Founder of the awareness online platform called The Lemon Spoon, Caroline Vermeersch welcomes us on a Thursday afternoon in her refined and bright office spaces in the heart of Brussels.
She tells us more about what led her to consume in a more sustainable manner and her desire to bring awareness to others.
Introduce yourself in a few words and explain us how you’ve been conducted to launch The Lemon Spoon.
My name is Caroline and I’m 29 years old. I used to live in Barcelona few years ago and changed the way I was eating to move towards a more sustainable and more body-respectful type of food. I realized that by willing to take care of your own body you then also want to take care of what surrounds you. But I didn’t want to keep all this for myself, I wanted to share it with other people through an online platform.
Describe in a few words the concept behind The Lemon Spoon.
The Lemon Spoon is an awareness movement for self-love and love for the planet. We sensitize using an online guide of eco-responsible brands as well as events and lectures that we organize. We also challenge celebrities so that they also raise awareness among their own audience.
How did the idea of such a platform and your desire for a more sustainable consumption pattern came up to you?
The idea came from a personal wake-up call. The project has been reflecting my personal evolution and has been a mirror of my changing process for four years. The breaking point occurred coming back from Barcelona when I had to bring back all of my 3 year-clothing build-up since I used to be a shopping addict. It was a real choc. I then naturally stopped buying from fast fashion brands and decided to change from scratch my way of consuming to consider more sustainable options.
Which values are you willing to bring forward through The Lemon Spoon?
The sharing, simplicity, local know-how, self-love, positivism, joy. All this with a touch of humor!
What are you the most proud of so far?
The person I was, I am and I’ll become. I’m quite proud of my journey and my personal development since this wake-up call. Being an entrepreneur is a life lesson and achieving this project allowed me to grow tremendously.
What is the biggest difficulty you’ve gone through and how did you overcome it?
Making this project financially sustainable with a viable economic model has been the biggest challenge since the beginning. In my fairytale world, at first, I wasn’t doing this for money but for awareness because it was a deep belief from mine to want to change people. But you can’t give it all as much in a system where you don’t survive if you don’t have money. I’ve been constantly living on the edge the last three years as I nearly full-time volunteered. Today, we’re starting slowly to find financial solutions. I had to really work on myself and my relation to money to be able to activate the financial aspect of the NPO.
"Facing your fears is what allows you to grow the most. You should never give up on your dreams and always push on despite the rough moments: you create your own reality"
What is the most precious advice you would give a woman wanting to take on her own adventure?
The most precious advice I would give is to follow your heart, your little voice and your instinct. Facing your fears is what allows you to grow the most. You should never give up on your dreams and always push on despite the rough moments. You create your own reality. Don’t be a slave of your own thoughts and mentality but make them beneficial to your heart and let the universe do the rest.
Any particular experience to share to those who want to take the plunge?
I’ve had to experience a burn-out to realize I had to take care of myself. The most important thing as an entrepreneur is first to listen to yourself and to take care of yourself. Once you’ll be good with yourself, you’ll be able to go far beyond in your projects.