What entrepreneur doesn’t want to come up with a solution or product that no one had thought of before? In this series, entrepreneurs talk about the gap in the market that they discovered and their path to it. This time: there’s a little one on the way, but you don’t want to buy all the baby things new? Julie came up with a platform where you can rent everything you need.
- What: Tiny Library, a platform where you can rent baby equipment for your newborn child
- Creator: Julie Munneke
- Ever since: 2019
How did you come up with the idea?
“When I had my first child, I discovered that you need a lot of things that you use for a relatively short period of time. I didn’t want to buy everything new and was looking for a flexible way to get baby things into the house. It’s not everyone who has someone in themselves. or her environment from which you can take things over. That’s when I got the idea for a platform where you can rent baby equipment.”
Did you get started right away?
“I still had a busy job, in the finance department of Ahold. First I built up a piggy bank so I had enough money to start a company. I also took a sabbatical to further develop the idea. Then I had the confidence that it would really work , I went for it.”
“It felt a bit like cutting the umbilical cord. I had worked for the same employer for ten years.”
Wasn’t that exciting?
“It felt a bit like cutting the umbilical cord. I had worked for the same employer for ten years. You always tie your identity to your job and I had a good salary. It’s hard to say goodbye to that. fixed it at home. then we were not dependent on my salary to pay all the expenses.’
“Looking for investors, I joined the program Dragons’ Den. The investors there were excited, but in the end the deal fell through. Financially, the participation did not give me much, but it helped me to sharpen my pitch. And I got some contacts. I now have some nice investors and now I can carefully pay myself some salary.”
What do you like most about working on this project?
“I’m working to set up something that will benefit the world. Making an impact is something I missed in my work. When you no longer need our rented products, we come and pick them up or send them back. Babyting does not donate sitting there dusty in the attic, or you don’t have to look for storage space. We clean the products and repair them where necessary, this way they last longer. The world is a little bit better because fewer baby products have to be made.”
How have the first three years of your business been?
“I’ve often had the thought that I’m swimming against the current. You give a lot, but you don’t get anything back for a long time. You have to find the energy to continue. It’s very nice that I now have a solid foundation. and a very nice team, but at the start it’s a lot of searching and learning to deal with setbacks.”
“I’ve taught myself to go back to why I’m actually doing this every time.”
“It was particularly difficult in the area of logistics. We were looking for a party that could process the returns for us. But specific knowledge is required for cleaning and repairing baby equipment. Many companies did not have that. Now we work with a party. as before specializes in, was cleaning returned prams, which is going really well.”
What lessons has entrepreneurship taught you?
“Among other things, you have to trust your own vision. I lost that confidence sometimes, but I’ve taught myself to go back to why I’m actually doing this every time. That way you get a lot more energy for yourself , and you are less dependent on the successes you achieve.”
“I learned from a business perspective that you have to have enough customers first. You have to know if something works before you continue. But I also learned that some things just take time. I’m very restless and want to everything will work tomorrow. But you have to have enough rest and confidence for a good result.”