MoneyTalk with Emma Peijnenburg Creative Entrepreneur
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Emma Peijnenburg. I’m a Dutch creative entrepreneur and life enthusiast. I just moved from Amsterdam to start a new adventure in Antwerp.
What inspired you to create Emma Peijnenburg?
Ever since I was a little kid, I was collecting. In real life AND in my creative, dreamy brain I was dazzled by colors, prints, architecture, light, and angles. I was - and am - a real observer, and so I saw things happen. Small things like people in an apartment building opening the curtains; objects in the sun that causes beautiful shadow; or things in people that makes them unique like a freckled face or extraordinary haircut.
My parents were very open-minded and supportive to me and let me prospect my interests and talents. I think by then they already knew I wasn’t a girl for the school books and I needed to learn by experience . I was experimenting with the camera and was always (literally) “framing” my point of view. It gave me so much joy and excitement when the photos turned out the way I had in mind. By then I spent every weekend doing little shoots with friends.
When I got older I went to several creative schools and was so relieved when I graduated, and I was finally able to do whatever I wanted to do.
What are you passionate about?
I think it actually is just simplicity. However, I’m in the middle of what’s hot and happening. Everyone's working hard and getting after their dreams (and you should definitely do so!) but it’s the small things in between that I’m so stoked about. Like a long walk with the dog in the woods; a real coffee in the morning; getting cozy at home with candles or a conversation with a stranger. And I feel blessed I can enjoy it so much.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in your career?
It should feel right, not just look right. It’s a funny one because when I just started I was so focused on meeting the right people which of course is very important but I almost got blinded and most of all way too kind. I thought I needed to do certain jobs because they were big names and good for my portfolio.
I think those situations really brought me where I am now where I feel like I reached a point for myself where I can overview jobs and project inquiries more objectively.
I’m a collector - I make a private file of projects I worked on, and I’m proud of them and the reasons I did them. It helps me when I’m negotiating with new possible clients or when I’m in doubt about a specific project.
What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?
It’s most definitely an on-again, off-again romance.
I build a sheet in excel where I keep a record of my administration which helps me a lot but still, it can be quite chaotic when you send many (small) invoices a month. You always need to chase the mighty dollar! That's definitely a thing I sometimes get tired of. I do the quarterly VAT declarations myself but have close contact with my bookkeeper in between. Thank God for him.
What does financial independence mean to you?
1. Working on projects because you want to and not because you have to.
2. Living a comfortable life which to me is being able to afford the necessities to survive (an apartment and all the bills that come along with it; food; minimum debt payments, etc.) and some extra to live without struggling every month.
What’s the one thing you indulge in?
Flea markets. And my “free” indulgence is most definitely Pinterest, the place where bits and pieces of inspiration find their way onto categorized inspiration boards. It's a dream!
Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”?
Yes recently - Last summer while I temporarily lived with my parents in the countryside, I realized that I sometimes got dragged into the city's ‘more = more’ phenomenon. I was working on a new project before I had finished the other one properly. I spent money before I had it on things that I did not need, instead of investing in something that would really bring me something.
That was definitely an eye-opener, and I decided that I:
1. Want to spend money less easily.
2. Think better about the things I buy and their positive impact.
What is the best financial decision you have ever made? And what is the greatest long-term investment?
An investment I made: I am happy with my apartment. It has a lot of daylight so I can also use it for work and do photo shoots. I live close to the harbor, and that gives me serenity.
An investment that I would like to make in the future would be buying a car because it gives me more freedom, making me feel less dependent, and I spend less time traveling on public transport.
What is Vestpod for you?
A place for teaching and encouraging positive, hard-working, enterprising women!
What do you wish you had done earlier in terms of financial planning?
I started quite early with my excel sheets which I was really proud of. I filed all my sent invoices and sorted out my work-related receipts, but I did not keep up with my expenses. Like seriously, where did all the money go?
Since a little while now I've been trying to use the app Wally to have more track on my expenditure, and it's really refreshing.
What would you recommend to younger women?
Enjoy the journey! Don't be too focused on the destination.
Try not to overthink. You can still make something honest and meaningful even if it's only seen by you. Just start.
Favorite book & podcast?
I’m currently reading Nice Girls Don't Have the Corner Office and it's an inspiring and useful book for me.
Podcasts: Monocle24's series "The entrepreneurs." [Vestpod was featured on it, you can listen to it here]
Where can we find you?
@emmapeijnenburg on Instagram
My website: www.emmapeijnenburg.nl
Or on the streets probably stroking a pet or photographing sweet scenery
Thank you Emma!
xx Emilie & Christina