21 Oct K&J features women entrepreneurs: Valerie De Coster
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. Second in line, Valerie De Coster, co-owner of New Balls Please.
Can you tell us who you are??
Hi, my name is Valerie De Coster, I am 38years old, and have 2 children. My little girl Zoé is 2 and a half and my son Oskar is 4years old. I’m engaged, but no date has been set 🙂
Please tell us about your job, how did it all start??
I’m in the event management business, mostly corporate clients and B-to-B. I got passionate about event management 15 years ago with an internship in, at that time, one of the biggest event management companies in Brussels.
I have worked there for nearly 7 years… getting bigger clients and growing business for my employer. In 2008 I decided it was time for a change, investing so much time and effort for somebody else? The company gave me the opportunity to work as an independent however after a couple of years it was time for me to spread my wings.
At that moment I really didn’t know what would happen, so I took some time to relax and go on holiday, but clients kept on calling, and I said to myself ‘why not seize the opportunity’?
The first 3 years I worked on my own, which is pretty lonely. Tough moments and challenges you face alone, and even the victories you celebrate on your own.
So it really felt as ‘meant to be’ when Michel and Stein (former colleagues) suggested we should start something up together. 3 years later New Balls Please has already 8 collaborators!
How do you combine business and family life??
My job requires a lot of flexibility, working days are long, it also means sometimes I have to work in the weekend or at night. So it is very important that you surround yourself with a good team. Planning is key! Being able to say no is key!
Thinking you are ‘superwoman’ and can handle everything, I’ve been there and it didn’t work.
So I’m lucky to have found people I can trust who can help me with the kids. And I’m lucky to have a fantastic team @ New Balls Please, they can backup me at work if really necessary!
What are the pitfalls, do you have suggestions for young entrepreneurs??
When you start a new business, try to surround you with complementary people. Never forget that the choices you make will have an impact on the future. Don’t be stubborn and take advice if given to you! Be sure to work with your business plan on regular bases, it’s a working tool, that will force you to stay on top of your business.
Which item of our Fall/Winter ‘16 collection did you choose and why??
The fabrics are soft, they look fantastic, they are produced in Belgium… what’s not to love?? I do not like jackets, however I’m always cold, so I like the idea of a Poncho. That’s why I have chosen the Frida poncho. The colors grey & blue are easy to combine and it’s so warm and soft, love it!
Thank you very much Valerie! For more info: http://www.newballsplease.be