I had the pleasure to work together with Valeria Arias from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in Media & Communication. She interviewed me to expand her online personal portofolio https://valeriainthenetherlands.me/
"In this series of ‘People’, I want to portray my sources for inspiration. In this post, I was lucky enough to get a very personal interview after discovering a newly launched business through Instagram". - Valeria Arias
Entrepeneur at heart
The worldwide pandemic has been a challenge for businesses and individuals. However, it has also been an advantage for people to take their time and gather their thoughts. This was the case for Carlijn – owner and founder of L’elianne.
This June, Carlijn decided to finally launch her own e-commerce business all by herself. When she registered her brand name she had to wait two weeks, and in that spare time she wrote a business plan with several important strategies that included a marketing plan, a social media plan, and a financial plan. Within two weeks, she was also able to find a supplier who was willing to curate this new luxurious travel bed.
Tell me about yourself
My name is Carlijn Elianne Palmers, I’m 22 years old and I live in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Currently I am studying a Bachelor of Business Administration-BBA, International Business and Entrepreneurship at EuroCollege in Utrecht for 3 years now. I will be finished in February 2021 and I’m thinking about doing a master within a year or two. Due to my previous education in Hotel Management & Entrepreneurship and my current study I have become enthusiastic about entrepreneurship.
Throughout the years I've met a lot of interesting people and read a lot of books about having the right mindset and skills. Especially Anthony Robbins, Timothy Ferris and Napoleon Hill have made me think again about what I really wanted to do when I am older. This consisted of getting the right mindset, discipline and knowledge. The study that I’m doing now has thought me these things and that is one of the reasons I started my own company. I went to the chamber of commerce in June 2020 to make my own company official and I registered the name L’élianne.
Why the dog-market?
The dog market was the first market that I was positive about and where I started believing that this could be an interesting segment. I discovered on Instagram that many people have accounts for their dogs, and they seemed to have a lot of reliable followers. The possibilities and opportunities for me were to create a Brand Ambassador team for L’élianne. I have gathered fourteen supportive and enthusiastic dog influencers on Instagram. This team is well-known for their support and promoting skills. I have made an agreement with them to be featured on the website and the possibility to earn money from promoting. This team is so loyal and I brainstorm with them all the time. The team consists of people from all over the world, such as Norway, Canada, Spain, United States, England, and more.
Why did you target on social media?
My internship in London (2019) has thought me a lot about social media and especially Instagram. I do know a lot about engagement and algorithm on social media and when I received my the first stock I already gathered 2.000 followers. I talk with all many of my customers to create a personal touch to the brand. I think this sort of personal engagement is really important to me because then I can know my audience and when they have problems I’m willing to solve it in a way that is fitting for them. I’m striving to convey my enthusiasm about this concept to other people. The reason why I target on social media is because it’s the best marketing platform to reach your customer segment.
What are your plans for the future?
For L’Elianne, I’m planning to grow brand awareness and that people associate the brand as a high-quality, luxurious dog brand. I’m already shipping internationally, but I would also like to find trustable partners to work with. The plan now is to expand to different high-quality pet stores worldwide and look for long-term business partners. I’m already designing new products and working on solutions for bigger dogs as well, but it needs to be special and unique. Unfortunately, I’m not a designer so I have some challenges with that. My personal future goals would be setting up other companies because I get so much energy from entrepreneurship. I haven’t figured out yet what kind of company, but time will tell.
What advice would you give future entrepreneurs?
I have learned that there is nothing to be worried about when you are doubting about setting up a company. If something won’t work, or if you don’t succeed or win - you don’t lose, you learn. It is al about learning, trying and having discipline to get results. I really do think that if someone is considering setting up a business, they should do it. The rush you’re getting from your own hard work, something you have curated, something that is yours, and when it turns out better than you expected – it’s an indescribable feeling. Personally, I don’t think I would experience this kind of rush if I had a regular job. I really think that all your dreams can come true, as long as you believe in yourself, and as long as you work very hard for it. I do believe that if your results are average, so is your effort.