In this day and age, us girls have to stick together. As an all female company, we at Eline Rosina believe that women can achieve everything and that we should give each other a helping hand! Girls empowering each other. We get inspiration from tough, quirky and strong women around us every day. That's why we would like to give something back and this week we put three inspiring female entrepreneurs in the spotlight. We asked them a couple of questions about female entrepreneurship and their own business.
Josine started OnTheBlock
, a streetwear webshop for girls. She will soon be opening a store in Amsterdam. What led you to set up your own company?
I worked as a freelancer for years. Even when I had a permanent job, I always needed that freedom. First I worked as a web designer/developer and finally I started OnTheBlock because I noticed that nothing similar existed. There were quite a few streetwear stores and webshops that focused on men at the time, but no one dared to venture into something special for women. I always had to order the clothes that I liked from America. At one point I thought ''Well, I'll do it myself''. No sooner said than done. I could build and design my webshop myself and with OnTheBlock I could not only fill a gap in the market, but also combine my two favorite things. What have been the biggest challenges and victories with OnTheBlock?
An enormous challenge in the development of OnTheBlock has always been the fact that I did everything on my own and therefore also had tasks that I had no experience with/knowledge of. I had completely underestimated the whole idea of ''setting up a company''. On the other hand, that has ensured that I have learned a lot in the past 6 years. In addition, my financial independence has also been quite a challenge. I have never taken out a loan, had a partner or investor. Consciously, because in that way I could make OnTheBlock really what I had in mind, but on the other hand it also meant that I couldn't grow as fast as I wanted. --- HERE I WAS As tough as the challenges of having your own business are sometimes, it feels like a "euphoric" victory. For example, my pop-up shop broke in last year and a very large part of my stock was stolen. This of course has given me a huge blow (especially) financially. More than half a year later, I was able to straighten everything out again by working extremely hard. That is definitely my biggest win so far!
As tough as the challenges of having your own business are sometimes, it feels like a ''euphoric'' victory. For example, people broke in at my pop-up store last year and a very large part of my stock was stolen. This of course has given me a huge blow (especially) financially. More than half a year later, I was able to straighten everyting out again by working extremely hard. This is definitely my biggest win so far! What is your advice for girls who dream of having their own company? Don't underestimate it! It's super fun to set up something for yourself, but it also involves a lot - much more than you probably think at first. Stay true to what you believe in, even if it doesn't go as fast as you want and make sure you have a lot of perseverance and discipline.
Cathelijne founded The Titty Mag 2 years ago and has been focusing entirely on her own company for 3 months. We asked her a few questions about The Titty Mag and entrepreneurship. What prompted you to find The Titty Mag? I once started writing about "feminism" during my masters. Also because I did not know so well what to say about the word. That is precisely why I started to read, talk and write about it a lot. This has grown into a weekly newsletter, a wonderfully versatile Titty Mag team, its own online magazine, a podcast Titty Mag's Sweet Sixteen (in which we talk to creative female entrepreneurs about their ambitions when they were 16), an Instagram museum and our offline interactive titty talks. We are still working on our book, a mini documentary and hopefully at the end of this year a big event and a Youtube format! What are you most proud of? On my team and everything we have already achieved. That we ensure a safe haven both offline and online where we can enter into a dialogue about inclusiveness, feminism and empowerment. We want to inspire with The Titty Mag to think further and to talk about this. We have already had events in the Amsterdam Museum and Ink Hotel, among others, and we have also had great collaborations with the Melkweg Expo, the Bumble app and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. What is your advice for girls who dream of having their own business? Just go do it and be proud of everything you put down and genuinely take the time to enjoy it too!
Annika founded her own bridal boutique Wild At Heart
3 years ago. We asked her about her own company and female entrepreneurship. What led you to set up Wild At Heart? I married my husband myself in 2014 and found it very difficult to find a dress that was modern, different from the usual but above all really "me". In every store I visited, I felt it was a bit corny and I felt that I was the oldest version of myself instead of the most beautiful version of myself. On Pinterest and Instagram I came across beautiful dresses from brands from Australia, America and Paris but they were not sold anywhere in the Netherlands. After my wedding I thought, there should be a wedding dress shop in the Netherlands that sells this type of dress and where people get personal service and feel completely at home. That is how the idea for Wild At Heart Bridal came about, a wedding boutique for women with their own style who want to dress unique and for their wedding day. What have been the biggest challenges and victories in this? I think the biggest challenge for starting Wild At Heart Bridal was getting a loan from the bank to start everything. Of course we also had our own investment, but you still need the bank. I had to go through a lot of steps to finally get it done and then everything could really start! Furthermore, I started with social media very early which was not necessarily a challenge but very important at the start of the boutique. Before we opened, people already knew that we existed and that immediately gave a very good start! What are you most proud of? That may sound cliche, but basically everything. That you can set up your own company with purely an idea in mind that makes other women very happy, that feels very good! At the moment we have been overcrowded for 2 seasons and we are working with a waiting list, so this year we will move to a larger space. I never thought that this would be necessary after 3 years and also possible! In the daily course of business as an entrepreneur you are often quick to ignore these highlights, but if you really think about it, it feels almost unreal that I am so proud! What is your advice for girls who dream of having their own company? Make sure you have a clear vision about what you want to start and what the elements are that make your company different from others. That can be your service, or certain points of your product, it can be anything. But if you have a good picture of it, you can also bring it out well. And further… just do it! Don't stick to dreaming and making plans, take that step and just go for it!
Feel inspired? Shop our Girl power necklace by clicking here!