Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have a creative background as I studied for two years at the fashion academy in Antwerp. I have always been fascinated by creativity: from a passion for fashion to a profession with words and a desire to study with numbers (econometrics). My time in Antwerp was interesting but not easy at such a young age. Afterwards my broad interest in creativity and economics helped me to find my way into the field of marketing. My career path led me to MECC, GaiaZoo and ended up here in Maastricht as a proud marketing & communication manager for the city. After six and a half years I decided to become an entrepreneur. The main reason for this decision was because I wanted to develop and challenge my creative mind. I see a lot of interesting projects where I would love to be part of.
My own agency is called Jump the Gap and is alive and kicking since one month. On a professional level it’s about gap marketing: where are you and where do you want to be? I love being part of growth, creation, projects and connections: to be able to help a person, project or business grow and jump.
It’s also about my personal development: jumping from Maastricht to London (my new home as of August 2016), and the many possibilities of connecting these two beautiful cities. And I have always been fascinated by the fact that you sometimes have to jump to reach your goals, knowing you can fall. It’s a good thing to do things you are scared of, that are out of your comfort zone. I see it as a lesson, never as a failure.
What do you consider as your distinctive achievement?
My creativity mixed with my skills and knowledge in marketing, communication, and concept development is a strong foundation. Combine that with my network, experience, passion for work and my big smile and you’ve got me.
What are you looking forward to?
Contributing to a lot of projects, new or already existing here in Maastricht. And also to make a connection and gain a lot of inspiration by being in London: see other concepts, other creative ideas, and minds. I look forward to the opportunities that London will offer me to develop myself on a personal and professional level. I also hope to use these new insights to continue to develop my philosophy behind what I would like to call slowing up: in a world where technology and media are rushing everyone, slowing our steps, choices, mind, and creative ideas can be THE way forward.
Which advice would you give to other professionals?
I’m just stepping into the cultural entrepreneurship, but I think it’s important to take the time to figure out what the core of your business is, what kind of person you are and what your unique selling points are. Sometimes starters lose their focus due to their financial situation. It’s also important to keep developing yourself. That’s one of the reasons why I love to travel and read. You need to have and reach financial goals, but sometimes it’s just as important to take a day off from work, and to see what steps you have made, where you are now, and where you are heading to.
I also think that collaboration is a key to success. Know that you are not on your own, there are enough opportunities to collaborate. It’s in our natural human instinct to work as a group.
What are the challenges that we need to overcome to facilitate cultural entrepreneurship?
It’s well known that a lot of creative people don’t have the ‘entrepreneurship-gene’. Make a connection with someone who can help you develop this or who can be your ‘entrepreneur-gene’. Sometimes it’s difficult to open up your own mind. Creative minds can be too focussed on shapes or ideas. The goal is to make a living while still keeping your own identity and creativity.