We are Virgilia de Graaff & Anouk Rademaker. In September 2019 we both, separately from each other, took on a new challenge at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. In addition to our full-time job, we went on to study business economics part-time.
The first day was a typical introduction day; there you go with your good behavior, into a small lecture hall with all strangers. Immediately some groups are formed and we sit right next to each other with another fellow student. As an assignment we have to tell more about ourselves to the people next to us. During this first conversation there was an immediate click.
A first group assignment soon followed. We immediately started working together, the other 'day-one-fellow student' also worked with us on the first assignment. We had to draw up a business plan; from idea to presenting the plan to a fictitious investor, this is where the idea of AdornPay originated.
We started working on the idea in October 2019. Did a lot of research to turn the idea into a realistic plan. During this research we already found out that this was something that already existed, just not in the form we would like to do. After a lot of study hours, we finally handed in our plan on paper, and then presented it to the investors (that is, two teachers who hear dozens of those plans pass by every year, zzz..).
We were really excited throughout this entire process. This was a really cool idea and our business plan was already in place. All the people we showed it to were all very enthusiastic, which gave us even more confidence.
In January 2020, we talked about taking this idea even further and working with it in the real world. By 'we' we mean here then 'us together' without our 'day-one-fellow student', in close consultation with her of course! As it often goes with such ideas we talked about it, we were excited, but we were also very busy with other things. It didn't really work out.
Then there was corona in the Netherlands in March 2020. The world was turned upside down. Everything suddenly had to be remote and everything had to be contactless. We immediately said to each other; so this is it, our idea is now even more valuable. At that point it was settled; we're just gonna do this.
In addition to our full-time job, we started doing more research. We are now both real Google and LinkedIn experts. In 2020 we have seen Google and LinkedIn more than our friends and family and we could just about pass for walking encyclopedias, but then you also have something. A concrete plan and (not unimportantly) much more confidence in our plan and in our own abilities and perseverance. We started discussing all the important things; how do we want to market ourselves, and what do we stand for. But also the financial matters, a marketing plan, administrative matters, the website and all other things that form the basis of a startup had to be arranged.
It emerged from our brainstorming sessions that, in addition to sales, we also want to keep a blog on the website, among other things. That we want to create a personal experience for everyone who comes into contact with us, so that you don't just buy a piece of jewelry from us, but an entire experience. We want to stand for good service, every package we send should feel like a gift for our customers. In addition, sustainability and ethically responsible business practices are of paramount importance to us. This is one of the most important values from which we have continued to make decisions. You can never do it perfectly in this area, but we will do our very best to do it all as well as possible; for nature, animals and people.
After these conclusions, it was time to look for a producer and contacts in the financial world. So that we can have our own designs produced and then make this jewelry ready for payment via our financial contact. The Google and LinkedIn expertise that has since been developed also came in handy here. If you search long enough for all possible terms, you will find it. We found contacts that we are happy with and who could help us further. NAfter establishing the necessary contacts, we started putting together the designs for the first collection.
The time has come and we are online with our wearable collection and regular collection! With our wearables everyone can pay even more contactless, because say yourself? A piece of jewelry that you can wear every day, which complements your own style and with which you can also pay, that sounds good, right? Curious about our wearables, please here
You can also follow our adventures and all updates about AdornPay via our blog or via our newsletter. This way you always stay informed, you receive exclusive discounts and you get to know the women behind AdornPay. Sounds like fun, right? We hope you are as excited as we are and you are sign up for our newsletter! We won't disappoint you.
Virgilia & Anouk