Expat Entrepreneur: Linda Bos on business in Luxembourg
Designer and illustrator Linda Bos finds the international clientele in Luxembourg to be a challenge –- a challenge that will broaden her horizons.
Name: Linda Bos
City of residence: Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg
Reason for moving to Luxembourg: For love
Name of company: PRETTY FOREST design + illustration
Date of company launch: Summer 2010
Can you give us a brief description of your business and how it is going?
Whenever I get asked what my business is, I like to quote William Blake (painter/poet) "My business is to create." Giving things a 'face' is what I enjoy doing most, whether it is a company's logo and corporate identity, an editorial illustration for an article, or a character for a (children's) book. One month I am very busy, the next one it’s rather calm, but that’s part of the field I am working in, it’s never the same. I just got started and am working hard to expand my clientele, but I am feeling positive about the future
What do you like about doing business in Luxembourg?
The good thing about doing business in Luxembourg is the fact that -- compared to its size -- there are many (international) businesses active in this country and therefore there is a large international community. For me this means a very versatile clientele which I find challenging. The country is small, so when you are working on a project you would like to get some media attention, it is relatively easy to get in under the attention.
What do you find most frustrating about doing business in Luxembourg?
Many people here are rather conservative and therefore often pick the ‘safe’ proposal, which can be frustrating for a creative mind.
What hurdles did you encounter when setting up?
I studied in the Netherlands and got quite well informed where to go and what to do in order to set up your own design business in Holland. But then I moved to Luxembourg and over here there is no place where people can specifically inform you about this. It took me a while to know exactly where to go and what to do to get all my authorizations.
How has the economic crisis affected your business?
I don’t know how it was ‘before’ the crisis. I told myself it would not be easy to get my thing going, but am not sure if I made it harder for myself starting now as some years ago. In the end it’s all about really wanting it and going for the full 100 percent for it. If you are a one-man-show offering a unique product, I think you’ll survive, crisis or not!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up business in Luxembourg?
Look for people who did the same and ask them to help you out. I got a lot of useful information from the ‘Ministère des Classes Moyennes’, so I suggest to pay them a visit and ask them your questions. They are the ones granting you permission to start your business or not. Then contact a designer to get a fab logo and business card and you are ready to rumble!
How does running a business in Luxembourg compare to running a business in other countries that you have lived in?
I’ve only done business in Luxembourg, so I can’t tell.
Would you like to add anything that we haven’t addressed in the questionnaire?
No matter where you live, don’t let national borders be your boundary! Doing projects on an international level will widen your horizon and give you new insights. Make clever use of the internet to inform potential clients about your existence and keep your clients up-to-date about your business.
Linda Bos / Expatica
PRETTY FOREST is Linda Bos.
Born with a pencil in her hand, she always knew she wanted to work in the creative field. With more than four years experience as a graphic designer in Luxembourg, she has worked on a wide variety of creative projects for national and international clients. For more information about her services, visit the Pretty Forest website.
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