Bryan Vandevoorde is one of our success stories. He got involved in the company program, made his ideas a reality and now is a young and passionate entrepreneur. Bryan runs 'Boovr.', a Belgian brand specialised in accessories which have two sides, including the world's first reversible bow tie. Besides innovation and uniqueness Boovr. offers quality and takes care of all its stakeholders.
How did you become an entrepreneur? Tell us something about yourself.
It all starts somewhere in 2015, when 2 friends and I sat together in a bar – because that is what students do. It is on that very moment that one of them just dropped the question: “Hey, why don’t we just found our own company you know, we just choose a product, add some innovation and present it publicly.” It was one of the better bar get-togethers. Before we knew, we were able to convince 10 other people to join our team and apply for the company program in Belgium. After that 1-year-period – which was enormously enriching and challenging – I decided to continue building the concept, all the while starting university. I have never regretted it ever since.
Is entrepreneurship born with you? Or is it rather something that develops over time?
Totally not. In fact, entrepreneurship overcame me. Thanks to the company program of JA, I was able to experience what entrepreneurship truly is. Some people just ‘roll’ into entrepreneurship and everything related to business, for example because of their parents having a lot of expertise in that field. In my case, my parents don’t have their own company, but that didn’t stop me to just do my own thing and discover it my way. I would say, it is even more interesting to be a self-made entrepreneur.
What were the main challenges you faced when you established your company and how did you move on from them?
Allow me to point out 2 challenges I confronted.
First of all – following the fact that I participated in the company program – the challenge of doing everything on your own. Indeed the advantages are obvious: you can choose what you want, when you want it and more importantly how you want to do something. On the other hand, all responsibility falls into your hands. If you don’t do it, no one will. And that is something that I will always remind myself of, independently of whatever the future may bring.
Secondly, it is too superficial to take for granted that everyone believes in your vision, the concept, or simply your business. This relates to almost every aspect of entrepreneurship. How do you convince people about your product, how do you build a durable relationship with certain partners, etc.? All of this shapes you as a person, as it applies to everyday life as well.
What advice would you give to your peers who aim to follow your steps?
Remember that you don’t have to simply agree with the things everyone tells you. You can be a change-maker! Also: surround yourself with people who are smarter AND less smart than you. They may always bring in new and good ideas.
How do you imagine yourself in the future?
I am not the kind of man that has everything strictly planned for the upcoming 10 years. However, related to my business I am sure that the coming year will have its own opportunities and challenges on different aspects. As long as what I am doing feels good, I can continue enriching my experience and keep developing myself as a person.
Thank you Bryan for sharing your experience with us!
Check out the webpage of his business: www.boovr.be