Anouck is the CEO of Belgian Boys. As part of her role she puts serious thought into building a kind, compassionate, and happy work environment for the Belgian Boys team.
Anouck started her career in a not-so-kind work environment. Though it was her dream to work in fashion, it was just as sharp-edged as The Devil Wears Prada and other pop culture representations make it out to be. When she and Greg started working on Belgian Boys, she wanted it to be the exact opposite and set out to build kindness into the company’s DNA. Read more from Anouck below.
Kindness within your energy and culture, and how it affects the people around you
I strongly believe that kindness is the basis of every relationship. When building a team, a company, and its culture, treating people with respect and empathy elevates an organization.
In 2020, we started having our weekly meetings on zoom instead of in-person because of COVID, we followed the standard format many companies do: everyone shared their goals and challenges for the week. What ended up happening is that everyone would wait their turn and multi-task when someone else was speaking.
That was not the reason I brought my whole team together – bringing people together should be for community, for growth, for learning and fostering curiosity. I decided to do things differently and changed the format of our weekly meeting. I was so nervous on what I decided to call #TalkAboutItTuesday where I shared a TED talk with that team that had inspired me personally. We ended up having such a great conversation! This weekly hour became my favorite time of the week. We talk about happiness, and culture, about how to give and receive feedback and how to deal with stress, we watch inspiring speakers or even have a laughing yoga session.
I found the feedback I got from the team about that hour to be priceless, it’s such an amazing feeling to see in front of our eyes bonds being created thousands of miles apart.
A CEO’s mentors (take notes!)
I have looked up to Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of KIND, from afar in the past few years and I could not be more thrilled to work with him and his talented team directly now. He is a thought leader that values kindness, people and building a company sustainably. His personal values and vocal identity are very inspiring to me. While growing our brand Belgian Boys, I feel that we have brought up KIND in conversation and meetings probably 1000s of times as an source of inspiration of the way companies can be built. Over the years, Daniel became a role model to me, someone I aspire to a lot as an entrepreneur and person. I strongly recommend reading “Do the KIND Thing.”
Ever since becoming a mother myself, I’ve appreciated my mother and grandmother in a new way. My maternal grandmother, Eva passed away just three months after my wedding. She was the kindest and most selfless person in my life. She was a reserved and quiet person, but had such a big presence wherever she was. She didn’t have an easy life, she was born in Berlin in 1926 and lost her mother and brother in the Holocaust at a young age. She fled Nazi Germany and hid during WWII with her father, the stories she would tell us about her survival were all thanks to the kindness of people that put their own lives in jeopardy, to save hers. To survive and see the light in humankind’s darkest age is something that I have a hard time finding words for. I feel her optimism around me every day, she is a sound of reason and strength in my life, I miss her so much.
Happiness Baked In
Technically we are a food company, but all of us at Belgian Boys are in the business of creating smiles. We believe that life’s greatest moments are celebrated with food - big moments like a wedding or birthday cake, but also magic everyday moments like family breakfast, snacks on a hike, or a lunch packed with love.
Every product we make radiates what we stand for and has happiness baked right in. We want to make it easy for you to get family favorites on the table with time left over to sit down and enjoy together.