Meet our Braavheart #7 the lovely Esther Andries. There's one thing we can say passion flows through this girl's veins. From managing her first business Divers to building her own vegan protein brand. Sit back, relax, and get inspired by this beautiful soul.
Can you introduce yourself and what you do in a few sentences?
Hi there, I’m Esther Andries, 28 years old, and living in Antwerp. Most of you know me from Divers, the healthy juice and lunch spot where you can have a smoothie bowl and other absolutely delicious things at almost every hour of the day, located in the South of Antwerp.
You might also know me from Your Healthy Fix, my vegan protein brand. As you can tell, I really have an entrepreneurial spirit. There is nothing I love more than creating new concepts. Just the creative aspect of it triggers me a lot. On top of that, I also wrote my story down and bundled it together with my recipes in a book.
And no, It ain’t easy to juggle all those things at the same time. I definitely learned to take a step back from time to time and take some time to completely unwind and recharge.
What's your motto in life?
"Dreams don’t work unless you do".
Nothing comes easy. Just remember that everything is within reach (even your biggest and boldest dream!), however, you should be willing to put in the work. Unexpected things might cross your path or you might go through rough times but as long as you will stand up each morning and work on your dream, progress will be made and every day will be a step closer to your ultimate goal.
How do you unwind after a stressful day?
This may sound cheesy, but the ultimate relaxation for me would be to have a complete spa experience. When I really go ‘all-out’ I'll let a masseuse come to my home (I really recommend Vaya massage) and I order comfort food on Deliveroo as a treat afterwards. On those days I really fall asleep completely zenned-out. These moments really allow me to clear my head.
However, when I really want to feel completely detached from work, traveling is the only option. Even then it’s hard not to think of work - but then I try to limit myself and work an hour a day at max.
If you could give one ultimate tip to other ambitious women, what would it be?
Oh, only one? I have a few up my sleeve (winks).
If you really have a dream, passion, and vision, just go for it. I think a common mistake a lot of women make, is that we tend to wait for our action plan to be one hundred percent perfect.
However, I learned it's much more important to just start and take the leap. You’ll be able to learn much faster and adapt along the way. I would also love to mention, that it’s not of crucial importance to have a strong business background. Surround yourself with the right people or an incubator program.
In my case, I had the chance to be accompanied by Deloitte for the creation of my first business plan. In fact, I even prepared two plans: one for best and one for worst case scenario. Something I would also recommend other beginner entrepreneurs. This might help to put things in perspective and will teach you exactly which KPIs are of crucial importance to monitor since the absolute beginning, and when to pull the plug - (if needed).
Last but not least I would strongly encourage women with great ideas to look at external funding. When you find the right investors you’ll be able to grow faster than you would ever be able to do alone. And guess what? Being faster is just what you need in a highly competitive business world.
If you had to pick one highlight in your career so far, what would it be?
The launch of my book was really special to me. I actually got to look back at all the things I've had accomplished so far, which made me proud. Also, the fact that I was surrounded by all my close friends and family made it a personal milestone.
What are your secrets for a healthy work-life-balance?
In the beginning, I made the crucial mistake of working from home all the time. I had a chill-work-out-of-my-couch-in-pajamas-all-day kinda vibe. Though this might sound super chill, I quickly learned that it's dangerous not to have any boundaries between my work and private space. Now I have an office outside my home which really helps me in setting well-needed boundaries. After a long day at work, I can go home and leave all (or at least almost all) work-related stuff behind.
Do you have some kind of ritual before going to sleep?
I have a real extensive skincare routine as I love to treat my skin with all kinds of goodies. Next to that I always watch an episode of 'Friends', this really helps me to unwind and most of the time I don’t even make it till the end of the episode - to the great annoyance of my boyfriend.
In the morning I always take my time to enjoy my cappuccino with oat milk and watch a vlog.
What is your favorite kind of sports or workout?
I’m probably a bit biased as my ‘hubby-to-be’ is a fitness instructor but I just love fitness. I love pushing my limits and forcing myself to learn new things. A bit softer maybe, but very efficient, is reformer pilates. I'm a huge fan because it strengthens, yet keeps the muscles lean.
What are your future objectives on your professional agenda?
Ok, are you ready? I have tons of ambition, maybe not all things are within reach - haha. But there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, right? Firstly, I want to reach a turnover of 1 million with Your Healthy Fix. And second, something that has always triggered me is the Forbes 30 under 30-list. However, I’m almost turning 29 so I better get to it ;-).
Which book or podcast do you think is a must-read?
For books I would recommend The four-hour workweek (read our blog post to get the main insights), it’s really a must-read for everyone, it really opened my eyes and changed my life. Next to that I really like the books ‘You are a badass’ and ‘You are a badass at making money’. For Podcasts, I would recommend The GirlBoss Rally and The Skinny Confidential. Next to that, I love to watch videos on Youtube of Gretta Van Riel, she’s a real serial entrepreneur and a big example for me.
Do you have an ultimate guilty pleasure? Next to massages & comfort food?
Belgian fries with real "Belgian stew-sauce" and "Joppie-sauce". With food in general I try to keep a healthy habit and eating pattern whereby I stick to the 80%-20% rule. So 80% of the time I tend to eat healthy and the other 20% I can enjoy what I want whenever I want.
Who do you think should be our next Braavheart?
Eline de Munck, she’s a real self-made woman and I love her dedication and passion for her business and how she has been able to grow it the past few years. Margaux and Stephen, the cool couple behind the Holy Berry acaï, or Chinook from OHANA.