Here at House of Coco you know that we love dogs, you only need to take one place at our TeamCocoPup to know that. We often search the market for brands that cater to our favourite four legged bestie but we have never managed to find anything quite as luxurious as we had hoped. That was until we found L’élianne, a brand that was founded by Carlijn Elianne, who is a serious entrepreneur.
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand, L’élianne…
The journey of my luxurious dog brand L’élianne started in the first weeks of the Dutch pandemic in March 2022. The combination of entering my last year of International Business & Entrepreneurship studies, and boredom – I figured why not try to put my knowledge of my study into practice. The first months consisted of figuring out every aspect I needed to know, like writing a business model, a marketing model, financial model and thinking about my goals, vision and mission. The second few months were about curating my first product, the luxury dog car seat and trying to find out what the current market was missing. At that time, I studied Entrepreneurship, and I was reading a lot of books, to expand my knowledge of having a business. That was how the journey of L’élianne started.
Where did your love for dogs come from?
At my home, our dog is definitely as important as the rest of the family. All dogs are always happy, loyal & involved and I thought it was time to reward them. Every dog that is part of the family deserves to have products that are carefully made of excellent quality. Unfortunately, anxiety, stress and car sickness are very common problems amongst dogs when travelling in the car. My mission is to strive for a future where dogs no longer need to feel these kinds of problems.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
Looking back at the establishment of L’élianne, I would have been more careful with the protection of product design. There are many brands out there copying each other, stealing content of someone else’s websites and trying to get away with it. Having a business online means dealing a lot with these kinds of problems. My biggest tip for young entrepreneurs is to protect your brand and product from the beginning.
For anyone interested in launching a business, what advice would you offer them?
At the moment I am doing everything on my own. My family, especially my father, helps me a lot with the logistics behind L’élianne. I would highly recommend to do every aspect of establishing a business on your own at first, and then look for things to outsource. You will learn a lot about all the different aspects at first, when you work on it yourself.
Do you plans to launch new products in the future?
Yes, I have a lot of plans for new exclusive luxurious dog products. This year is the year of innovating, exclusivity, and differentiation. I am extremely busy with the upcoming new collection.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
Every day is a different day, I always focus on one thing each day to get more done. So, one day it’s all about marketing, one day all about product design, one day all about customer service and so on. I try to avoid doing too much at the same time because that leads to inefficient results.
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
When new ideas pop into my head, I always write them down so I won’t forget them. Of course, I have my days where my brain seems a little foggy. The best thing to do, is to brainstorm with your customer base, community and close friends/family. Especially, creating colour combinations for a product could be tricky. Everyone has a personal taste, so I always try to get as many as opinions as possible before making my colours final.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Social media creates one of my biggest reaches online, together with Google and Omnichannel. I have reached 10K Instagram followers in a very short period of time. I think consistency, discipline and engagement are the most important when having a business online. It takes a lot of time, almost four hours a day, but you see it back in your results.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
“If the results are average, so is your effort.”, “You never lose. Either you win or you learn.”, are two of my quotes that I read every day. I have many motivational quotes, and when I learn a new one in one of my books, I write it down as well.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must visit list?
I adore travelling very much, and I have visited many places worldwide. I even completed my internship abroad in London, and Curacao for 6 months. The must-visit I would recommend is London, because of the city-life, friendly-people, and many hidden gems. One of the destinations I would like to visit is, Canada, China, Japan, and Singapore.
What does self-care mean to you?
Self-care is extremely important to me. On a regular basis I am exposed to a lot of stress, and last year I had my first panic attack. Since having a business I am struggling with migraine as well. This really opened my eyes of how serious mental health is, and how bad stress is. Since I am doing everything on my own, I try to not work as much as I used to do. In my first 16 months of setting up L’élianne, I worked 12 hours each day, without breaks, no vacations, no weekends. On the long term, it doesn’t have positive results on your mental well-being. I started to read a lot of books about these topics, and now I have an agenda and when my day is done, it’s done. I have scheduled two free days a week as well. It’s really hard to not being productive, but I have to, because living your life is not all about working, working and working. Life is about creating awesome experiences, being with the ones your love and being happy with yourself.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
My vision is to become the biggest luxury dog brand in Europe.