Project Owner | Frederick sold its unique store concept: “Corona …

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After naming her own bags, Frederiek Waninge embarked on a new adventure in 2018. She combined a clothing store in the heart of Utrecht with a hotel. The corona period taught her that there is more than just work, like family, for example. “I realized my girlish dream, but it turned out not to be my way in the end.”

Roderick de Monique

December 20, 2022

Frederiek Waninge sold her hotel clothing store to Omoda. Photo: Nienke van Denderen.

End of year stories

Through a series of seven interviews with entrepreneurs, De Ondernemer looks back at the fantastic year 2022. In the coming days, an article from our 2022 year-end stories series will be published online.

1 – Eric Jean Gengar, Postillion Hotels (Dec. 19)

2- Frederiek Waninge, House of Fred / Cozy Pillow (December 20)

3- Won Yip, hospitality entrepreneur /Dragon’s Den (21 Dec)

4- Hans Biesheuvel, ONL (Dec. 22)

5. Eric van Erdenburg, Mojo / Lowlands (December 23)

6. Jory Shoemaker – Peter Bott (December 24)

7. Rik van der Wijden (HEMA) (Dec. 25)

Combining a clothing boutique in the heart of Utrecht and a hotel: it was created by Frederik Wannine. In 2019, she started the Steenweg House of Fred clothing store. A few months later, Cozy Pillow Hotel followed with six rooms and a seventh room in a dock cellar at the Oudegracht on the floors above. This group turned out to be a success. For many men, it has become the favorite store for women’s clothing: here you can at least drink a cup of coffee or a delicious glass of wine at the bar and no longer have to wait by the fitting room. It also solved another problem: the vacancy above retail properties.

Frederick managed to lose her egg in her company. The rooms have been creatively decorated and bookings have poured in. But then Halo came and everything changed.

“I realized the girl’s dream, but also discovered that it wasn’t quite the path I should take.”

“The crazy thing is corona also made creativity. I get in as an entrepreneur if I can be creative and focus on strategy. Leather in the game. So we entered the twilight zone. There was no place in the rules that you couldn’t try it on clothes in hotel rooms. So we did.” Or we cleaned hotel rooms with all the store employees. We didn’t feel too big to take on anything.”

“But still, I was very nervous. Since I had only recently started the company, I didn’t qualify for any support fund. But I had liabilities. Owners and employees that I had to pay. My money was in stock. I had young children at home, But my mother was busy day and night with work.

My feeling said: It was good. There is time for everything

“Earlier, my plan was to create ‘Fred’ and the Cozy Pillow in other cities as well. That’s what I like: coming up with things, finding a good team and then putting it out there. Corona forced me to look at it differently. Do I want this? Is that what Makes my heart beat faster?

“My feeling already knows the answer, I’m a feel-based entrepreneur. The data is nice, and I put it to good use, but mainly to prove my feeling. And that feeling said: It was good. There’s a time for everything. I’m an entrepreneur, not a real retailer. I feel I got bored easily and the momentum to expand the business was over. Everything inside me said that this part of the journey was over.”

“I asked if they knew what I really wanted to discuss.”

“Then it goes really fast for me, you know. That’s also what entrepreneurship is: acting quickly once you’ve made a decision. It was around Christmas time. Actually exactly a year ago. We went into another lockdown and I’m done with it. I’ve always had a good connection.” With Omoda. The collaboration goes back for years. The bags with my Merel by Frederiek brand were in the shop. The appointment for a cup of coffee at Zierikzee was easy. After a nice chat, I asked if they knew what I really wanted to discuss. “

I said, “I will sell my business and I think you are the best candidate. Since a new generation has entered Omoda, the proposal had to be discussed internally first. Fortunately, the subsequent communication was positive. Omoda is an alluring family business that also wants to switch quickly. As a result, We made a deal with each other at the beginning of March, on April 1. “

“Now I can embrace that uncertainty. I am convinced that these kinds of periods are essential to taking you to the next stage in your life. As if you had to conquer mountains to get to the next lush green valley.”

“It was a strange period after that. I’ll still be involved in the shop until June. You’re actually on the sidelines when you sell the company. The decisions that came with it got me thinking: How? Decisions over which you have no influence are made. It makes sense, but it also feels very strange.” “.

After that, we used to go on vacation for a month, but that changed due to special circumstances. Life cannot be made. It remains a difficult message for those who believe it is. The love, health, skills and knowledge that make true happiness, whether accidental or not, cannot be bought.”

An entrepreneur looking at how to create value in a company

After this hard time I was suddenly home, with an empty schedule. I don’t know how other entrepreneurs do it, but I just felt empty. Not a defeat, because I don’t experience it that way at all. I realized the girl’s dream, but I also figured it wasn’t quite the path I should take. It was also good that I had nothing to do for a while. I had time for my family and did a lot of sports. But my leadership is gone. Here you are. You are still very young and what are you going to do next? what are you good at What is burning your heart right now?

Also read: Postillion Ginjaar director threatened over CTB: ‘I will do the same in a new Corona crisis’

“There remains a mystery. I can now embrace that uncertainty. I am convinced that these kinds of periods are necessary to carry you to the next stage in your life. As if you had to conquer mountains to get to the next lush green valley. I started out as a freelancer, but this Different. At least that’s what I experienced. You look at the hours paid, while the entrepreneur looks at how to create value in the company.”

“I discovered that this is where my strength lies. When I see something, I see what else I can do with it. I believe in investing in capabilities. Connect and captivate. Attach is about creating a bond or connection, and float is about getting attention.”

With a bold look for the new year

“I have no regrets about selling. I think I did at the right time economically, too. Of course I didn’t know what was coming at that time. Energy crisis, inflation. Slowly but surely I feel like I’m getting the energy back again. It took a while, but I I feel the energy and drive returning. This period of research, because that’s how I feel, will result in new projects. Things will flow again and I look into the new year with a bold and enthusiastic look.”

“What will 2023 be like? When it comes to my family, I see that there is more peace after this turbulent period. We desire it. And for me I see that there will be room for something new again. At the moment, there are already two new concepts penciled in “Paper, and they still have to be materialized. It could happen. You suddenly feel a hunch while walking. And then I’ll work it out. You don’t have to doubt it any more. I’ve shown enough times that I can do it.”

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