Renny Wiegerink works with Dutch and expat women in her business, Auryn Acupunctuur en Advies voor vrouwen (Acupuncture and Advice for Women), which is based out of her home in Delft Noord. From the eastern part of the Netherlands, she moved to Delft 25 years ago. She knows how it feels to have to move around in a strange place/culture. A long-time collaborator with Delft MaMa, Renny values being able to share her experience and knowledge as a native Dutch person with expats. When planning the Delftian Entrepreneurs Series for the DMM blog, I knew I wanted to start with Renny. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and join us!
I first met Renny Wiegerink of Auryn Acupunctuur en Advies voor vrouwen when I was pregnant with my daughter Violet. Violet showed no signs of preparing for her grand appearance when I hit the 36 week mark. At 157cm tall, I had been uncomfortable since week 30. My midwife referred me to Renny. I knew next to nothing about acupuncture but I was willing to try anything to improve my comfort, leading to my first appointment with her. That appointment was the beginning of several that not only helped my comfort for nearly 6 more weeks, but helped us prepare mentally for Violet’s birth.
How it all began
Renny’s background as a physical therapist and her master’s education in Human Movement Sciences led her to become acquainted with Chinese medicine and philosophy. “Like using my academic glasses to critically oversee the possibilities and limitations of both Western and Chinese medicine. Combining practical and scientific experience in treatment are of great benefit for me and my clients.” Her life experience and holistic views of human-environment interaction has also guided her advice for women, “doing their utmost best in all the roles they have in life.”
“There was also a very practical, and at the same time heart-supported reason to start my practice, to become an entrepreneur: I wanted to raise my children in our own home, and be there for them if I think it necessary. ‘Is’, because that still applies today, even now that the youngest has just turned 18.”
The name for the business, Auryn, Renny explains, comes from the German children’s book Die unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende (The Neverending Story), which she has good memories of reading (three times!) with her son, when he was about 8 or 9 years old. “In the book, whoever wears the Auryn amulet can rely on his intuition. The two snakes that hold each other in the tail are intertwined; like we humans are in different ways. The snake is of course also an important symbol in medicine. Thus, in my name and in the logo of my practice, my vision of life is anchored to illness and health.”
What she does
Founded in 2007, Auryn Acupunctuur & Advies voor vrouwen focuses on providing treatment and support for women’s issues such as:
- hormonal balance: such as problems with menstruation or menopausal symptoms, and abdominal complaints;
- fertility problems: with or without a medically identifiable reason;
- pregnancy: ailments as well as preparing for labor or facilitating spontaneous turning of the fetus in breech position;
- (breast)cancer diagnosis: acupuncture as an additional therapy, as support for side effects of cancer therapy, and a better feeling of balance of overall well-being; and
- chronic diseases and quality of life: support when having diabetes, rheumatic complaints, Crohn’s disease, thyroid dysfunction.
Renny goes further to explain the role that homeopathy plays in supporting the effects of acupuncture when necessary: “I endorse the idea that both food and medicinal resources are most appropriate when they grow and live in the environment in which one lives. Like when you have the flu: it fits better with your eating habits, tastes and digestive system to drink hot water with elderberry juice, than to drink a mix of strong smelling and tasting unknown ingredients. Unknown to your taste and smell and unknown by your digestive system.”
Running a one-(wo)man business, then and now
Her business is a one-(wo)man business (in Dutch, éénmanzaak), although she also cooperates with midwives in the Delft-The Hague area. Some of the biggest challenges she faced when she started her business included implementing her professional goals, setting up a serious business, and maintaining a good work-family balance. She learned to stay open-minded and that flexibility was very important. She also stressed the importance of setting goals for the short and long term and getting a coach. Celebrating every step forward with her children was also important for her, since having a home-based business meant it wasn’t easy to create time and space for her work. “Mammy is always around,” Renny muses.
Her current challenge is setting up an online platform for sharing her knowledge and experience with women who have feminine health problems. She says: “there is so much that you can do by yourself to feel healthier no matter what health issue is bothering you. This also applies when you care about being healthy, want to nourish your body and mind. That is what my online platform is about. The programs that I will be offering there are both self-sustaining programs and those that combine with treatment programs at Auryn Acupuncture & Advice.”
“I enjoy setting up this platform which is challenging in many ways: deciding which program to create first, recording videos and other technical stuff, learning new things and making important choices.” Renny stresses the importance of finding support for things you don’t know how to do, and having sparring partners. “And, I give myself the time to first dream and then develop it quietly… by being offline while working on this.”
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in Delft
For aspiring entrepreneurs in Delft, she stresses the importance of taking your business seriously, not “on the side.” Set a work schedule and stick to it, which is especially important for working alone and out of your home. Invest in your business and coaching. Lastly, Renny strongly suggests joining an entrepreneurs’ network (she’s a member of Dea Dia): “We see far too few expat women at meetings of Dea Dia. That is unfortunate, because you can get to know local entrepreneurs, women like you. In addition to networking, you can also follow workshops on (female) entrepreneurship; always with a nice drink afterwards.”
Go make your own mark, business or no
To run a one-(wo)man business doesn’t just mean having a valuable skill or commodity. It takes serious dedication and a desire to share your expertise. Renny has all of these, plus a wealth of information to share about her experiences. Her advice is helpful not just for people who want to start their own business—after all, everyone has something valuable to share with the world. Thank you, Renny.
If you have any suggestions for entrepreneurs you’d like to see interviewed as part of the Delftian Entrepreneurs Series, please contact us.
Author’s Note: Thanks to Renny for the valuable insights and resources she shared for this post. Some content from this post is also from a blog post on the old Delft INA blog (International Networking Association).
Starting your own business:
Starting your own business, information from the KvK (Chamber of Commerce) in English: https://www.kvk.nl/download/KvK_Brochure_SYOB_tcm109-400541.pdf