Butterfly in a Storm
‘Giselle’s story is one of determination, courage, resilience and just plain smarts. Her saga portrays an extraordinary individual who also embodies the traits women have exhibited over time – not only to survive, but to excel.’
– Irene Natividad, President, Global Summit of Women
Butterfly in a Storm: Lady to Watch
Butterfly In A Storm is not just another nice book about a woman's life among many others. Nor is it a heroic biography to distract us from our real life with our real joys, sorrows, hopes and delusions, to comfort us that in the end, our own life is good enough, that we shouldn't grasp for the moon. It is not one more boring lesson telling us how we ought to conduct our lives.
In Butterfly In A Storm unfolds the fascinating life of both a very special and an ordinary woman, Giselle Rufer Delance - the powerful entrepreneur and founder of the ultra chic Delance Swiss Watches for women, the fighter, the mother, the friend. As we follow her story, we get enthusiastic when as a child, Giselle, so alive and determined, spreads her thousand ideas and talents like wings; we admire the teen when she dares to cross the line of the so conservative and provincial Swiss society conventions of the fifties; we suffer with the young adult when fate persists to cut her momentum off, tries to kill her vision and forces her to put her ambitions on hold; and we applaud when eventually success and fame reward the exceptional destiny of the mature woman.
The historical context of her life had a great bearing on the course her life took. Giselle was born 1946, one year after Second World War ended. Her very young parents had fled from Paris during the Second World War and settled as immigrants in the nice, French-speaking borderline provincial town of Porrentruy. They brought in a different, metropolitan culture. They knew how much their relatives had suffered at war and were strongly determined to make their own living by working hard. Giselle's father was a salesman and travelled a lot but was very supportive of his wife who ran a shop and of his daughter. However, Mother was the boss. Both her maternal grandmothers had been strong, independent women. Thus the young girl had three interesting role models, especially at such time when the Swiss women they were surrounded with were so different; they stayed at home and under their husbands' shadow.
In her story, Giselle teaches how necessary women's commitment for a better world is. How important their intelligence and skills are on all levels. She shows women, young and old alike, the way, or, better put, her way: to stand up for what they think is right and good, to go on again and again; to search for a better solution, if the first trial is not effective. She encourages women to think out of the box; to develop a vision, together with others, if they want to make a difference in the world; to share, to support others, but also to be a good friend to themselves; to fight, not to hate, to love, to live and to enjoy all of it.
Like a magical butterfly navigating through a relentless storm, Giselle Rufer Delance is courageous, beautiful, rebellious, passionate, and now powerful. She has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. For the French-born, Giselle, who has dared to challenge over a century of tradition, it has been a journey of fortitude and endless defiance. The world of high-end watchmaking is, by its nature, elite, perilous, and exclusionary. Acceptance, if at all, comes with a price—frequently a very high one. A price Giselle has paid.
Her Delance watch brand is exclusively feminine. That, alone, makes her an outlier—a one-of-a-kind visionary who refused to be limited by the thinking of industry “experts.” In spite of their denial, she has emerged as the unconventional victor. Royalty celebrates her unique style, and celebrities prize her statement-making timepieces.
This is Giselle’s story. Though some of the conversations and time periods have been compressed for editorial purposes, the actual thoughts, dreams, and events are all real.
With everything that has been written about her, perhaps Giselle’s own words express her improbable life the best . . .
“I am a woman who was born a dreamer. At times, my dreams were the only things that carried me forward. It’s important to have dreams, but it’s more important to realize them. Though my journey was long and often difficult, virtually all of my dreams have come true. I say virtually because I know that there are many more to come, for age has no corner on accomplishment.
Throughout my life, I have experienced spectacular highs and devastating lows—shed tears that would overflow a river; laughed so hard it would make the angels smile; and felt unbelievable pride—as a daughter, as a woman, a wife, a mother, and an entrepreneur. That is the wonder of life. Living it to its fullest glory is the gift we can all create.
I now know that I am neither a butterfly nor a lion. I am a women—strong and capable, fragile and vulnerable, ambitious and on a beautiful sunny Swiss morning, occasionally a bit lazy. I was born a dreamer, and have learned that out of the darkest of storms can emerge the most vibrant of rainbows.
I am the women who preceded me, and those who surround me. Femininity is magic. Persistence is its secret. These are the gifts I share.”
Giselle Rufer Delance