A mom, girlfriend of “Vegan Revolution” and entrepreneur, meet superwoman Jessica! This amazing woman agreed to share her wisdom and tips with you in the very first “How did she do it?” She started 7 years ago as a barista and decided to share her knowledge with everyone who loves coffee just as she does. As she started as a barista she received a lot of questions with regards to coffee and how to make it best, so she decided to blog about it and “Koffie Revolutie” (Coffee Revolution) was born, over the years she added the possibility for her followers to gain a certificate, teaching them all about coffee and has recently published her first book!
Let’s meet Jessica and hear her story in the very first "How did she do it?"!
Tell us a bit about your website “Koffie Revolutie”
My goal is to create THE Coffee platform in the Netherlands. It is a place for everyone whether you are a professional or an individual who just wants to learn more about coffee. A platform where you can easily find accessible information about coffee and that you can implement directly in your own home.
It was born out of the many requests I received from people about coffee, I decided at that time to start blogging about coffee and provide the information to a wider audience. It grew from blogging to providing training, certifications and consultancy. I advise companies in their assortments with regards to coffee, trend developments and set up training programs for different companies.
I love how diverse it became! You start somewhere and end up somewhere else!
I personally know you from events where you act as a barista for companies and now you have published your own book! How amazing!
I really wanted to create a book where I could explain where to start and what you need to know about coffee even if you are clueless, my book will give an easy and fun way to learn about coffee. My goal was to create a guidebook that can quickly advise you when you are making coffee. It's not only a serious book as it contains a lot of humour as it fits with my personality, I wanted to create a book that is modern.
It is so motivating to hear woman following their passion! But we encounter a lot of challenges, what was yours?
I think dealing with the insecurity, whether you receive the next order and when. In the beginning, I had a lot of difficulties with this, looking at my calendar and seeing empty weeks made me doubt. However, it also made me creative as I thought I need to fill that calendar either way! So, I find ways to do that, but having faith and believing in your abilities is very important.
As an entrepreneur you have to be good at Marketing, Sales, Finance, administration, did you already had these skills and knowledge or did you had to learn as you go?
I come from a family with an entrepreneurial spirit, my father and mother always had their own business, so when I started it didn’t feel as a big step as I learned a lot from them. I could not find a company that did what I wanted to do so I decided to set it up myself.
When I started 7 years ago there were not that many places where you could train to be a barista and develop yourself. Often as a barista, you work in an espresso bar or you would work at a coffee roaster but then you have to commit to one brand and I did not want that. Basically, it was 1+1 =2 and on my bucket list I had setting up my own company and publishing a book. After my study, I have worked for maybe 6 months at a company in an office and that was the only experience I had of an office life, I have always been an entrepreneur.
The world of Barista, is that mainly a man's world or a women’s world? And as a woman are there still challenges you see?
For the main part, it’s still a men’s world but more women are joining. There are indeed still challenges for women in the Barista field, for example, a lot of women have difficulties with competitions for Baristas. In the world champion for coffee barista, there has never been a female winner and more and more attention is being dedicated to that, wondering why we never had a female winner.
Do you think it has something to do with our insecurity?
Yes, I think that women find it difficult to ask for help and a world champion is at the end a team sport. Yes, you have to do it alone but you need a good team around you to succeed. Maybe it is as well a bit the fear of failure?
Have you ever participated?
No, I have thought about it and it was on my list, I even trained for it. Eventually, I decided to not push it through as it would cost me too much time to combine it with my company and I became a mom which is a big part of my life now.
One of the things that most women struggle with is combing being a mom, a wife/girlfriend and having your own company, how do you do it?
To be honest it’s going really well. My boyfriend and I run 2 companies combined as 1 holding, we have “Koffie Revolutie” and “Vegan Revolutie”. We own the companies together and via online marketing, we find our target group and are able to sell our products. Our aim is to work location independent so that we can be more flexible.
Other than that, we have an amazing network surrounding us like grandma’s and grandpa’s who are living close to us and love their grandson. My son is going to day-care twice a week and luckily, he is a very easy child and flexible. My advice is just to do it! If you are ambitious and you have a drive, having a child should not be a reason not to do it. My child adjusts to our schedule not the other way around and it’s going really well.
How does your day look like?
Well, I start with coffee off course and then depending on the day I bring my son to day-care or his grandparents. Some days I give training or have meetings and other days I am sitting behind my laptop creating content. Sometimes it’s so busy that after dinner and bringing my son to bed I continue working if necessary.
Especially now when you see that creating content has become very important. I see a lot of women following their passion but struggling with creating content, how do you stay inspired
Well, the world of coffee never stops, yes, it is 1 product but with so many different aspects. There are always new developments, new gadgets, new models, new harvest, challenges at plantations or new processing methods. There is no lack of content in the world of coffee.
But do you never think “I am out of inspiration”?
Of course, I have that from time to time, however, I have a list with different subject prepared that I can pluck from whenever necessary. Sometimes it just comes to you and you have a complete article in your head.
Haha, I wait for that moment because I know my blog will be done in 10 minutes.
That’s great if it works for you. I also don’t force it, sometimes I write every 2 weeks sometimes I don’t but I also don’t make promises to my followers to expect a blog every week. I do try to post once a month but if I can’t then no problem. Thankfully these days you can do a lot with automated emails, and you prepare articles so that your followers will hear from you every 2 weeks without creating new content. Let automation work for you so that you are not stressing out every week to create something.
Would you advise email marketing?
Definitely! I think you have to know if you leave that you will miss the opportunity to connect with your target group.
*Side note from businesswomaninheels.com: please read into the GDPR law as it has recently changed and you as a company are only allowed to use email for the purpose you have asked your followers. Find more information here
What kind of advice do you have for women who are thinking to set up their own company or already have one?
Very simple…Just do it! We have an expression in the Netherlands: “you can see a thousand beers on your road” which means that you can’t predict the future but you’re expecting the worst. You have to have a drive and believe in yourself even if you have a hundred thousand competitors, know your own strength. There might be a 1000 baristas in the world and maybe some of them will be even better than me, but there is only one Jessica who does it like this. Keep your focus as it is easy to become distracted by everyday life.
Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
Oh, I have so many plans. I see “Koffie Revolutie” as an online platform for online training, I would like to provide an online school where I can inspire and inform people about coffee. And of course, being able to live from it and work location independently, I would also love to write reviews about coffee products
Your website is currently in Dutch are you looking to offer it as well in English?
Definitely! It is already on my agenda for the next 5 years. It would be amazing to reach a wider audience! But for this year the first topic on the calendar is to open the online coffee school and to set up my own coffee line.
Thank you so much, Jessica, for taking the time to have this interview and for sharing your challenges and success with other business women!
It was my pleasure, I believe in helping each other out and sharing our knowledge with each other. I also have a present for your followers!
Wow, do tell us!
Unfortunately, it’s only applicable for the Dutch audience. For everyone that would like to purchase my book “Barista Handbook” I am providing an discount as a thank you, just click on this link!
Follow Jessica on:
Update: Agnieszka Rojewska can call herself the first woman in history to have won the Barista World Championship! Read her story here!