Rosanne Hertogh is the founder and designer of Sololu, a lifestyle brand that specializes in ethically made, seasonless women’s clothing. As an avid traveler, Rosanne’s mission is to inspire women to live life to the fullest and empower them to feel beautiful and confident while doing so, all while making ethical and sustainable clothing choices.
My first job ever was… Being a babysitter to my little cousins –I loved spending time with them. I was quite young, but simply loved it (and the fact that I was making a bit of money for the first time).
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I wanted to do what I am passionate about, make my own rules and create something I was missing.
My proudest accomplishment is… Receiving a government grant after putting in a lot of time and effort to get my business plan and presentation in front of a jury approved.
My boldest move to date was… Moving to Canada from the Netherlands.
I surprise people when I tell them… I auditioned for the Dutch versions of American Idol and X-Factor when I was 16.
Starting a business with an ethical purpose is… What a lot more entrepreneurs should do. I can’t imagine my clothing designs being made under terrible work conditions. I like to treat people the way I’d like to be treated and that’s why the choice for being ethical was simple. I find it important to have my clothing made in an ethical work environment and keep our planet, the people we share it with, the environment and our future generations in mind.
My best advice to people trying to get an idea off the ground is… Start working on it as soon as you can, before someone else does, and start small – you can always invest in it more (money and time wise) once things take off. Also, do your research of course. Nowadays there’s a ton of information available online and there may have been others who have done or launched something similar to your idea that could be helpful to you.
My best advice from a mentor was… Trust your instincts.
My biggest setback was… Finding a right manufacturer for my clothing collection who is ethical and shares the same values.
I overcame it by… Not giving up and keep searching for that right manufacturer.
Work/life balance is… A healthy combination between living life to the fullest and working on your passion.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I’ve lived in Italy for an internship.
I stay inspired by… Traveling – visiting new places and meeting new people.
The future excites me because… I have so many ideas for my business and lots of fun things coming up with family and friends.
My next step is… Creating and adding new clothing designs to Sololu’s current collection that contribute to a better everyday life, whether at home or abroad. I’d love to add more collections as well, such as swimwear and loungewear. My goal is to become as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. It would be nice to become an inspiring go-to brand for women that travel on a regular basis or lead active lives.