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WHO RUNS THE WORLD? MOM!
03 / 05 / 2016

 

Sienna mommies in the house!
Read on and discover how Su-Yin, Lana and Tessa manage to be successful women and a wonderful moms at the same time! 

 

 

You are Chinese from origin and born in the Netherlands! How did you end up in Belgium?

 

My Chinese parents moved from Indonesia to the Netherlands in the sixties and I was born in 1974 in Nijmegen. At university, 18 years ago, I met my current husband Hans. After graduation he got a job at Procter & Gamble in Brussels. I was still searching for a job and we thought Antwerp would be a good living base for us! We loved the city and Hans could easily shift to Brussels while I could search for a job either somewhere in Belgium or the Netherlands.

 

With no background in fashion studies, how did you come to the idea to start a shop? 

 

My first job after university was as a Junior Accountmanager at a Bank (now Fortis Bank) in Rotterdam. But I felt really quickly that my sincere personal interest in this industry lacked! Although I studied Financial Management I did not have a real passion for the financial world! Quite a shock!I realized that I wanted to do something in my professional life that is of real interest to me. As a little girl I loved to read fashion and lifestyle magazines as well as shopping. I truly enjoyed just being in a shop and getting inspired by everything!

 

After 2 years working in the financial world, I quit my job when I was 24 and started applying for jobs in the fashion industry. I sent out so many open applications! Unfortunately, nobody was interested in me, since I lacked experience…That really startled me because I was 24 years young and so motivated! I started to cold call people in the fashion industry. Luckily the commercial director of WE fashion wanted to have a talk with me! And I got in! I started working as a trainee at WE Netherlands and became a shopmanager of the WE Man in Maastricht. In this professional company I really learned all the ins and outs of the retail operational activities in a shop. Furthermore, I got my first stint in managing a team, which was sometimes quite a challenge! After 2 years working at WE I felt that there were no possibilities for me to grow further in the company.

 

After WE, I got a job at the Danish fashion company Bestseller. It took some perseverance to get in. I applied many different times for different vacancies and then, third time lucky, I got the job as a Retailmanager for Belgium! This company really challenged me and gave me the great opportunity to grow professionally; I was responsible for new shop openings and the management of the existing Vero Moda and Only shops. I am still very grateful that Bestseller trusted me and gave me the responsibility to “just do it, although I never opened a shop or managed more than 1 shop before!Thanks to the job I practiced, I realized I had quite an entrepreneurial spirit and that I could work very independently. I often had to make decisions on my own, so I also learned to trust my guts and personal instinct.

 

Just before I turned 30 years, I started to write a businessplan for my own fashion boutique. During this process I often thought; “what am I thinking …” But my husband and friends were always very supportive!
I approached the Accountingteam to help me with the financial plan and I pitched the idea to several banks for financing. I also applied for a “starterslening” at Unizo.  In January 2005 I got the green light from the KBC bank and Unizo! And off I went! On the 28th of July my first shop Sienna opened her doors at the Lombardenvest 56!

 

Now, after almost 11 years I am still so happy that I made the decision to set up my own business! Taking a calculated challenge and experiencing first-hand that working with a passion pays off, creates personal confidence and stimulates new adventures! The opening of the other shops Sienna & Lois and Sienna & Faye were done in a very organic way and aren’t part of a big strategic master plan. When an opportunity arises, such as a nicely located shop space, I just took the chance! The whole process of thinking out a new shop concept is so much fun to do and therefore comes very natural to me! In 2014 my husband Hans decided to join the Sienna company and he is responsible for our online sister Sienna Goodies. It is wonderful to be able to work together and complement each other!

 

How do you combine your professional life with 2 young children?

 

You cannot run 4 companies without a great staff! I am really happy that we have a wonderful team of dynamic, independent and motivated young women with an entrepreneurial spirit! When I am in search for new colleagues I will never make a judgment purely based on “experience”. Personality, charisma, motivation and drive are prevalent for me! In our Sienna company we aim to train everyone as if it is their own shop they are working in. By giving our employees -with the right personality and attitude- freedom, trust and responsibility, I hope they will grow professionally in such a way as I had been able to do at Bestseller. By motivating independence and confidence with our employees, business will continue to run even if you are not always there!

It also helps that Hans and I are both in the same business now and that we can arrange our own working times! Even when Hans was still working in Brussels and I had my shops, we managed it really well by being organized. Thom en Nick are also very healthy and easy children, they are very social and always love to go to school. Because our family lives quite far away, we also built up a good network of babysitters, in case we needed any help.

 

Do you have any tips for ambitious moms?

 

Looking back I know that all my former professional experiences at the bank, WE and Bestseller have shaped me and have given me a better insight in myself: what I love to do and what my professional capabilities are. This valuable experience formed a very good basis for starting my own company. So what I would love to say is: dare to follow your heart! If you do what you love, you are already successful! But always remember to be prepared and write a business plan! Never give up and show perseverance!

 

 

 

How did you end up at Sienna?

 

After my fashion and trends studies in secondary school, I started working at a restyling agency. So, for two years I worked at Pieter Portershuis as a personal shopper. Although I liked the job, I looked out for a new adventure, so I applied at L’oréal. I got in and started working as a freelance sales representative for brands such as Lancôme, Armani cosmetics, etc. At the same time, I continued with my personal shopping job, 3 days a week. After L’oréal, I got a job at Annayake, a nichebrand at the fragrance industry. This job seemed too good to be true: I had really good working conditions such as a car, a lot of variety. I learned a lot and they gave me a lot of chances. However this job didn’t bring me the happiness I was hoping for. I started to feel really lonely, since I spent a lot of time in my car –alone-. Besides that, I just felt like I needed some security, collegues and regularity. Hence, I chose to take a step back and give myself some space. That was the moment I decided to apply at Sienna. Su hired me as a sales consultant/personal shopper and gave me the security I needed. Since I work part-time, I have the time to go on with my personal shopping activities. Besides that, I decided to go back to school. In adult education, I obtained my certificate – with distinction- as a beautician. I wanted to continue in this direction, so I decided to set up my own style and beauty company Exzellence. This way I could combine my job at Sienna with my own company and get the best of both worlds. Both jobs challenge me and provide variation. My job at Sienna gives me the space to unfold as a stylist, but also as a person. I have a great relationship with both my collegues and the customers, so I realy feel at home now.

 

Besides an ambitious woman, you’re also a wonderful mom to Lieuwe. How do you manage being both?

 

Structure, regularity and a good daddy, is what it takes to combine all activities. My husband is a great support in everything I do. Usually, I work 4 and a half days and get to spend the rest of the week with my family. To me, this is the perfect balance. Being able to combine everything I love, makes me very happy. I’m a happy and grateful woman, mom and partner.

 

Do you find the time to do other things?

 

Yes, now and then I go out for a run. This way I try to stay in shape. In order to be a good mom, I think you should take care of your own health and condition. I want to be an active and sporty mom for Lieuwe. Besides that I truly enjoy the little things in life. To me luckily, my jobs are also my hobbies. I enjoy going to work, because I love everything I do.

 

Do you have any advice for ambitious moms?

 

My advice is to follow your dreams and just keep going until you’re in a situation that makes you truly happy. If you apply for a job, do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it because of the status,  do it because you are passionate about your job. Furthermore, you should try to find a good balance between being a woman and a mom. Don’t be a slave of duties.

 

 

What responsibilities do you have as a webshop office manager?

 

I’m responsible for: the webshop’s maintenance, the selection of the items that will be available online, the organization and styling of photo shoots, our social media strategy and all graphic designs. Besides all that, I’m modelling and working as a salesadvisor in our boutiques. I really enjoy working in our shops now and then, because it makes me feel more connected with our customers and I get a better affinity with our collection.

 

How did you end up in the position you are now?

 

Well, two weeks after my last exam, I discovered I was pregnant. I desperately started looking for a job and I was applying like crazy. Sienna & Lois just opened its doors, so I thought maybe new employees were needed. At first, I thought it would turn out to be nothing, but all of a sudden Su contacted me. In the beginning, I didn’t mention my pregnancy and waited to tell Su until I was about to sign my contract. Su was very understanding and –luckily- decided to hire me anyway. A bit later, I went on maternity leave for 8 months. After those months, Su contacted me again, because she was about to jump into a new adventure. She played with the idea of starting an online shop and wanted me to play part in this project. I was excited about the plan and decided to join in. Step by step I was starting off with this new job, while I was working as a salesadvisor in the boutiques. We did some meetings with webshop builders etc., but I felt like everything went too slow. I got really impatient and I was wondering whether the online shop would actually happen or not. At a certain moment, Su asked me to become a shopmanager, but I refused. I have a passion for graphic design, so I really wanted to continue in this direction. In the end, the webshop happened. We started from zero and based on trial and error and loads of research, we found our way through this adventure.

 

Besides an ambitious woman, you’re also a wonderful mom to Lily. How do you manage being both?

 

I’m very lucky that Su is also a mom. She is very flexible and understands that sometimes, you need some exceptions as a mommy. We worked out a plan with alternative working hours. I work 7 hours a day – so I start earlier, and stop earlier-. This way it’s easier to take Lily to school. I also work less during the weekends, and if I do work, I’m able to recover those hours on wednesdays. Every friday, our little whirlwind Lily pays us a visit at the office. Everytime she manages to turn everything upside down and wrap everyone around her tiny finger. *giggles*

 

Do you have any tips for the young and ambitious moms?

 

First of all: make sure you love your job, because the time you lose with your kid is precious. I also want to encourage everyone to believe in theirselves and every project they start. My advice is to just keep going. Just be patient and never lose faith. Furthermore, I’d like to advice mom’s never to stop being a woman when they become a mommy. Keep investing in some me-time, make sure your job gives you the space to grow as a person and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Being a Mom and working in fashion requires loads of fashionable and versatile pieces to be able to get dressed super fast and easy while still looking the part. 

Another thing to keep in mind: always be transparant to your boss and create a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.

 

Is there some time left to do other things?

 

Well, my partner has his own company and besides work, kids and the household I try to help them out as much as i can! I design most of the pubs and some of the boards. I also take on little graphic jobs if there is any time left at all…

 

 

Thanks so much for your contribution mommies! 

xxx The Sienna team

 

 



WHO RUNS THE WORLD? MOM!
03 / 05 / 2016

 

Sienna mommies in the house!
Read on and discover how Su-Yin, Lana and Tessa manage to be successful women and a wonderful moms at the same time! 

 

 

You are Chinese from origin and born in the Netherlands! How did you end up in Belgium?

 

My Chinese parents moved from Indonesia to the Netherlands in the sixties and I was born in 1974 in Nijmegen. At university, 18 years ago, I met my current husband Hans. After graduation he got a job at Procter & Gamble in Brussels. I was still searching for a job and we thought Antwerp would be a good living base for us! We loved the city and Hans could easily shift to Brussels while I could search for a job either somewhere in Belgium or the Netherlands.

 

With no background in fashion studies, how did you come to the idea to start a shop? 

 

My first job after university was as a Junior Accountmanager at a Bank (now Fortis Bank) in Rotterdam. But I felt really quickly that my sincere personal interest in this industry lacked! Although I studied Financial Management I did not have a real passion for the financial world! Quite a shock!I realized that I wanted to do something in my professional life that is of real interest to me. As a little girl I loved to read fashion and lifestyle magazines as well as shopping. I truly enjoyed just being in a shop and getting inspired by everything!

 

After 2 years working in the financial world, I quit my job when I was 24 and started applying for jobs in the fashion industry. I sent out so many open applications! Unfortunately, nobody was interested in me, since I lacked experience…That really startled me because I was 24 years young and so motivated! I started to cold call people in the fashion industry. Luckily the commercial director of WE fashion wanted to have a talk with me! And I got in! I started working as a trainee at WE Netherlands and became a shopmanager of the WE Man in Maastricht. In this professional company I really learned all the ins and outs of the retail operational activities in a shop. Furthermore, I got my first stint in managing a team, which was sometimes quite a challenge! After 2 years working at WE I felt that there were no possibilities for me to grow further in the company.

 

After WE, I got a job at the Danish fashion company Bestseller. It took some perseverance to get in. I applied many different times for different vacancies and then, third time lucky, I got the job as a Retailmanager for Belgium! This company really challenged me and gave me the great opportunity to grow professionally; I was responsible for new shop openings and the management of the existing Vero Moda and Only shops. I am still very grateful that Bestseller trusted me and gave me the responsibility to “just do it, although I never opened a shop or managed more than 1 shop before!Thanks to the job I practiced, I realized I had quite an entrepreneurial spirit and that I could work very independently. I often had to make decisions on my own, so I also learned to trust my guts and personal instinct.

 

Just before I turned 30 years, I started to write a businessplan for my own fashion boutique. During this process I often thought; “what am I thinking …” But my husband and friends were always very supportive!
I approached the Accountingteam to help me with the financial plan and I pitched the idea to several banks for financing. I also applied for a “starterslening” at Unizo.  In January 2005 I got the green light from the KBC bank and Unizo! And off I went! On the 28th of July my first shop Sienna opened her doors at the Lombardenvest 56!

 

Now, after almost 11 years I am still so happy that I made the decision to set up my own business! Taking a calculated challenge and experiencing first-hand that working with a passion pays off, creates personal confidence and stimulates new adventures! The opening of the other shops Sienna & Lois and Sienna & Faye were done in a very organic way and aren’t part of a big strategic master plan. When an opportunity arises, such as a nicely located shop space, I just took the chance! The whole process of thinking out a new shop concept is so much fun to do and therefore comes very natural to me! In 2014 my husband Hans decided to join the Sienna company and he is responsible for our online sister Sienna Goodies. It is wonderful to be able to work together and complement each other!

 

How do you combine your professional life with 2 young children?

 

You cannot run 4 companies without a great staff! I am really happy that we have a wonderful team of dynamic, independent and motivated young women with an entrepreneurial spirit! When I am in search for new colleagues I will never make a judgment purely based on “experience”. Personality, charisma, motivation and drive are prevalent for me! In our Sienna company we aim to train everyone as if it is their own shop they are working in. By giving our employees -with the right personality and attitude- freedom, trust and responsibility, I hope they will grow professionally in such a way as I had been able to do at Bestseller. By motivating independence and confidence with our employees, business will continue to run even if you are not always there!

It also helps that Hans and I are both in the same business now and that we can arrange our own working times! Even when Hans was still working in Brussels and I had my shops, we managed it really well by being organized. Thom en Nick are also very healthy and easy children, they are very social and always love to go to school. Because our family lives quite far away, we also built up a good network of babysitters, in case we needed any help.

 

Do you have any tips for ambitious moms?

 

Looking back I know that all my former professional experiences at the bank, WE and Bestseller have shaped me and have given me a better insight in myself: what I love to do and what my professional capabilities are. This valuable experience formed a very good basis for starting my own company. So what I would love to say is: dare to follow your heart! If you do what you love, you are already successful! But always remember to be prepared and write a business plan! Never give up and show perseverance!

 

 

 

How did you end up at Sienna?

 

After my fashion and trends studies in secondary school, I started working at a restyling agency. So, for two years I worked at Pieter Portershuis as a personal shopper. Although I liked the job, I looked out for a new adventure, so I applied at L’oréal. I got in and started working as a freelance sales representative for brands such as Lancôme, Armani cosmetics, etc. At the same time, I continued with my personal shopping job, 3 days a week. After L’oréal, I got a job at Annayake, a nichebrand at the fragrance industry. This job seemed too good to be true: I had really good working conditions such as a car, a lot of variety. I learned a lot and they gave me a lot of chances. However this job didn’t bring me the happiness I was hoping for. I started to feel really lonely, since I spent a lot of time in my car –alone-. Besides that, I just felt like I needed some security, collegues and regularity. Hence, I chose to take a step back and give myself some space. That was the moment I decided to apply at Sienna. Su hired me as a sales consultant/personal shopper and gave me the security I needed. Since I work part-time, I have the time to go on with my personal shopping activities. Besides that, I decided to go back to school. In adult education, I obtained my certificate – with distinction- as a beautician. I wanted to continue in this direction, so I decided to set up my own style and beauty company Exzellence. This way I could combine my job at Sienna with my own company and get the best of both worlds. Both jobs challenge me and provide variation. My job at Sienna gives me the space to unfold as a stylist, but also as a person. I have a great relationship with both my collegues and the customers, so I realy feel at home now.

 

Besides an ambitious woman, you’re also a wonderful mom to Lieuwe. How do you manage being both?

 

Structure, regularity and a good daddy, is what it takes to combine all activities. My husband is a great support in everything I do. Usually, I work 4 and a half days and get to spend the rest of the week with my family. To me, this is the perfect balance. Being able to combine everything I love, makes me very happy. I’m a happy and grateful woman, mom and partner.

 

Do you find the time to do other things?

 

Yes, now and then I go out for a run. This way I try to stay in shape. In order to be a good mom, I think you should take care of your own health and condition. I want to be an active and sporty mom for Lieuwe. Besides that I truly enjoy the little things in life. To me luckily, my jobs are also my hobbies. I enjoy going to work, because I love everything I do.

 

Do you have any advice for ambitious moms?

 

My advice is to follow your dreams and just keep going until you’re in a situation that makes you truly happy. If you apply for a job, do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it because of the status,  do it because you are passionate about your job. Furthermore, you should try to find a good balance between being a woman and a mom. Don’t be a slave of duties.

 

 

What responsibilities do you have as a webshop office manager?

 

I’m responsible for: the webshop’s maintenance, the selection of the items that will be available online, the organization and styling of photo shoots, our social media strategy and all graphic designs. Besides all that, I’m modelling and working as a salesadvisor in our boutiques. I really enjoy working in our shops now and then, because it makes me feel more connected with our customers and I get a better affinity with our collection.

 

How did you end up in the position you are now?

 

Well, two weeks after my last exam, I discovered I was pregnant. I desperately started looking for a job and I was applying like crazy. Sienna & Lois just opened its doors, so I thought maybe new employees were needed. At first, I thought it would turn out to be nothing, but all of a sudden Su contacted me. In the beginning, I didn’t mention my pregnancy and waited to tell Su until I was about to sign my contract. Su was very understanding and –luckily- decided to hire me anyway. A bit later, I went on maternity leave for 8 months. After those months, Su contacted me again, because she was about to jump into a new adventure. She played with the idea of starting an online shop and wanted me to play part in this project. I was excited about the plan and decided to join in. Step by step I was starting off with this new job, while I was working as a salesadvisor in the boutiques. We did some meetings with webshop builders etc., but I felt like everything went too slow. I got really impatient and I was wondering whether the online shop would actually happen or not. At a certain moment, Su asked me to become a shopmanager, but I refused. I have a passion for graphic design, so I really wanted to continue in this direction. In the end, the webshop happened. We started from zero and based on trial and error and loads of research, we found our way through this adventure.

 

Besides an ambitious woman, you’re also a wonderful mom to Lily. How do you manage being both?

 

I’m very lucky that Su is also a mom. She is very flexible and understands that sometimes, you need some exceptions as a mommy. We worked out a plan with alternative working hours. I work 7 hours a day – so I start earlier, and stop earlier-. This way it’s easier to take Lily to school. I also work less during the weekends, and if I do work, I’m able to recover those hours on wednesdays. Every friday, our little whirlwind Lily pays us a visit at the office. Everytime she manages to turn everything upside down and wrap everyone around her tiny finger. *giggles*

 

Do you have any tips for the young and ambitious moms?

 

First of all: make sure you love your job, because the time you lose with your kid is precious. I also want to encourage everyone to believe in theirselves and every project they start. My advice is to just keep going. Just be patient and never lose faith. Furthermore, I’d like to advice mom’s never to stop being a woman when they become a mommy. Keep investing in some me-time, make sure your job gives you the space to grow as a person and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Being a Mom and working in fashion requires loads of fashionable and versatile pieces to be able to get dressed super fast and easy while still looking the part. 

Another thing to keep in mind: always be transparant to your boss and create a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.

 

Is there some time left to do other things?

 

Well, my partner has his own company and besides work, kids and the household I try to help them out as much as i can! I design most of the pubs and some of the boards. I also take on little graphic jobs if there is any time left at all…

 

 

Thanks so much for your contribution mommies! 

xxx The Sienna team

 

 



WHO RUNS THE WORLD? MOM!
03 / 05 / 2016

 

Sienna mommies in the house!
Read on and discover how Su-Yin, Lana and Tessa manage to be successful women and a wonderful moms at the same time! 

 

 

You are Chinese from origin and born in the Netherlands! How did you end up in Belgium?

 

My Chinese parents moved from Indonesia to the Netherlands in the sixties and I was born in 1974 in Nijmegen. At university, 18 years ago, I met my current husband Hans. After graduation he got a job at Procter & Gamble in Brussels. I was still searching for a job and we thought Antwerp would be a good living base for us! We loved the city and Hans could easily shift to Brussels while I could search for a job either somewhere in Belgium or the Netherlands.

 

With no background in fashion studies, how did you come to the idea to start a shop? 

 

My first job after university was as a Junior Accountmanager at a Bank (now Fortis Bank) in Rotterdam. But I felt really quickly that my sincere personal interest in this industry lacked! Although I studied Financial Management I did not have a real passion for the financial world! Quite a shock!I realized that I wanted to do something in my professional life that is of real interest to me. As a little girl I loved to read fashion and lifestyle magazines as well as shopping. I truly enjoyed just being in a shop and getting inspired by everything!

 

After 2 years working in the financial world, I quit my job when I was 24 and started applying for jobs in the fashion industry. I sent out so many open applications! Unfortunately, nobody was interested in me, since I lacked experience…That really startled me because I was 24 years young and so motivated! I started to cold call people in the fashion industry. Luckily the commercial director of WE fashion wanted to have a talk with me! And I got in! I started working as a trainee at WE Netherlands and became a shopmanager of the WE Man in Maastricht. In this professional company I really learned all the ins and outs of the retail operational activities in a shop. Furthermore, I got my first stint in managing a team, which was sometimes quite a challenge! After 2 years working at WE I felt that there were no possibilities for me to grow further in the company.

 

After WE, I got a job at the Danish fashion company Bestseller. It took some perseverance to get in. I applied many different times for different vacancies and then, third time lucky, I got the job as a Retailmanager for Belgium! This company really challenged me and gave me the great opportunity to grow professionally; I was responsible for new shop openings and the management of the existing Vero Moda and Only shops. I am still very grateful that Bestseller trusted me and gave me the responsibility to “just do it, although I never opened a shop or managed more than 1 shop before!Thanks to the job I practiced, I realized I had quite an entrepreneurial spirit and that I could work very independently. I often had to make decisions on my own, so I also learned to trust my guts and personal instinct.

 

Just before I turned 30 years, I started to write a businessplan for my own fashion boutique. During this process I often thought; “what am I thinking …” But my husband and friends were always very supportive!
I approached the Accountingteam to help me with the financial plan and I pitched the idea to several banks for financing. I also applied for a “starterslening” at Unizo.  In January 2005 I got the green light from the KBC bank and Unizo! And off I went! On the 28th of July my first shop Sienna opened her doors at the Lombardenvest 56!

 

Now, after almost 11 years I am still so happy that I made the decision to set up my own business! Taking a calculated challenge and experiencing first-hand that working with a passion pays off, creates personal confidence and stimulates new adventures! The opening of the other shops Sienna & Lois and Sienna & Faye were done in a very organic way and aren’t part of a big strategic master plan. When an opportunity arises, such as a nicely located shop space, I just took the chance! The whole process of thinking out a new shop concept is so much fun to do and therefore comes very natural to me! In 2014 my husband Hans decided to join the Sienna company and he is responsible for our online sister Sienna Goodies. It is wonderful to be able to work together and complement each other!

 

How do you combine your professional life with 2 young children?

 

You cannot run 4 companies without a great staff! I am really happy that we have a wonderful team of dynamic, independent and motivated young women with an entrepreneurial spirit! When I am in search for new colleagues I will never make a judgment purely based on “experience”. Personality, charisma, motivation and drive are prevalent for me! In our Sienna company we aim to train everyone as if it is their own shop they are working in. By giving our employees -with the right personality and attitude- freedom, trust and responsibility, I hope they will grow professionally in such a way as I had been able to do at Bestseller. By motivating independence and confidence with our employees, business will continue to run even if you are not always there!

It also helps that Hans and I are both in the same business now and that we can arrange our own working times! Even when Hans was still working in Brussels and I had my shops, we managed it really well by being organized. Thom en Nick are also very healthy and easy children, they are very social and always love to go to school. Because our family lives quite far away, we also built up a good network of babysitters, in case we needed any help.

 

Do you have any tips for ambitious moms?

 

Looking back I know that all my former professional experiences at the bank, WE and Bestseller have shaped me and have given me a better insight in myself: what I love to do and what my professional capabilities are. This valuable experience formed a very good basis for starting my own company. So what I would love to say is: dare to follow your heart! If you do what you love, you are already successful! But always remember to be prepared and write a business plan! Never give up and show perseverance!

 

 

 

How did you end up at Sienna?

 

After my fashion and trends studies in secondary school, I started working at a restyling agency. So, for two years I worked at Pieter Portershuis as a personal shopper. Although I liked the job, I looked out for a new adventure, so I applied at L’oréal. I got in and started working as a freelance sales representative for brands such as Lancôme, Armani cosmetics, etc. At the same time, I continued with my personal shopping job, 3 days a week. After L’oréal, I got a job at Annayake, a nichebrand at the fragrance industry. This job seemed too good to be true: I had really good working conditions such as a car, a lot of variety. I learned a lot and they gave me a lot of chances. However this job didn’t bring me the happiness I was hoping for. I started to feel really lonely, since I spent a lot of time in my car –alone-. Besides that, I just felt like I needed some security, collegues and regularity. Hence, I chose to take a step back and give myself some space. That was the moment I decided to apply at Sienna. Su hired me as a sales consultant/personal shopper and gave me the security I needed. Since I work part-time, I have the time to go on with my personal shopping activities. Besides that, I decided to go back to school. In adult education, I obtained my certificate – with distinction- as a beautician. I wanted to continue in this direction, so I decided to set up my own style and beauty company Exzellence. This way I could combine my job at Sienna with my own company and get the best of both worlds. Both jobs challenge me and provide variation. My job at Sienna gives me the space to unfold as a stylist, but also as a person. I have a great relationship with both my collegues and the customers, so I realy feel at home now.

 

Besides an ambitious woman, you’re also a wonderful mom to Lieuwe. How do you manage being both?

 

Structure, regularity and a good daddy, is what it takes to combine all activities. My husband is a great support in everything I do. Usually, I work 4 and a half days and get to spend the rest of the week with my family. To me, this is the perfect balance. Being able to combine everything I love, makes me very happy. I’m a happy and grateful woman, mom and partner.

 

Do you find the time to do other things?

 

Yes, now and then I go out for a run. This way I try to stay in shape. In order to be a good mom, I think you should take care of your own health and condition. I want to be an active and sporty mom for Lieuwe. Besides that I truly enjoy the little things in life. To me luckily, my jobs are also my hobbies. I enjoy going to work, because I love everything I do.

 

Do you have any advice for ambitious moms?

 

My advice is to follow your dreams and just keep going until you’re in a situation that makes you truly happy. If you apply for a job, do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it because of the status,  do it because you are passionate about your job. Furthermore, you should try to find a good balance between being a woman and a mom. Don’t be a slave of duties.

 

 

What responsibilities do you have as a webshop office manager?

 

I’m responsible for: the webshop’s maintenance, the selection of the items that will be available online, the organization and styling of photo shoots, our social media strategy and all graphic designs. Besides all that, I’m modelling and working as a salesadvisor in our boutiques. I really enjoy working in our shops now and then, because it makes me feel more connected with our customers and I get a better affinity with our collection.

 

How did you end up in the position you are now?

 

Well, two weeks after my last exam, I discovered I was pregnant. I desperately started looking for a job and I was applying like crazy. Sienna & Lois just opened its doors, so I thought maybe new employees were needed. At first, I thought it would turn out to be nothing, but all of a sudden Su contacted me. In the beginning, I didn’t mention my pregnancy and waited to tell Su until I was about to sign my contract. Su was very understanding and –luckily- decided to hire me anyway. A bit later, I went on maternity leave for 8 months. After those months, Su contacted me again, because she was about to jump into a new adventure. She played with the idea of starting an online shop and wanted me to play part in this project. I was excited about the plan and decided to join in. Step by step I was starting off with this new job, while I was working as a salesadvisor in the boutiques. We did some meetings with webshop builders etc., but I felt like everything went too slow. I got really impatient and I was wondering whether the online shop would actually happen or not. At a certain moment, Su asked me to become a shopmanager, but I refused. I have a passion for graphic design, so I really wanted to continue in this direction. In the end, the webshop happened. We started from zero and based on trial and error and loads of research, we found our way through this adventure.

 

Besides an ambitious woman, you’re also a wonderful mom to Lily. How do you manage being both?

 

I’m very lucky that Su is also a mom. She is very flexible and understands that sometimes, you need some exceptions as a mommy. We worked out a plan with alternative working hours. I work 7 hours a day – so I start earlier, and stop earlier-. This way it’s easier to take Lily to school. I also work less during the weekends, and if I do work, I’m able to recover those hours on wednesdays. Every friday, our little whirlwind Lily pays us a visit at the office. Everytime she manages to turn everything upside down and wrap everyone around her tiny finger. *giggles*

 

Do you have any tips for the young and ambitious moms?

 

First of all: make sure you love your job, because the time you lose with your kid is precious. I also want to encourage everyone to believe in theirselves and every project they start. My advice is to just keep going. Just be patient and never lose faith. Furthermore, I’d like to advice mom’s never to stop being a woman when they become a mommy. Keep investing in some me-time, make sure your job gives you the space to grow as a person and don’t forget to take care of yourself. Being a Mom and working in fashion requires loads of fashionable and versatile pieces to be able to get dressed super fast and easy while still looking the part. 

Another thing to keep in mind: always be transparant to your boss and create a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.

 

Is there some time left to do other things?

 

Well, my partner has his own company and besides work, kids and the household I try to help them out as much as i can! I design most of the pubs and some of the boards. I also take on little graphic jobs if there is any time left at all…

 

 

Thanks so much for your contribution mommies! 

xxx The Sienna team

 

 

© 2020 SIENNA GOODIES

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