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Fireside chat with Founder, Frederieke Van Doorn

04/18/2023
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1. Where did your fashion journey begin?

It started at a very young age. We had a big basket full of my moms old clothes, and I would dress up with friends and organise fashion shows for my parents and their friends. After high school I studied fashion technology and management at Amsterdam Fashion Institute. And then to gain more practical experience, I began working in the fashion industry straight after graduation.

2. What is your personal style?

On a day-to-day basis, I would say my personal style is smart-casual
I love wearing denim jeans with a tee shirt and tailored jacket.
I do however love to dress in a variety of styles – business, sporty, party, casual.

3. Could you tell us about your time spent in China

When I moved to China I never thought that I was going to stay there for as long as I did. I told my friends at home, maybe I will be back in a few weeks as I truly had no idea what to expect when I moved there. 12 years and 2 kids later, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I had such a good time – I loved my work, the culture, the travelling, the food – everything really.
I truly learned to hone my craft during this time. I was one of the only females, so had to work extremely hard to prove myself amongst the men. I would spend hours working in the hot factory getting to grips with the entire process from sourcing to production, stitching, quality control, logistics and more. I learnt to speak Mandarin to ensure I could fully immerse myself and become an expert in tailoring.

4. What are your daily responsibilities at work

As FREY. is still a ‘young’ business, the whole team is hands on.
I oversee everything so I am very involved in sales, finance, marketing, design and each day brings new elements.

5. What has been the most valuable lesson you have learnt in owning a business?

You need to be adaptable and flexible. You’re required to constantly think out the box and get creative with problem-solving when issues arise as well as getting creative with how to show our target customer that we have provided the answer to a long-lasting problem – what to wear to work and beyond.

6. Where do you see yourself / FREY. in 5 years?

In 5 years I want to continue dressing as many women as possible. I am on a mission to show women how to ‘dress for success’. And how the right work attire can empower you to reach your personal career ambitions and goals.

7. Can you tell us 3 things in your daily routine that support you in being a successful business owner

I wake at 6am every day and exercise before the day begins. Exercise strengthens me physically and mentally.
I also do intermittent fasting, as this really helps me to focus and be productive.
And lastly, I walk. When there is an issue or I have problems to solve or I am looking to get creative or achieve new goals, I walk. I walk in the city, in shopping malls, along the beach. Walking is so powerful for me.

8. What gets you excited when it comes to your business?

When I see someone dressed in FREY. Or when someone comes into the store and tries a jacket on and I can see the change in their face when they realize how comfortable it is, and how good they look. When you look good, you feel good. And with FREY. looking good and feeling comfortable at the same time is effortless.

9. What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Spend time with my family and friends, and travelling.

10. What have you learned from being a business owner & mum?

The key things I have learned
It takes a village to juggle business and family. I have an incredibly supportive husband who understands my goals and encourages me to do whatever I need to do to achieve them.
Schedule time for yourself, like exercise and self-care. And always invest in yourself to expand your knowledge and expertise.
Be totally present when you are with your kids and family.
And delegate tasks to achieve what we can more efficiently to ultimately free up more time for me to work on the business rather than in the business, and more time to be with my family.

Tell us your favourite

Drink – white wine
Dinner – Sichuan food
Coffee order – cappuccino
Outfit – jeans with jacket and comfortable trainers
Scent – eucalyptus

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