That I’m currently working in the field of influencer marketing wasn’t planned at all. I’m from an automotive family and was destined to take-over the family company. I decided to move to Driebergen when I was sixteen to study at the IVA school for Automotive and Management. During my studies at the IVA I got the opportunity to graduate at Northwood University in Palm Beach. I said yes.
Moving to the other side of the world was quite challenging. Time difference, adopting a new culture, fitting into the system and far away from my family. Skyping daily with family and friends wasn’t very efficient so I decided to start a blog together with my roomie from Canada. We were together on campus, loved fashion and had some time left besides school.
My roomie was from Canada, had a boyfriend in South-Africa and went to school in Switzerland. Together we reached multiple continents on our blog. My roomie’s boyfriend just started an internet-company and helped us to set up the blog. WordPress wasn’t that user-friendly back in that time so we were happy with help. The next challenge was finding the right name for the blog. My roomie was generally more girly than I am so it was hard brainstorming for a good fit. It came out to be ‘Fancy Secrets’ and up today I still don’t like it. A good lesson that you’ve to truly believe in something before you getting others to believe in it. Because after a year of blogging our roads shed. It was the end of our school year and we just had a different look on things.
Luckily, I was smart enough to connect Google Analytics to our blog to get insights about our audience. Blogging was in that time not a big thing in The Netherlands. They found it weird and awkward that I posted my entire life in pictures on a blog. Especially when I bought something new and posted an outfit shoot where I was talking about a new handbag. People literally reached out to my sister to ask if everything was alright. Typical Dutch. Eventually, I found out through Google Analytics that big part of our audience was from The Netherlands. They tend to be very curious and love to look into other people lives. This gave me the motivation to continue on my own blog.
When I graduated from University it was time to start working. I had benefited from a good education and now it was time to enter the big world. However, I was only 20 years old with a bachelor degree in International Business and wasn’t ready yet to take-over the family business. That’s why I decided to apply for a marketing job in The States. Through the automotive network of my family, I was able to apply at Tesla Motors. The game changer in the field of automotive. I was invited for a job interview in Palo Alto. During my trip to California I stopped in Palo Alto to meet the CFO of the company. After getting a tour and seeing the entire building we went outside to sit in the garden and talk. I found out that Tesla was looking for people who wanted to become part of the family. They were looking for commitment in people, working for the company for at least 5 years to build the Tesla dream together. Very inspiring but for me as an entrepreneurial type I got very stuffed with this in mind.
I got out of the interview and knew one thing for sure: ‘This is all I don’t want’. Every car and tech-lover thought I was crazy. How can you say no to this big opportunity? I just saw my entire life passing by in a split second. I would live for 5 years in Palo Alto a.k.a Nerd City where all big tech companies are based like Google, Facebook, Dell then I would move back to The Netherlands to take-over the family business. Everything in my body said that this wasn’t my destiny. I had to follow my own dream.