Entrepreneurial Lessons: Veroniek Vermeulen, Founder of Silatha

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We all know about the benefits of meditation but incorporating it in our daily lives is not easy. After discovering the practice during a retreat in Nepal, Veroniek Vermeulen decided to leave a corporate career and transform her life. The Silatha journey began with the purpose of turning meditation into a daily activity, through the unique partnership of the Silatha Dorje jewellery and accompanying Meditation App. Each Dorje is set with a semi-precious gemstone, chosen for its alignment to the inner quality that will be nurtured through the Silatha Meditation Course. Learn more about the concept and check all the products here.

In this interview, she talks about her motivation to create a meaningful brand, the challenges to recruit as a startup and the importance of having a plan to support yourself in the first years of business.

Project M: What motivated you to create your brand?
Veroniek Vermeulen: Silatha is a product that came to life inspired by what I was searching for myself. When we grow up, we learn many things, though in my western education I was never taught to examine my own feelings and sensations. I was taught to work hard to realise my dreams. But what are these dreams? I was never taught to look inside my heart, to find my happiness inside. Through meditation, I found this inner source of happiness. Though I struggled to make meditation a part of my day to day life. I wanted a support system to create a routine for it. That’s how the idea grew to have something tangible to remind me. The Silatha jewellery is influenced by the symbol of a dorje. This symbolises your true nature; who we are without our ego and all constructions we have created over the years. The gemstone, is there, to remind you of the intention you set for yourself. Like more love for yourself, to grow the ability to let go or to have more emotional balance. The stone carries this quality and the jewellery acts like your reminder. Then I added a meditation app, so that everyone can be guided to their inner source of happiness. It has been a great help to me, I quit my corporate job and created Silatha, so it could support others too.

Project M: What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Veroniek Vermeulen: Create a fantastic team. It’s not easy to find great people and if your company isn’t very known, it’s even harder. I used to work with a big team, with great professionals in the corporate I was working for. When I stared Silatha, I was all alone. I missed working with a team, and I started to hire people, but I was paying them from my own savings, so I chose cheap labour, who couldn’t deliver what I needed. Over time, when Silatha was growing, people started to notice the company and came to us. They love our brand and ethos and so we started to develop a very pensioned and professional team.

Project M: What advice would you give to those thinking about creating a business?
Veroniek Vermeulen: Go for it! And give it all your passion, if you have no passion for it, then don’t do it.

Three tips to think about:

  1. Make sure you have a clear idea of how you get an income in the first 1-2 years when you are building your business. Keep a part-time job on the site, from which you can pay your fixed cost. So you don’t need to worry about money. You need some patience before you have a suitable income from your startup.
  2. Find a great co-working space, where you meet other entrepreneurs and you can share your idea, help each other and maybe find some people who can support you in your business.
  3. Create a clear morning routine: start with sports, meditation, healthy breakfast. Then write down the must do’s for the day, this can’t be more than 5 things. Then make sure you focus on getting these done.

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