08 Dec K&J features women entrepreneurs: Els Sirejacob
Being a mom, wife, sister, friend, woman myself… running my own business, I always wondered how other women do… juggling between job, kids, husband, family and friends… and always looking fashionable and relaxed.
So I think it is time to put them in the spotlights! They deserve it so much! I have a lot of great women entrepreneurs around me… it was not easy to choose… I focused on young moms (you have to admit this is a very happy but also a very challenging period), being not into fashion (then it is too easy to be fashionable :)).
So we had a little chat with some great women, trying to find out how they manage it all. Fourth in line is Els Sirejacob, owner of Elisa Kookt!
Can you tell us who you are??
Hi, my name is Els Sirejacob, mother of two, my son is 15 and my daughter is 11 years old. I am remarried with my first love!
Please tell us about your job, how did it all start??
It is 3 years now that Elisa Kookt exists. Looking back at how it all started… I have to say that even from when I was born I was surrounded by food lovers. My grandparents for example, raised their own animals, produced their own vegetables and fruits,… So when I was little I was conscious about pure food. I remember me climbing in trees to get the first cherries.
My parents had a restaurant in Ghent, so it was a natural thing for me to go to the Hotel School.
Directly after my studies I opened Café Parti, however being a young mother that was not an easy life. No weekends, late nights,…Horeca.
So after a while I reoriented myself, I love to teach what I know, and became a schoolteacher. I love working with kids. At that time granola started to come overseas. I missed cooking and thought by myself I can do this better, with pure ingredients. So I took on the challenge.
Now I have my own webshop, and Elisa Kookt Granola is being sold in several trendy shops! However there is more, I do workshops, collaborate with different people, create lifestyle events.
For the moment I am also very active as Food Stylist on a freelance base for clients as Bio Planet, Cru…, so I have stopped teaching, and concentrate myself now on Elisa Kookt with all the different activities!
How do you combine business and family life??
Between the café and Elisa Kookt, when the kids were little I was often at home. Now that Elisa Kookt is really growing and taking up more time, I am lucky that I don’t have small kids anymore. Often they are out (hobbies, friends) and we are alone at home ;-).
What are the pitfalls, do you have suggestions for young entrepreneurs??
I think that it is important not to be scared. It is not bad to try something and fail, at least you have tried, and learned from the experience. It will help you to grow, and try something else.
Everything I have done, has had an impact on who I am now.
It will learn you in what areas you need help, everybody has his strengths, and his lesser points. Surround yourself with people who can lift you up, and help you with the areas in which you are not strong.
Which item of our Fall/Winter ‘16 collection did you choose and why??
I have chosen the Flaralee Kimono. It looks so pure, no nonsense, soft and warm. I love the soft pink color! I can also easily cook with it as my arms are free! Love it!
Thank you very much Els! For more info http://www.elisakookt.be
Els also made for you following selection of her favourites: