We’re back with another instalment of our Team Passions series where we find out more about what makes our amazing Brainiacs tick outside the office.
We chatted with our super talented Social Media Manager, Lisanne, to learn about her deep passion for entrepreneurship. When she isn’t hashtagging and creating kickass social content for our clients, Lisanne runs her very own handmade candles business called Silke-Amsterdam.
As all our Brainiacs are entrepreneurs at heart, we were eager to hear just how hard the entrepreneurial bug bit to inspire her to become a young and successful business owner.
Here’s what she had to say.
Q: What made you passionate about starting your own business?
Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to start my own business. I guess that is because my parents are entrepreneurs and have their own business. When I was 12 years old, I started selling earrings on Marktplaats that I had bought at the Noordermarkt. I was too young to have my own bank account, so I had to use my mother’s. But boy I was so proud when I made €1 profit from the first set of earrings I ever sold!
That same year, I started to buy more items from AliExpress to sell on Marktplaats. I guess I was a little hustler back then, but I’m glad I stepped away from the AliExpress bandwagon 🙂
Q: How do you find inspiration for your ideas?
I find most of my inspiration comes from trawling websites, usually on TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram or interior design accounts.
Q: What is your favourite product you offer?
It has to be my newest product, reed diffusers. My home HAS to smell nice always, so of course, in almost every room I have one displayed. They usually say “don’t get high on your own supply” but I guess I’m a bit addicted to my newest supply 🙂
Q: Have you ever thought about expanding your business internationally?
Yes, and I have already. In fact, the USA is my most profitable sales market.
Q: What do you think is the most significant challenge facing small businesses today?
Having to compete with the big guys. As a small business, you don’t have the money to buy everything in bulk, have fancy packaging, offer free shipping, or offer 24h delivery. Yet, people nowadays expect that kind of service no matter the size of the business. Some people would rather buy from large e-commerce enterprises than support a small business and wait one day more for their package to arrive. Luckily, not everyone has that kind of attitude, so I am grateful to have an audience.
Q: How would you describe your business in three words?
High-quality, romantic, and unique.
Q: How did you come up with the name idea for your business?
My middle name is Silke, and I live in Amsterdam — super simple 🙂 But it is a personal name for me and I think the combination of words (or even letters) fits my brand perfectly.
Q: How do you combine your WeAreBrain-related work with your business?
For around 8 months, I worked 40 hours a week at WeAreBrain while still running my business. During this time, I found myself working 6-7 days a week which became a bit much. So, since July this year, I have reduced my WeAreBrain hours and now work 36 hours a week to have more time to work on my business.
Q: Do you have any advice or suggestions for anyone hoping to start their own business?
Just do it! Start whatever business you want and don’t be scared of people’s opinions. Being an entrepreneur has been such a rewarding experience for me and I encourage anyone to start their own journey.
We are so proud of Lisanne for turning her entrepreneurial dreams into a vivid reality. It just goes to show that with the right mindset, passion, and drive, anything is possible. We can’t wait to have the office smelling great thanks to Silke-Amsterdam’s delightful handmade candles. Light it up, Lisanne!