Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021
How can’t do became can do
Ever thought I’d become an entrepreneur? Always ambitious, but not daring for a long time. Because, ‘What if you fall?’
After my studies in Enschede and Amsterdam, I started my career at Oilily at the Beverkoog in Alkmaar. Green as grass, a little bit of a geek, finally ready putting it all into practice. It took some getting used to this working life after studying for 6 years. Coming from an entrepreneurial textile family from the east of our country, I chose the fashion industry with everything I had in me, although several family members advised me not to do so, this world was way too hard for me…
With every employer that followed, I had the opportunity developing myself, first as a product manager, later as a buyer and merchandiser at a fantastically beautiful fashion brand, I’m still grateful for that period. Of course, with some trial and error, at the age of 28 I had a burnout, to me a valuable lesson in ‘setting my boundaries’. As a person I developed quietly, became a mother for the first time and then it slowly started to wring… I felt tossed back and forth, still traveling the world, I have been to 24 countries so far. My private life and my career fought over my subdivided attention, leaving me in despair whether I was doing it all right and not short of anyone. My last employer, that beautiful brand, taught me to look beyond the product that was a bit of a let go for me, I always had a fascination for the technical side of textiles and clothing. I still like to check all the labels and see how something is made just to understand it, but this period opened my eyes, seeing more the business behind it.
Just before I found out that I was expecting my third daughter, I said goodbye to my last employer quite unexpectedly. This mutual decision seemed better to both of us, in retrospect this turned out to be completely true. What followed was a year with many changes in the private field and even more questions to myself, because ‘now what?’ This question first stretched out in front of me as a great plain of uncertainty, in which my can’t do mentality totally took over. Slowly the idea of entrepreneurship began to appeal to me more and more, the urge to do it myself became stronger, and can’t do became can do.