OnUp Water

Finding Inspiration in Family History

Finding Inspiration in Family History

I haven’t always dreamed of being an entrepreneur. It always seemed too risky, unknown, overwhelming, time consuming, and expensive.

But, here I am starting up my own business with a friend. 

I caught the “entrepreneur bug” when we clearly identified an unmet consumer need in sports nutrition. We started our initial work, and had a lot of fun doing it. Soon, that key point in an entrepreneur’s life started to loom...the time of putting a stake in the ground, making a financial investment, and deciding that you are all in. It required us to step back, reflect, and make a commitment to the sacrifices required for starting a new business. 

As I took the time to reflect, I noted that entrepreneurship runs in my family. In 1956, my grandparents decided to leave the Netherlands with their young family and move to America. They left everything—family, friends, school, church, and business—with a drive for adventure and a dream of building a better future for their kids. Once in America, my grandpa started a successful Dutch bakery that is now run by his former business partner’s grandsons. I recently had the opportunity to visit the location in the Netherlands that my grandparents left. Today it is student housing, but previously the main floor was his bakery with a corner entrance and the top floor was their home. The older I get, the more I understand and appreciate the faithfulness and courage required to leave this all behind and startup something new in America. My grandparents were true entrepreneurs and are an inspiration to me today.

So far our journey has been fun and I’ve truly enjoyed it. It has also been, and I know it will continue to be, all the things I mentioned above—risky, unknown, overwhelming, time consuming, and expensive. I’m learning to embrace it and take it one step at a time. Unlike my grandparents, I’m not leaving my friends and family behind. I’m grateful for their support and having them right here alongside me.

I wish my grandparents were still alive to provide some helpful advice along the way. I know that they’d for sure tell me what they always told us growing up—“Hoekstras aren’t quitters”. I think they’d also remind me that starting a business is hard, but also very rewarding. I’m excited for the days ahead and sharing our story with you.

- By Erin