Own your story.

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It’s as simple as that really.

While taking a few important steps in #thehappybagsjourney I had to explain some important people what my plan and products consist of. I wanted to do this in the most perfect way, because I really wanted those people with me on #thehappybagsjourney.

I prepared powerpoints, flow charts, excel sheets, … the whole lot. I had three big bags of samples and examples with me. I had the pilot products (at an early stage of development) on the table. I was prepared.

But the thing is, all of that is good when you work at a company you don’t own or you sell products you didn’t make yourself. All of that is good as a back up too. Of course you need facts and figures to back your story.

But the essence is exactly that: your story.

I realised that I just had to tell my story instead of holding on to cold documents. The products, the plan, every inch of it all comes from me and who I am, so I don’t need to peek. I don’t have to sum up the values because they are my values. I don’t have to learn the vision by heart. It’s my vision. I live and breathe this story. I own it.

But more importantly, telling it is not enough. I had to invite those people to join my story. Which means –and this is crucial – to let them tell their story too. By doing so, the match of the stories will become clear.

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It’s a very important lesson I learned the last few weeks, so I thought I’d share it with you. It got me connected to a few very like minded, extraordinary, lovely people I needed with me on this journey to hopefully be able to take it to the next level. Sorry to be vague on that, I just don’t want to be that person that was nearly going to do a lot of things. So I think it’s just better to tell you the things I really am doing once they’re actually happening. And that takes time, as I’m sure you can imagine. So bear with me. I’m sharing as much as I can.

Last week, the Master students of the #UAntwerpen shared their market researches on Happy Bags with me. That was beyond interesting. I got invaluable insights on how my target audience thinks about this new product to be. I will be able to pivote it into the right direction thanks to this research. So, yes, a big thank you to all those students, I’m incredibly happy with the useful results.

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About pivoting… One of my favourite new words since I’ve started this journey as you might know from previous blog posts. It’s an inevitable word in this story. So much, I now use it on a personal level too. My oldest was feeling a bit under the weather last week and joggled my agenda around like a pro 😉 Pivoting my way through important things to do. And they all got done! And my baby girl is in full shape again. Pivoting mum master in the making here.


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Since I’ve started this #thehappybagsjourney I get asked a lot why I’m doing this. It’s very simple actually: because I love it. I absolutely LOVE what I’m doing. So much I could scream it out loud.

And the reason I love it so much is because I believe in it. It’s purpose driven. I feel useful every second. I created a shot at making the world a little bit better by doing what I love. The combination of the possible social impact for our little ones and the fact that it all boils down to that cup of tea I enjoy so much, makes me truly happy with what I’m doing.

It took me ages to combine my strengths, my passion and my beliefs into a business plan. Well the writing of the business plan went quite fast actually, the ideas were sitting in my head for years and years. But it took me ages to jump and actually start this journey. Because it’s not all laughter, yays and sipping tea’s. It’s a lot of uncertainties and walking paths you’ve never walked before is scary. I’ve spent a fair amount of our savings on the first Happy Bags lab test and this whole journey so far. I’m avoiding the city and its shops as much as I can and we’re discount shopping more than ever. You see, my whole little family is in on this journey. We’re paying a price. But that’s what you do when you believe. You believe it will come back to you. And by taking these risks and stepping out of my comfort zone, I want to make it clear I mean this. I’m not exactly looking for a new hobby. I want to make a living out of this. And a better world too. Even if just a little living and a little difference to the world. But however this turns out, every second of it is worth it. Because when it’s purpose driven, who can claim it’s a waste of time?

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And honestly, I’m working overtime (and the hours you work are not the point, that’s sohoho 2012), but I never feel tired (well of course I do, I have toddlers, but I mean that other tired, you know). I feel fulfilled. I don’t mean to sound cheesy in any way. It’s just the plain truth. I guess that’s just what I wanted to share with you. I found out that for me, professional happiness lies in personal purpose finding, no matter how small or big that exactly is, just as long as it matters to you.


Next up on #thehappybagsjourney: blend tastings! So excited for that!

I’ve been doing a lot of blend tasting at home with my kids and with these insights I turned to one of these golden people I’m mentioning above. The beautiful and tasty ingredients were then grown, dried and mixed with more professional equipment.This golden person added some ideas to top off the blends. It sounds perfect. I’m tasting these possible blends next week! Beyond excited for that as you can imagine! So I might be looking for test panels soon. Not sure yet how I’ll be going about these, but stay tuned.