Creative Adaptation and Entrepreneurship with Ingrid Ploem

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Ingrid hasn’t reinvented herself or changed career, but she has adapted her creative approach to the places she has lived, always building new projects. Ingrid CREATES, she likes to design, but also sourcing and product development. During her nomadic life she has found it easy to create creative entrepreneurial opportunities everywhere she has lived. 
In this new season, I want to explore the wide spectrum of meanings behind reinventing oneself.

I embark on a journey to discover the many facets of reinvention. It’s not just about a complete overhaul, but a chance to shed old skins and explore hidden potential. I’ll delve into the idea of reinvention as a continuous process, a dance between honoring the past and embracing exciting possibilities.

This exploration will involve questioning: What else is possible? 

 I’ll experiment with new ways of thinking, acting, and creating, embracing the discomfort of growth as a necessary step in this evolution.


Why I wanted you to hear Ingrid’s story

I admire her humble yet authentic approach to life and work. I love her delicate and sophisticated aesthetic.

Her creativity and curiosity led her to cross countries, age groups and art styles and interweave all those in what she created.

I saw in her journey a new perspective of reinventing as the ability to adapt

The impact on my journey: she planted the seed of my reinventions journey. I started my first entrepreneurial project after maternity.

How I met Ingrid and how she has impacted my journey

In 2010 I was living in Thailand, and ‌I had a young child. I did stop working for a local company as the Personal Assistant of the CEO. My interests and priorities at that time shifted to the world of everything baby. 

One day, my acquagym teacher (a reinventer herself too !) introduced me to a group of friends visiting from Vietnam. They were chatting about the current project of manufacturing baby products that involved supporting local sewing workshops. Their entrepreneurial mindset hooked me. It wasn’t the first time I met foreign women starting their own small business to overcome the obstacles of reentering the workforce.  

How she inspired me

I then started my own online business of baby products with a healthy/ethic/sustainable connotation. Ingrid’s products range where, of course, on my e-shop. The website is still online but not operative, just as a keepsake of my first entrepreneurial / reinvention experience: Here is the link if you want to have a look

Ingrid’s creative and entrepreneurial skills were pivotal in my personal and professional journey.

Creative Adaptation and Entrepreneurship 

Ingrid hasn’t reinvented herself or changed career, but rather she has adapted her creative approach to the places she has lived, always building new projects.

Ingrid CREATES, she likes to design and create but also sourcing and product development.

During her nomadic life she has found it easy to create creative opportunities everywhere she has lived.

Asia was an area where Ingrid could easily find an abundance of materials, workers and manufacturing facilities, compared to Europe with more established realities. Producing a small scale collection was doable in countries like Thailand or Vietnam. She could find small labs or workshops with whom to collaborate.

From a younger age, Ingrid had an interest in art and design. She is mainly a self taught creator, and attended many courses in the different countries she has lived. 

She also volunteered for an emerging design magazine while she was living in China.


Ingrid’s other talent: entrepreneurial skill

Ingrid’s main passion is ceramics. 

In every country she has lived, she always started a small entrepreneurial project. She would find local products she would like, produce a small batch of items in collaboration with local manufacturer and then resell it in small scale. 

Building Relationships and Overcoming Challenges

 When she was living in Vietnam, she met a Belgian ceramic artist and they shared artistic affinities. They partnered with a local manufacturer and started a small collection. These items were so well received from their customers that they opened a real shop, and started to sell overseas. At that point, the business became big. Investors, legal and logistic requirements were then needed to support the growing business. She felt that she was then less focusing on the creative part of the entrepreneurial project.

So they sold the business and moved on to the next adventure.

Moving countries often is a real challenge when planning or working on projects. Often it meant they had to hand over or sell the business after 3-4 years. This made Ingrid reflect on the impact on personal and professional growth and the uncertainty it brings to long-term commitments and development opportunities.




Allowing experimentation and embrace challenges brings exponential growth

Through my podcasting project, and listening to many fascinating stories of career change, I had the opportunity to study this phenomenon with a small case history.

When we allow ourselves to experiment without the pressure of judgment and fear of failure, we enable our experience to teach and guide us to define the project’s potential.

Once we have accepted to embrace the challenges that come with change, and persevere through the process, we open the doors to exponential growth. And this happens both personally and professionally. 

Check episode “Beyond the professional identity – With Linda Mueller  , on how volunteer work can be a possibility to experiment roles and highlight unused skills, and repurpose them in new ways.

Or “From TV Newsreader to Author, to Publicist with Nicole Webb . She wrote a book titled “China Blonde,” which documented her experiences as a Westerner living in China. The process of writing the book allowed her to reflect on her experiences and share her unique perspective with others. It also led her to a new role as a book promoter.

This unexpected career path became a full-time business for Nicole.


Creative projects: ceramics, jewelry, baby fabric products

A designer from the Netherlands approached her to manufacture baby products in Thailand, Ingrid looked at handcrafted items she found very skilled people. 

She went through finding the materials, finding the manufacturing facilities and product development. She had a lot of fun wandering around South East Asia for her entrepreneurial projects.

Working on small-scale projects means you can make an impact and work with people that make a difference. 

Volunteering is really important because it allows you to discover and fulfill your interests. It’s also a good way for trying new things and meet new people, without boundaries 

Ingrid suggests trying to find different people, causes and communities to mingle with, otherwise you end up being very isolated. Volunteering is also a great way to make friends and offer your time and time to causes that matter to you and the local community.

Ingrid affirms that for her, what counted the most in her journey was the people she met, that would determine her path.





Not knowing the timeframe of every assignment. This factor has an impact both on personal and professional projects. It should not prevent you from starting something new and meaningful because in the back of your head you know you’ll have to interrupt projects, leave people behind, and  move with your family.

Ingrid’s new project

Ingrid is now settled back to the Netherlands and is working on her major stable project. Her family decided to invest in restoring a 1740 heritage home. She sees it as her hybrid space to live and create projects around clay and textile. She loves connecting with the local community, and wants to go back to traditional ways of connecting: creating pottery, knitting and surrounding herself with like minded people. By working at this long term project (finally) she also feels the impact she can have in preserving an heritage place and make it alive with meaningful and creative projects that bring people together. 

Ingrid’s contribution and impact

She wants to make a contribution to the community with a positive and genuine approach.

Her lab wants to be a welcoming spot for everyone willing to participate in creative activities in her renovated 1740 Dutch house facing the river.   







Resources and Inspiration

  1. Do you want to brainstorm about your Reinvention idea, or learn how Coaching skills can help you develop your project? 

You can book a free introductory Coaching session here.

  1. Are you curious about Reinvention? Go download my free GUIDE: Your first steps 

You will see how easy it is to take your first steps by looking at :

a.How you perceive CHANGE

b.Your values and your personality.

c.What are you ready to put in place tomorrow 

  1. If you are ready to move forward and would like guidance and/or peers to work with: check out the Reinvention Revolution Program


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