Portrait – Floortje Lopes
#CWCMUSE - INTERVIEW BY MARINA DE HAAN
If you want to change the fruit, change the tree
Floortje Lopes is a vibrant and ambitious young woman who believes purpose driven ideas can change the world. Our world needs change, she believes. “Many people and companies are concerned about their personal gain, their own success, at the expense of other people, and even at the expense of our planet. As entrepreneurs we don’t have to fight others. There is plenty for everyone. There is a market, an ideal target audience and a solution for everyone.”
Tree Full of Scones is the name of Floortje’s branding business. She contributes daily to people with innovative ideas. “I believe that people with a brilliant idea, that can contribute to a changed world, deserve to have the biggest impact possible”, says Floortje (1985), who is married and has two beautiful girls.
Her company is specialized in brand creation and strategy. Floortje combines brand strategy, marketing and design. She helps businesses with their branding and regularly gives masterclasses and workshops. She also coaches entrepreneurs to get their companies to the next level. “Entrepreneurs have ideas that can impact our world. I owe it to myself and to our world to help them. It gives me energy to discover their potential. Potential which they haven’t yet discovered within themselves.”
Connecting from authenticity
Branding is a combination of consumed behaviour, marketing, conceptual thinking and design. “If your branding - the foundation of your business - isn’t right, you will have to work extremely hard. Branding is the first crucial step. Branding’s power is huge. It is the foundation of everything.”
Floortje always focuses on an authentic story. “People can truly connect with an authentic story. I don’t have to create a brand. You already are your brand. It’s already inside of you.” When you know your story, it’s important to create a brand that is bigger than yourself, Floortje explains. “Your brand is inspired by your own story, but not depending on it.”
Floortje describes it like this: “If you plant your roots the right way, you can grow into a strong tree. If the results of your company are not what you expected it to be, something has to change within the roots. Usually the solution is not on the surface. If you want to change the fruit of the tree, you need to change the tree.” The scones in her company’s name are like little cakes, like presents. “If you follow the right steps, your tree can become sustainable with great impact, customers, friendships and satisfaction, [which are the presents].”
Sometimes entrepreneurs need a little push into the right direction. Other times they just need to hit the wall before change can happen. Floortje walked into that symbolic wall when she was 23 years old.
“If I didn’t hit the wall, if the pain wasn’t big enough, I would probably have continued my life that way”, Floortje shares honestly. “You have to be very strong to have anorexia. I understand that now. To decide not to eat, you need to have a strong mind. Back then, my thinking was destructive.”
The mind still fascinates her. “I looked into the reason why I didn’t trust my own strength, and how I looked towards myself. Because I chose to expose all those mechanisms, I make different choices today.” During the journey towards finding herself, Floortje discovered that she can never make a true connection with others if she doesn’t have a connection with herself. Now Floortje stands for who she is, with all her vulnerabilities. “Only when you are vulnerable, you are able to make a true connection with people. From my hit-the-wall experience, I developed my own branding system.”
Her past eating disorder is still relevant in the choices she makes today. “How I conquer obstacles, how I respond to bumps in the road. Whatever happens, I know I can handle it. I don’t want to hold myself back because of my thought process. I no longer live out of fear; I live out of freedom.”
One of the fruits of Floortje’s roots is the “screw it, let’s do it” motto which she lives by today.
Do it anyway
A quote in the same category is: feel the fear, and do it anyway. This quote motivates her when she feels fearful or when she is insecure. It’s also a piece of advice for entrepreneurs who find it a bit scary to follow their dream. “Of course it is scary. You have to take risks. When you decide to take a step forward, you’ll realize it wasn’t that difficult after all. Either you win or you learn.”
Floortje always had a lot of vision for her business. “I know what I want to achieve. I see the bigger picture.” Her trap is that she would like to see the whole road before she starts driving. “For example, when I drive from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. I might not have a clear view in front of me when I’m driving in the midst of a fog, I will only see a few white lines on the road. But despite that the other lines will follow.” It means that as an entrepreneur you don’t have to see the whole road to get moving. Focus on the first few steps and the other steps will follow in their own time.
“We often think in risks. We think: what if we don’t succeed? I say: Do it anyway. Make sure your purpose and direction are clear. And ask yourself if you are still travelling towards your goal. And if you’re not; Change the route! Otherwise you’ll never get there.”
This fast way of changing gear is characteristic to Floortje. “People often say they don’t have a choice. But you always have a choice. You can’t always choose between good and bad in situations, unfortunately. That would be very easy and ideal. Sometimes you have to decide between bad and bad. There are always consequences, but you do have a choice. When you realize that, you will take full ownership of your life and your company.”
Everyone has a unique talent. “You can help people with your talent. The world needs it!” Floortje developed her own unique methods for brands to create a positive impact. Make sure you get her book ‘Become a leader brand’, which will be available soon! Also, Floortje regularly gives masterclasses and workshops. Go to the following website to apply for her ‘Brand Accelerator’: www.brandaccelerator.nl.