The Heroine’s Journey of Kitty Smeeten

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I love to create new products women really love. New products that make women happy and make it worth to say: hey Hands Off, this is my moment.

In my job I try to do everything to make this moment a super experience. From coming up with unique circles in a tablet for the best mouthfeel to testing till we find the very best taste, and developing fun packaging and posts. And with our products we support the women and farmers in Africa. I love to do business as a force for good.

Photo credits: Leonie van Someren

What is my idea of happiness?

To be your genuine self. This gives me a feeling of ultimate freedom.

What is my greatest fear?

To lose the ones I love.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I am very impatient. This sometimes makes it difficult for me to be in the moment and to enjoy what I am doing.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I admire Beyoncé. Not (just) for her music. Mainly for the way she thinks and lives: to dream big, work hard, keep learning & growing, and being focused on her goal. She refused to mess it up, puts strong women in key positions in her company, makes a positive impact on the world and empowers women. I love one of her favorite quotes from the inventor Charles Kettering. It goes as follows: “Our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future.”

What is my greatest extravagance?

Eating lots of chocolate every day.

On what occasion would I lie?

I really hate lying. I sometimes could make the truth look a bit better. But lying I truly hate.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I hate to do the administration. This because it is mainly information from the past and I love to work on future things.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

When we work together as a team and create great results together.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

To feel more confident while expressing myself in the media.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I’ve built a successful, innovative, fair, and delicious chocolate brand from scratch.

Where would I most like to live?

In a warm and free country

What is my most treasured possession?

My freedom

What is my most marked characteristic?

My ‘just do it’ mentality

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

The local foodhall Mout in Hilversum

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Restaurant Meddens in Hilversum

What books influenced my life and how?

‘Scaling up’ from Verne Harnish. This book gave me a lot of focus.

‘Invisible women’ from Caroline Criado Perez. This book shows that we are conditioned to view male as the default gender and to ignore or erase female experience.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Happy from Pharrell Williams. I hope that I can look back on my life as a very happy person on my last day.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Pippi Longstocking. She represents a person who has power but does not abuse it. And she is the symbol of women’s power for young girls. Since in mostly all hero movies the hero is male.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My mother for being herself and not being judge mental.

And my two grandmothers who were very strong and independent women. One of my grandmothers ran her own business as a taxi driver, which was very rare in that time.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Erin Brockovich. This film based on a true story shows how a woman almost single-handedly brings down a power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.

What role play stories in my life and work?

I love success stories from self-made entrepreneurs.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

I believe that you are responsible for your own success and happiness.

So create your own best life.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My husband is. I think we would never be able to work together, but we definitely keep each other sharp and on track.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022?

Davina Michell, Oprah Winfrey, Sainsbury’s UK, Tesco UK, Waitrose UK, ICA Sweden

What project, in 2022, am I looking forward to work on?

To work on even better vegan chocolate products.

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?

In the Netherlands, Germany, USA, UK, Sweden.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Passion will always be there and it keeps you moving.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

Marleen Basart, Manon van Essen, Kirsten Toeset

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