Dorothé Schiks shares her story in Portraits no. 26. Being born in October 1964 might have something to do with her favour for Fall season.
Together with Frans, the love of her life, Dorothé forms a composed family since 2002. From that moment on they were with seven, 2 daughters of Dorothé and 2 daughters and a son of Frans. Despite the fact that it has not always been easy, this complete family makes her a proud and happy person.
Dorothé started as a temp where she learned to work hard and connect to people. This was also the start of her career within recruitment and employment agencies. In short: from temp to managing director of Starjob for almost 10 years. She left the business after a succesful supervision of the merger of Starjob and Secretary Plus and co-owned a travel- and incentive agency. Only to learn that she really missed working with secretarial assistants!
In the meantime Dorothé married Frans, who owned Public Suppport. When this agency for management and board secretary assistants was in need for specialised trainings for secretary assistants, Dorothé started Public Support & More. One thing led to another and the company now organises custom-made congresses for secretary assistants.
Only last year Dorothé handed over her tasks, time to make a change and new plans. Embracing the privilege to choose what she wants to do. Looking back she can be short on her career so far: an amazing time with extraordinary people. A few of them still cherished as friends.
How do you feel about being over fifty?
I love this period in my life. I made special choices around my fiftieth and new things have entered my path. My recent withdrawal from the company made me realise how important having time is, it is unaffordable.
The time and space I have now after years of working fulltime is an unknown luxury! I go to a museum whenever I want, have spontaneous lunches with friends, going out with my kids, go to the gym during the day and help anyone when needed. And long daily walks with my darling dog, Nena.
I just received my interior styling certificate, something I wanted to learn for a long time.
Which age is your favourite time? Would you like to go back?
I enjoy the here and now and would not want to go back in time. New things come my way. Like taking part in a fashion show, I do that a few times a year and love it. It is rather hysterical thinking that now that I have turned fifty, I start doing these things.
Two years ago my first grandchild was born. When we heard that Susanne was pregnant, all I could think was ‘I do not want to be called grandma, that would make me feel so old’. Now that my grandchild Evi is two years old, I melt whenever she says ‘grandma’ to me.
What would your ideal day look like? No restrictions in time, money, people or whatever.
We wake up in the Serengeti, I will get my first cup of coffee in bed (something Frans has been doing every morning for the past 15 years, no matter where we are) in a tent in Dunia Camp. After an early morning safari, breakfast is served at the hotel Shangri-La Al Husn in Oman, Muscat. With sea view and the best eggs Benedict I have ever eaten.
After this luxury breakfast, I walk the dogs in the oliveyards at Cortijo el Guarda in Andalusian, Spain. A lovely romantic atmospheric B&B, where hospitality is as no other place and the five rooms are decorated beautifully.
We have lunch with the complete family on the beach at Curacao, picture the Brady Bunch. The afternoon is reserved for New York. Where biking and shopping go hand in hand. Highlight is attending a NY Yankees match with … a Coldplay concert during halftime!
In the evening we ‘ll have dinner at Alila Manggis, Bali, and travel to Alila Uluwatu to stay the night. I love Bali; the people, the colours of nature, the food and the culture, it really feels like coming home.
From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
My biggest failure is the wreck of my marriage to the father of my children. Looking back I have to admit I often let my own needs prevail. On a positive note, this also taught me that you are responsible for your own happiness. Of course, you do not have a direct influence on illness or death. But for most other things, you do.
It is all about how you deal with life and the choices you make.
Traveling and meeting people from other cultures learns me a lot about where I stand in life. Happiness is in the small things. That it revolves about internal power. Our last big traveling journey has been to Tanzania. I was taken off guard by the power of nature. It was an amazing experience to be the guest in this world where wild animals live together. The combination of this power and vulnerability has touched me deeply.
What is your golden beauty trick or favourite product?
Four years ago I started with eyelash extensions. Once every two weeks I have my eyelashes extended by Jeannette of Divine Lashes. I love the treatment, I find it so relaxing that I always fall asleep. I have not touched mascara in the past four years, I wake I up looking good!
To stay healthy, and because gravity is doing its job, I go the gym since about five years. First time in my life that I actually started sports. Now Frans and I have personal training twice a week. I also picked up tennis again, together with my tennis buddy, we play outside whether it is summer or winter.
Which book (and/or film and/or music) shaped/changed you and why should we read it?
My all time favorite film is Forrest Gump. It shows several decades in life of slow-witted Forrest Gump, great role of Tom Hanks, both the story and the humor gets me every time.
Music is a hard one for me, I can not choose between: Fix you by Coldplay, Jesus to a child by George Michael or my guilty pleasure Ich bin wie du by Marianne Rosenberg…
Who should we follow on Instagram?
- @ladyafricadfl A Dutch brand that brings African fashion to the Netherlands
- @Thebucktlistfamily young family that has been traveling the world for some years
- @amayzine for the latest fashion updates
- @karinbarnhoorn (honestly!) for traveling inspiration
- @obamafoundation to follow Barack but mostly for Michelle
What’s your favourite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?
- Destination : Rome
- Hotel : La Mamounia in Marrakech
- Museum : 911 Memorial in New York and Louvre, Paris
- Restaurant : close to my home, Den Ouden Heere in Lisse. Do order the papadum with raw tuna!
What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your dinner table.
My signature dish is Pasta Pesto. It is so easy that I often do not want to make it when someone asks for it, but everyone likes it.
During my childhood ‘different food’ was starting to get popular and my mother, an extraordinary chef, started to experiment with it. So Chinese food! Conimex made a good contribution to this.
Trivia time, make a choice and share your favourite brand
- Nailpolish or Lipstick? Nailpolish, preferably Rouge Noir by Chanel or gel lac in Ferrari red.
- Heels or Flats? Sorry, both… Heels, at least 9 cm, no kitten heel and preferably suède. My favourite flats are my personalised Adidas sneakers with ponyhair stripes!
- Dress or Trousers
Definitely dress! I love dresses, I have many of them. Like DVF, Max Mara and the Spanish brand Adolfo Dominguez.
- Coffee or Tea? Coffee. Nespresso Roma, the dark grey one, please.
- Swimsuit or Bikini? Bikini! Seafolly has the most gorgeous strapless ones.
Follow Dorothé Schiks on Instagram.
For more interviews of inspiring fifty somethings, see our Portraits series.
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