The Sassy always hungry Entrepreneur
Allow us to introduce Evelyne, a girl who can't sit still. She started working at the age of 14 in 3 different restaurants (while attending school, obviously), created the only legal platform for nipples on Instagram to fight gender inequality, for which she received a Webby award. When asked where she keeps it; it is currently collecting dust somewhere in her basement. She also interned in a home for Schizophrenia before going into advertising and writing some pretty awesome headlines for all kinds of clients. At some point she found herself interning at Vogue and now she's running her own sock company and hosting dinner parties on ZOOM through her latest adventure DINIER. Read all about this never stopping power house and buckle up, cause you're in for a ride.
For our readers who don’t know you yet, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and what got you here?
I grew up in Basel where I was raised by a strong-minded and creative Dutch mom and a very business-savvie dad. Growing up half half made me think I’m not quite from here and I was super curious about what else there is outside of Switzerland. So when I finished school I wanted to get out and explore abroad, where I spent the next five years studying, interning and working in both ad agencies as fashion magazines. Three years ago I returned to Switzerland to working as a junior creative in an ad agency, where I later on started developing the idea of OPEND: a one-sized sock that guarantees no blisters and works for sports and street-style.
How did you come up with the idea for OPEND? Why the name and when did you first start putting the wheels into motion for your business?
1,5 years ago a friend showed me this unique material, I tried it out and was immediately convinced - It was a completely new foot-feel, I tested it in various ways, broke in my doc Martins blister-free and I knew this could be a great chance to create a relevant brand! One that’s inclusive, one that’s style-relevant AND tech-relevant: The lines between high fashion and sportswear are blurring more than ever; but, neither of them can yet live up to the opposite side’s speciality. So, I wanted to combine the best of both worlds: the sport sock that stands for no blisters and is fast recognized by a loop on the back - a statement piece so to say. Suddenly the concept became so clear and I couldn’t focus on anything else anymore - so I quit my job, rented a desk in a shared atelier and fully committed on setting up a inclusive sport brand together with the help of some truly amazing people. „OPEND“ came from the idea that when your feet are untouchable your workout is limited to nothing, an „open-end“: OPEND.
What is something about your work that people don’t know or that surprises them?
Because of the one-size and unisex design of OPEND socks, I can avoid a lot of overproduction and thereby cut out a lot of waste in the production chain. Now that’s pretty damn efficient and the environment likes it too.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
Keeping work structured, doing the admin parts and not overeating when the proverbial hits the fan!.
How do you stay focused?
I don’t. I have only two modes: Hyper-focused or daydreamer. For me it’s all about keeping myself interested and busy - I get bored easily. So I need to be able to switch between things, which is for instance why I started DINIER, a dinner club for foodies and friends with appetite here in Zürich. This project ensures I can satisfy my passion for food and is a great reset for my mind whenever I feel the daydreamer in me take over. Bottom line: You can only motivate yourself if you’re stimulated and interested. Stay curious and allow yourself to use all of your channels/hobbies and ideas for new experiences! Just put it out there! :)
Let’s talk a little bit about DINIER… where did you learn to cook? And how do you come up with all these fun themes?
I honestly believe I was born an eater. I think it’s in my DNA. Seriously. When I was little I had nothing to bring in to school for „hobby-day“, so I shamefully confessed to my mother that I really think eating is my hobby. I cooked for my babysitters and eventually my parents let me host dinners for their friends at home.
As for the fun themes, I just need more drama around good food! ;) So I always think of a dish and how to completely obsess over it. Like the latest theme „Champagne & Dogs“: 5 courses of different hotdog creations accompanied by Champagne. Since the lock-down I host and cook virtually for companies and this is super fun too! :)
What are other small businesses to support?
My rediculously talented friends whom I share the atelier with: jewelry from Atelier Té and Milko Boyarov, textile designs from Greta&Greta and art pieces from Patrickson Studio. :)
Zodiac sign: Leo. Through and through.
Favorite quote: Trust your gut (Dammit!)
Ultimate happy fix: Dogs & Pasta
Currently listening to: Prince
How to unwind after a long day at work: Hot bath, a glass of vino and a plate of pasta - but make it 2-3 servings.
Can’t live without: Dogs & Pasta
Most used emojis: ✨💁🏻♀️💙
Most overrated word: „Literally“. Like literally stop saying this.
Perfect food day; where and what would you eat: On a Dutch beach (on that only sunny day in the year), sipping cool white wine and eating fresh seafood.
If you could only have 1 style of eggs for the rest of your life, what would that be? Let’s be honest this is the hardest question in the entire interview - but:
Eggs Benedict Florentine style.