My first impression after meeting Jette Virdi and Anique Coffee? These women have creativity running through their veins and last names to kill for 😉 So I suppose it isn’t surprising that they came together and created The Collective Europe, an all-inclusive four day, tech-free, retreat-style conference in Barcelona where creatives, entrepreneurs and innovators can share knowledge and get empowered.
I sat down with Jette & Anique to find out just how they do it, and to hear their take on being your own boss.
Read my interview below and prepare to be inspired.
What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?
Anique: To start my day on the right foot, each morning, I sneak out of bed as to not actually wake up my body yet, and swing open the doors to my bedroom balcony. I quickly jump back in bed and enjoy the morning light and sounds as they creep into my bedroom and up the walls. This is my most productive time. I jot down notes in the notebook near my bed, or add to the ever-growing Google Doc to do list on my phone. Before coffee, before email, before scrolling, I lay in the morning light and prioritize my to do list for the day.
Jette: A big glass of water and a walk, if I haven’t done my gratitude diary the night before, the morning is when I’ll do that. I find it sets a great intention for the day.
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
A: My no-fail, go-to tricks when I need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut are two-fold: First, a quick yoga flow. I frequently step away from my desk abruptly and launch into some sun salutations. Reconnecting to my breath helps calm my mind. Second, is Pinterest. Often I will cruise the design feed on Pinterest and while its sometimes mindless scrolling, it always helps to get me out of a creative rut or spark an idea.
J: Putting everything down, phone and all, and going for a walk! Never fails to get me inspired and fresh to start with a clear head!
What characteristic do you most admire in other creative women?
A: The characteristics I admire most in creative women is badassity and vulnerability. Yes, “badassity.” It is the power to harness your feminine strength and turn it into tangible and fruitful outcomes like strategic business partnerships, increased sales, new collaborations, or simply launching a new idea. Its the tenacity that we women have that makes us fearless when embarking on new challenges. In the same breath, vulnerability is vital to your survival as a creative women. This means having the courage to try and admit failure, asking for help from others, collaborating with your competition, and being able to say out loud, “Even though I’m a badass, today was a hard day for me.”
J: Courage. I love seeing women who have courage to speak to that new person, or start a business I’m the downturn because they believe, or stand up for themselves. Everything has it’s problems and let’s face it, if you started to listen to all the things that could go wrong or do go wrong, most people would never start their own business, do the thing they loved or fight for what’s important! But when women just go for things they want, that makes my heart soar!
What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?
A: The hardest thing about being my own boss is structuring my day in a way that is productive, but still fulfilling. Being a digital nomad or remote worker is extremely fulfilling and fun, allowing flexibility and travel that some don’t get. It also means you have to structure your day in a way that ensures you have focused time to get your job done.
J: How I’m addicted to my pyjamas. It’s only a blessing to a point, you know!?!
Which of your traits are you most proud of?
A: The traits I’m most proud of are my fearlessness to speak to others and ability to be a cheerleader with the goal of creating community and connections. I LOVE walking into a room where I know no one, approaching them with openness they can feel, and finding ways to work with them. And if not with me, connecting them to someone else in my community who would be a great fit for their business.
J: I’m really proud that I have no fear when it comes to starting businesses or moving country or starting afresh. Rather than proud I love helping others find their path and giving them encouragement, love and support and then see them succeed at their dreams. It’s so special being allowed along for that journey.
What quotation or saying inspires and motivates you to do what you love and be yourself?
A: The quotation or saying that inspires and motivates me to do what I love and be myself is simply: TRUST. YOUR. GUT.
It never lies. My mom told me this ages ago, but sometimes I still find myself ignoring it in an effort to seek the best in people. A post I recently found from blogger @megynblanchard on Pinterest during one of my inspiration-seeking scrolls was this:
Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through ignoring our intuition.
Trust your gut and reduce professional heartbreaks. Let it guide you and you can do no wrong.
J: I don’t actually have one, Trust your gut is a great one! I think though my inspiration and motivation is making a gratitude list every night or morning. It reminds me why I do this, who I’m supporting and feeling that makes me feel invincible and ready to tackle anything.
If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?
A: If I magically had three more hours in my day, I’d CRAFT! I love being crafty and building things in my spare time… spare time? What’s that?
J: haha, 3 more hours! I would definitely spend time with people. I find that engagement and connection really important in business and home life, putting down my phone/laptop/whatever and having a conversation.
What’s your fave thing to come home to after a long day?
A: My favorite thing to come home to at the end of the day is again light, sounds and my balconies. In the evenings, I love sitting on my balcony in the dusky light, while watching my neighbors and others come home, escorting their children home from school, carrying groceries and flowers. There’s something magic about the dusk at the end of each day – its my favorite time of day and type of light. Oh ya, and WINE.
J: Wine and food! Top of the list for sure. And maybe a walk just to get rid of the day and re-adjust to home life.
They are pretty amazing, right?
I hear that they still have Early bird tickets available for their creative conference in Barcelona —> click here!