Maaike Wannijn – manager, welder, mechanic en mother
When did the click come for you to start your own business?
Actually, I got involved a bit because I had to stay at home when I was 6 months pregnant. I was working in Brussels at the time. Then I focused on the commercial work of Bert’s own one-man business. In the meantime, I had already learned to saw and tinker in the studio on the weekend.
I took the real, final step a few years later.
The main motivations were: to be creative and do business in our own natural way: with openness of heart and mind and an emphasis on a connection with the customer and knowing what they really want. The customer is not king, but appreciation comes from both sides.
What is the most important lesson you have learned? What was the biggest challenge you faced?
The most important lesson: that my environment is a mirror of who I think I am. Self-confidence and self-love are crucial for an entrepreneur.
Which woman do you look up to and why?
Louise Hay has, so far, been an example to me of a woman leading by example and her life reflects what she teaches. “If we really love ourselves, we do well in our lives.”
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Make your heart the master and your head a good servant!