. In my bag for work I always carry extra sunblock, macadamia nuts, electrolyte pills. On any trip or vacation I also pack a tourniquet (weird I know but a safety item recommended by a friend and colleague, Laura).

What did you dream to become growing up?

Writer then fighter pilot, some kind of James Bond Indiana Jones female crossover, which I learned later corresponds to Tomb Raider! I read a lot of book so I pushed a lot the boundaries of my imagination.

What is women empowerment to you?

The opposite of jealousy.

3 women who have marked your life and why.

I am inspired and admire these three women for the qualities they manifest with ease and generosity. They motivate me to better myself because they make it seem so desirable and worth any effort.

My mother, first, for her patience. As her daughter I feel that patience is boundless and superhuman! And mostly because she had to exercise a lot of it with me and my somewhat tortured intellect growing up. In her motherhood I admire her sense of sacrifice, always so gracefully. I admire her artistic gifts and her natural charm and beauty.

Ashley Rebbert: at a time of my life when I was still young but had to rely on myself most of time because of geographical distance and time zone differences with my family, I felt I had become harder in my heart, maybe as a defense mechanism. Ashley was my roommate in North Carolina and as far as girly as i wasn´t. So feminine and graceful, fully welcoming and embracing of all human emotions. In being herself she taught me to soften my heart and be more vulnerable in a good way without feeling at risk.

Queen Esther from the Bible, whom I was named after. The qualities she had, and which I work on a lot are persistence and courage. 

How do you create your personal chamber?

I have learned to rely on very few objects, but sunglasses and the feeling you get when being wrapped in an oversized silky shawl always help!

What is your self-care routine?

I always feel naked without perfume (I have been very faithful to J’adore, Dior and I have a Fragonard perfume very similar to it that I wear on work days); and earrings (usually small zirconia studs or pearls). I usually wear L’Oreal day cream with SPF15 to Evodie´s post on 9to9, I now also use Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser as my favorite concealer under my eyes. Lately I wanted to see for myself what the big whoop was around Ole Henriksen´s under-eye banana cream. Ask me later if it was worth the price! I also use some Mac Next To Nothing powder on my cheekbones and forehead, and add some glow with L’Oreal Lumi Glotion.

A new thing I’m trying lately as I live in a very hot and dry environment, is a hair oil on my hair towards the tips when still wet, so far I like it. It´s from Nuxe, let’s face it, that´s only so I can get a bit of French melancholia as an expat! Because I live close to the desert i use metallic neutrals with gold hues on my eyelids and black mascara, that’s it! Then sunscreen on every inch of exposed skin when I go to work. Oh and last trick: my good friend from Africa recommended a product that does wonders for dry lips: lemon flutter from LUSH.

Interview by EF.