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I AM A TRUE MOM, BUT A REAL CAREER WOMAN AS WELL

Mom, photographer and coach

JESSICA VAN DUREN
By CHARISE ROZENBEEK
Photographs by JESSICA VAN DUREN and AVIETA CLAESSENS

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am Jessica van Duren. Mom, photographer & coach. About ten years ago I started as a entrepreneur to be able to spend more time with my kids. To have the freedom in picking them up from school by myself and taking a week off from my ´job´ when they have a school vacation. I am a true mom, but a real career woman as well. I struggled with finding balance between these rolls for years. Now I can finally say… I found my way and I love to share this knowledge and inspire other female entrepreneurs with my experience.

 

And that’s how I started coaching female entrepreneurs. I love to brainstorm with them about which direction they want to go with their business, define their strategy and goals and help them mentally. Because besides a business coach, I am a mental coach as well.

Through experience I have learned to find patterns and things that keep these business women from achieving their goals, and how to break these. One of the most beautiful things in my job as a coach is seeing these women develop their selves during a coaching session, achieve their goals and experience more freedom. That´s why I started my new business: The Business Retreat. Retreats organized for ambitious female entrepreneurs. In May ’19 we are going to Crete to work on their business by organizing masterclasses, masterminds and one-on-one coaching sessions. Keywords of this retreat are: coaching, mindset, business, healthy food, yoga, freedom and lots of sun.

Can you walk us through a typical day with you?

I always wake up at 6.45am. In the morning I really need a relaxing moment with my family. I start always start my day with a coffee or tea, and my breakfast exists of oats with vegan protein most of the time. At 8.00am I leave the house to bring my son to school. Followed by a good workout in the gym, most of the days. I barely schedule appointments in the morning, because I need my workouts to clear my head and start a productive day. Some days I skip the morning workouts, and I start working at my office, since I am most productive in the mornings. Most of my work happens in the morning or around noon.

The past couple of weeks I have been busy planning the first editions of The Business Retreat. When I get to my office, we usually start the day with a short team meeting and the to-do’s for that day. After that my days a filled with calling the coaches, venue, catering, etc. After all the work is done I jump in my car to bring my kids to their sports. When it’s 9pm and I am ready to sit down, I drink my tea, grab a book or binge some Netflix.

How do you balance motherhood and work?

Well, a few things. First of all, accepting the fact that I am only human and can’t do everything perfect. Most of you probably heard of the 80/20 rule, I use it on everything! Second of all: taking care of myself. Being an entrepreneur and mom means having a busy life. I take baths, do my workouts, some yoga, eat healthy food and take time off during the weekends No work, just relaxing or having fun.

The third thing I learned is saying no. I only do things that make me and my family happy. Last but not least, I used to say I need to do this or I needto do that with everything. But since I started questioning myself: Do I need to do it or do I want to do it? I make different choices and it feels different to do those things with this thought, because I only do things that I want to do.

 

 

What are you most proud of in your motherhood journey?

First of all giving birth to my two kids. But my journey as a single mom as well. I used to go through such a hard time and there were times I was so insecure about being a good mom. But now.. when I look at my kids. Seeing these beautiful kids in the age of 10 & 13, I am proud of who they are and what they do. And that feels like I am doing okay as a mom.

 How would you describe your fashion style?

I think I would describe my fashion style as chic. I love wearing high heels combined with a dress and golden accessories. It makes me feel so feminine.

Where do you look for fashion inspiration?

Instagram and Pinterest.

Do your kids have their own sense of fashion?

Yes they do! My son loves everything with the American flag on it, and if it feels comfortable he wants to wear it. My daughter is in the age where she wants to choose the things she wears herself. Lucky enough I am a young and  know what the trends in fashion are. So thank god she still wants so shop with me and we understand each other’s taste in fashion.

Van Duren is wearing The Rusty Gown by VIDA+JUNE
from The Moroccan Muse Collection.
It retails for €125,- womenswear and for €65,- kidswear

Has your fashion style changed since becoming a mother?

No I don’t think so. I still love to dress up and wear high heels. I love to wear the things that I love, not what other people think I should wear.

Who is your inspiration when it comes to fashion and motherhood?

Well Charise Rozenbeek is definitely an fashion inspiration for me. She always looks so good, so fashion! And motherhood related: back in my days where I was in school, there was a mom of a friend and she has been an inspiration to me ever since. She was having a career but was such a lovely mom to their kids as well. Also my grandmother…

her life was about kids, grand-kids an grand grand kids. She was always there for all the kids in her life and always made them feel special and welcome. If they needed someone to tell what was on their minds… they could always come to her to tell their struggles. Her life quote was: No matter what’s going on, there always is a reason to smile.

What is your parenting philosophy or motto?

My father always told me to be independent and not give up, he was a career father. And even tough he was working a lot, he is an example for me. I remembered he moved to Los Angeles and I visited him during my whole summer break of school.

It was so much fun being able to spend so much time together and catch up on each other’s lives. I was so proud of him being the vice present of Swartszkopf USA. He used to say: “you can do everything, you just have to work for it to achieve it!”