Suzan Claesen
Co-Founder and COO
of Crowdyhouse

Q: What do you like the most about yourself?

A: My mix between business and creativity.

Startup life is a balancing act

I come from an entrepreneurial and creative family. My mother is an artist, and my parents own a business in the furniture industry. This had a big influence on me in becoming an entrepreneur myself. Starting my own business was a very logical thing to do, as I love to be creative myself. I designed and made quite a bit of furniture in my time, which I proudly showcase in my own living room. I often visit design fairs, but noticed that after the fairs are over, the small and unique designers often disappear. This is how CROWDYHOUSE was born; I wanted to give designers a platform to showcase their work at any time.

What I like most about my startup is combining the creative with the business aspects, and helping other designers sell their work all over the world. My biggest struggle starting my own company was finding a good balance between my personal and professional life. There was a point when everything was about CROWDYHOUSE and it consumed me at all hours of the day. Of course that passion is a good thing, but you also need to be able to step back and put things into perspective. I started to play a lot of sports and made an effort to see my friends more often. Now that I’ve found this balance, it actually helps me run my company more efficiently.

Suzan Claesen is 30 years old and lives in Amsterdam. She studied psychiatric nursing, and after a short career in healthcare, she co-founded CROWDYHOUSE in 2013 alongside Mark Studholme. CROWDYHOUSE is the premier (launch) platform and marketplace for the world’s best designers and makers. Team CROWDYHOUSE counts seven full-time employees. Suzan is responsible for the designer community and operations.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.