Amsterdam – the Netherlands
When and how did you find out that you are good with words?
I’ve always had a thing for words, but I never really felt the urge to write myself. Until one night I decided to give it a go. As I was reading poetry from different Dutch writers, I noticed words started popping up. And there it was, out of nowhere: my first ever poem “Dromen”. It’s inspired by what my father always told me; “if all the dreams you had have already come true, you must dream bigger”.
Tell us a little bit more about how CMR Rijmpjes got started.
After writing that very first poem, I started to get the hang of it and wanted to write more. I shared some of my work on my instagram account, and a few weeks later the first request for a custom poem for a birth announcement card came in. It was only then that I realised I could sell my work. I still had a fulltime job at the time, which forced me into taking things very slow. A custom poem turned into more requests, I launched a webshop and also started selling my work in a few small boutiques around the Netherlands. A couple years later and I’ve written over a hundred custom poems, sell my work in twenty retail stores in The Netherlands and Belgium and quit my fulltime job to focus on my business and other freelance projects.
Which assignment did you like most and why?
That’s a tricky question to answer – it’s like asking a mother which of her children she loves most. Every poem comes from the heart. That sounds corny, I know – but they really do. I get to read lovestories every single day; whether it’s a birth announcement, wedding anniversary or loss of a loved one. The requests I get are always packed with love making each and every one of them special.
What are your wishes for the future with CMR Rijmpjes?
Dreaming big is my mantra, so believe me; I’ve got lots of ideas up my sleeve for the future. Developing a stationery line, writing a book… But for now, I’m focusing on further growing my business as is; there’s still so much to gain and improve.
What is the best advice you have gotten and what is the best advice you can give considering your work?
Owning a (small) business means you’ll need to do a lot of things that have nothing to do with what you love – which is fine. You just have to make sure you don’t loose sight of it completely. I didn’t take on any requests for a while because I was so busy with the boring stuff that comes with running a business. It even got to the point where I wanted to quit.
I’m used to flying solo and taking care of things myself, but I think one of the main lessons I learned is to never loose sight of what got you started in the first place. For me, this meant investing in outsourcing some of the work to be able to do what I love again; write.