Paulien’s look at 2017

by Martijn on Jan 12, 2018
Paulien with her mom and dad, brother Maurits and sister Emilie during the 5 year anniversary of O My Bag in July 2016.
Paulien with her mom and dad, brother Maurits and sister Emilie during the 5 year anniversary of O My Bag in July 2016.

Despite O My Bag’s success, 2017 was a challenging year for me. Late 2016 my mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with an advanced form of kidney cancer. The prognosis was bad and the diagnosis sudden. My mother was only 61, she had an active lifestyle and was passionately working at her own pharmacy, as she had been for the past 31 years. She was the heart of our family of 4 children, her illness was devastating for us. I’m the 2nd in the family, I have an older brother (36) and a younger brother (24) and a sister (26). Mom was very involved in O My Bag. She was the biggest O My Bag fan, super proud of what we had accomplished and helped out wherever she could. Because of the fantastic O My Bag team we’ve built over the years, business was able to run as usual, while I was with my family as much as possible.

Paulien with her brothers Maurits (left) and Tieme (right) at the opening of the Flagshipstore.
Paulien with her brothers Maurits (left) and Tieme (right) at the opening of the Flagshipstore.

Despite O My Bag’s success, 2017 was a challenging year for me.

For 7 months me and my family, did everything we could possibly think of to overcome Mom’s disease. We tried all traditional treatments (not many), diets, alternative treatments and medicines, holistic approaches. We did it all, but unfortunately without any success. During these times we (mom not in the least) tried really hard to deny the inevitable outcome. We just couldn’t accept it. Eventually, we couldn’t deny any longer and we had to say goodbye to our beloved mother in June.

Paulien with her dad at the Opening of the Flagshipstore December 15 2017
Paulien with her dad at the Opening of the Flagshipstore December 15 2017
Paulien with Marieke Eyskoot, writer of the ethical brand guide 'Dit is een goede gids' at the opening of the Flagshipstore.
Paulien with Marieke Eyskoot, writer of the ethical brand guide 'Dit is een goede gids' at the opening of the Flagshipstore.

Despite a sad and sorrow-ridden year, the accomplishments and highs of O My Bag kept me going and lifted my spirits. Business-wise we were doing amazing! I’m so thankful for our team. We have a warm and tight-knit team that feels like family and they made sure I did not have to worry about the business while being at home. I’m also thankful for all the loyal O My Bag fans who love our brand and bear with us when we have made mistakes. Having the best job in the world makes life easier in difficult times. After an intense summer I went abroad for a while then came back with a new energy to take on upcoming projects, the biggest being the opening of a flagship store! The first weeks in the new office and flagship store felt like a dream. After 5 years of housing OMB in a run-down university building, this fresh and super stylish office feels amazing.

Paulien with O My Bag colleague Loes (right) and Belgium Agent Debbie and her husband at the opening of the flagshipstore.
Paulien with O My Bag colleague Loes (right) and Belgium Agent Debbie and her husband at the opening of the flagshipstore.

“Having the best job in the world makes life easier in difficult times.”

2017 ended on a joyful note with wonderful news; I’m pregnant and expecting a baby boy in June! I’m happy we’ve started a new year with new beginnings. We’ve set exciting goals for O My Bag and I can look to a more positive year ahead, with my mom supporting me every step of the way.

Love,

Paulien Wesselink
O My Bag CEO and Founder

Related articles