06 Oct K&J features women entrepreneurs: Alexandra Bruder
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. First in line, Alexandra Bruder, owner of Bruder & Co.
Can you tell us who you are??
Hi, My name is Alexandra Bruder, I am 39 years old, married and have 2 cute kids.
Please tell us about your job, how did it all start??
I have been working for nearly 20 years in the company of my parents. Bruder & Co, a manufacturer and dealer of quality rugs, fabrics and furniture.
As a young woman I started working @ Harrods, as a window dresser and this evolved in my passion for the theater, decors and beautiful fabrics. I studied in London for a while, however realized afterwards that this was not the right job at the right moment for me.
Coming back to Belgium, I mastered in Textiles and started working for the family business.
At the age of 34, I took over the firm from my parents.
Despite the bad economic circumstances, in 5 years time, the business grew from 5 collections upto 20 different collections. The company focuses on business-to-business, especially in my home country Belgium, however the export part is growing rapidly.
How do you combine business and family life??
Juggling between 2 kids, a husband, friends and the company, I decided to concentrate the business activities more in 1 field, rugs and fabrics.
This way I could combine motherhood, with the challenges of being a businesswoman leading a company.
What are the pitfalls, do you have suggestions for young entrepreneurs??
Combining kids, family and work is not always easy. I am convinced its utterly important to have a good staff, people you can trust, and who you can count on.
As the workload is big, my husband and I agreed on who takes care of the kids and when. We even have a family calendar!
It is also very important to be able to say NO! Prioritizing is very important, making choices too. If you are not able to say NO, the workload gets too big, too many people are counting on you, and you will have a hell of a job managing it all.
Which item of our Fall/Winter ‘16 collection did you choose and why??
With my busy job, I love K&J poncho’s and vests, as they are easy, warm and cozy, but even more important, practical! My favorite is the Finlan Vest, I can wear it on pants or skirts and suits every occasion.
Thank you Alexandra!
For more info: www.bruderco.be