Meet Anouk from MAKE HISTORY while we celebrate Women for International Women’s Day 2019
This International Women’s Day (8 March) the global campaign is #BalanceforBetter and I was inspired by this to feature some of my friends and fellow entrepreneurs to celebrate our successes and accomplishments till date. Nowadays 'finding balance' seems to be on top of everybody's mind, but how to accomplish it is a different question. To me personally the balance changes every day and I think that's good. Some days the balance tips over to your work and that's where the majority of your time and energy goes to, other days it's your family or yourself or your friends. To me that makes up the #balanceforbetter - choosing on a daily basis what balance works for me.
I asked my friends what #balanceforbetter means to them, as well as share some insight into their entrepreneurial journey. Honestly, I feel privileged to know so many accomplished women, call them my friends and be inspired by them or ask them for advice when I'm stuck. Please meet:
I hope you're just as inspired by them as I am and let's celebrate and collaborate together.
Can you give me a brief intro to yourself and what you do?
Hello! My name is Anouk van der EL. I’m an independent Dutch creative living in sunny Singapore’s together with my boyband, my husband and three sons (2 ,8,10 yo). With my design studio MAKE HISTORY I create innovating concepts that helps lift brands to the next level by uniting vision with refreshing creative ideas and a unique, aesthetically pleasing style. I also designed a line of products for my own brand to help people celebrate the best moments in life. From a Time Capsule and a modern Memory Locket to keepsake your best memories to an Art Bag for your or your little Picasso’s masterpieces. We sell these products online as well as in stores and galleries around the world.
This International Women’s Day the theme is #balanceforbetter. Better the balance, better the world. What does this mean to you?
I think that balance and variety are vital to any success. I love working with talented women (and men!) and try to always maintain a balance in any project I’m working on. We just designed a collection called ‘MAKIN’ HISTORY- the future is ours’ celebrating and cheering on all women.
You have been an entrepreneur for a while now. Can you share a failure that in hindsight has been a big win / your biggest win till date?
Ow which one to pick? Haha. A few years back I had a charity client who we wanted to pitch a daring plan for a campaign. While working on the pitch, I sought out advice from an outside expert who had worked in the region. She misunderstood and forwarded my e-mail to a journalist who not only totally bashed the whole campaign idea but put a screenshot of my e-mail on twitter… It ended up on one of the biggest TV show in the Netherlands and kept me awake for some nights. The client was (rightfully) furious at first but brave enough to go through with the campaign and due to all media coverage that we were able to turn into our favour the campaign had the best results ever. Lesson learned? 1. Never put in writing what you don’t want to leak 2. If the shit hits the fan, stand strong, be positive, be honest and fix it!
I love to read and am always looking for recommendations to keep learning. Which book should everybody read / has inspired you the most?
It’s been a while, but a book I always go back to and recommend a lot is ‘Delivering Happiness’by Tony Hsieh on the importance of company culture and (real!) brand values. Lately, I’ve also been enjoying podcasts like The Design Files Talks, Guy Raz’ How I Built This and The Wing’s Nomansland podcasts.
What has been your proudest moment since running your own company?
I think I feel honoured (and proud!) when tastemakers find my designs and concepts and fall in love with them. Whether it is a client who is thrilled with a concept or design I present, Anthropology or MoMA NY who are interested in featuring one of my products, Milk Magazine writing about us or a stylish mum who is touched when receiving one of my designs as a memorable gift. They’re all equally energizing.
Profile picture from Anouk by Rebecca Toh.
All other pictures feature products Anouk designed for here own brand – they’re available for purchase via Make History.
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