Hélene Hoogeboom is featuring our Portraits (no. 22) interview today. Born in 1965, in the leafy village of Laren in the midst of Holland.
Being a member of the Hoogeboom family is equivalent to a sporty lifestyle. Both father, mother and brother playing high level tennis, field hockey and golf.
Hélene definitely inherited the sporty genes but devoted them to another discipline: horseback riding.
At one point during her teenage years, she had 5 horses to take care of. And was a participant of the Dutch national championships. In short, her youth revolved around horses.
This all changed when she moved to Amsterdam for university. Unfortunately she had to say goodbye her horses.
After university, one of her first jobs was in advertising. She started her own marketing company that was bought by TBWA. Hélène never left the trade and is Managing Partner at TBWA\ Amsterdam for 26 years.
This mother of two beautiful daughters, Liv (17) and Blanche (15) thrives on doing more than two things at once. Like being a board member of the Female Cancer Foundation and the STOP Foundation, which she enjoys very much.
Hélène lives in Amsterdam, is married to Onno for over 20 years and deeply in love with her family. And their dog, Baileys.
How do you feel about being over fifty?
I feel nothing that has changed at all. I feel very blessed and I have more energy and am fitter than ever before. Because my kids are getting older, their independence grows, I have more time to spend with my husband and with friends who experience the same phase.
We are all over 50 and live in the moment because I’ve experienced that not everyone will reach this age. That’s why I feel blessed.
Which age is your favourite time? Would you like to go back?
I don’t want to go back because I am a curious person. Don’t want to do things that I have done before, but I do enjoy watching my girls grow a lot. The future is now and I anticipate what’s coming.
What would your ideal day look like? No restrictions in time, money, people or locations.
I love to wake up in a place with lots of sunshine, so I’ll open my eyes in our family home in Algarve. My ideal awakening will be to get up early, go for a run with Baileys along the beach. When I return an extensive breakfast with fresh fruits from the market awaits. Together with my family.
After breakfast it’s time for a good cup of coffee. Confession: I’m an addict. This can be in any place but Miami is one of my favourites. I love cities that combine a beach, trendy surroundings, good restaurants, nice shops and warm weather. Like 365 days a year.
We either stay in the Fontainebleau or the W hotel. Can’t decide.
After lunch at The Dutch – what’s in a name – we all enjoy the beach together and lay in the sun doing nothing.
But not for long, Onno and I leave the girls at the beach to play a round of golf at Teeth of the Dog course in the Domenican Republic. After a great round we meet up with the girls again on the Swiss pistes of Crans Montana later that afternoon. Where we join the slopes with our friends and their children.
We finish our ideal day with a lovely dinner together at Tao in New York. During dinner – and a good glass of Bernardus Chardonnay – we discuss the next exiting place to visit.
From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
Several experiences. In my youth I had to take care of my horses on my own. This really built my sense of responsibility. Every day after school the first thing I did was hit the saddle and go for an outside ride to empty my head.
Starting student life in Amsterdam and joining sorority house in Amsterdam was a great time. Together with 17 girls,who became my friends for life.
I also learned from ending a long relationship with my high school sweetheart after ten years, at the age of 26. Breaking up is never easy.
But most of all the loss of my best friend Lidewij at the age of 48, mother of 4 boys and also member of the club of 17. This happened four years ago. This made me realise even more that life is precious. And that friends and family are the most important things.
What is your golden beauty trick or favourite product?
My best friend who passed used to say that we still don’t look 45+ because we started using very good creams from a very young age. Besides good creams – think Estee Lauder re-nutriv ultimate lift – I don’t’ drink (a lot), don’t smoke and sport several times a week at Akasha Spa in Amsterdam. That helps to stay in shape.
A well-known dermatologist – and lucky me, one of my dear friends – gives me secret anti-aging creams (yes, tretinoin)
Which book and/or film and/or music shaped/changed you and why should we read it?
I love the music of Oleta Adams. I just visited a concert from her again, but this time with my daughter. This woman has so much power in her voice, I know the song Get Here by head.
The last book I read was from my friend Jessica Broekhuis, STOP. We studied together and lived in our sorority house for 4 years. After her study, she also started working. But her life changed for the worse; she got addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling. After her rehabilitation, she wrote this fantastic book about that period of her life. She was out of sight for 20 years during this period and now we’ve found each other again.
We started the STOP Foundation named after her book. We inform teenagers in the age 14-17 via school programs about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and gambling.
Who should we follow on Instagram?
- @jineklive TV host. Great, funny and intelligent woman. Ambassador of Female Cancer Foundation
- @jennifermaryhoffmann Beautiful Dutch actress, also Ambassador of Female Cancer Foundation
- @vakkofashion Turkish brand that makes the most beautiful evening wear
- @vince classic, minimalistic American brand. Love their suede jackets
- @karlijn_visser founder of Holistik, a digital lifestyle magazine
What’s your favourite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?
- Destination : Algarve weather, coast and food, Miami for trendy hotspots
- Hotel : Four Seasons Ubud on Bali. Or Four Seasons Bosporus Istanbul
- Museum : Stedelijk Museum, Moma and Tate Modern because I love modern art
- Restaurant : Sazanka in Okura Amsterdam, Evaristo in Algarve and Zuma in Istanbul
What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your table? And which childhood dish best represents the time and place of you youth?
My new Daging Rendang recipe is very much-loved by my family. We love Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese food.
The dish I always requested to eat on my birthday was “Boerenkool met gehaktbal” as in Kale with meatballs…
Because I’m born in January, this is a seasonal favourite for cold days. Especially with the meatballs of Slagerij de Vries uit Laren. We still go there and buy them when I make kale, although we live in Amsterdam.
Trivia time! Make a choice and share your favourite brand:
- Nail polish or Lipstick?
Lipstick natural colours like Laura Mercier‘s Lipgloss bare pink
- Heels or Flats?
Both! Although I wear my Filling Pieces sneakers a lot these days, also to the office
- Dress or Trousers
Equal I love them both, depending of my meetings or appointments I choose what suits best for the occasion. For dresses Vakko and for trousers AG Jeans
- Coffee or Tea?
Coffee without a doubt. I’m an addict of coffee beans by Brandmeesters
- Swimsuit or Bikini?
Bikini now I still can, haha. And then especially Trina Trunk
Follow Hélène Hoogeboom on Instagram.
Fore more inspiring interviews, read our Portraits series.
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