Just over two years ago, Robin Herrewijnen made a career change. She exchanged her office job for something completely different: full-time hula hooping under the name Robin Hoop. Since then she has taught many people to loosen their hips and train their entire body in a fun way.
Let’s start at the beginning: how did you get in touch with hoops? “A few years ago, I was at a festival in Amsterdam and I tried hula hooping for the first time. I found it hard the beginning, but once things went well, I was not able to stop. I ordered a good hoop the next day, and from that moment on, I brought it with me to the beach, the park, and even to birthdays. It was always Ro and her hoop. I signed op for hoop class and learned new things there. In addition to that, I learned tricks by watching videos on YouTube. Every time I returned to class, I could learn everyone some new tricks. At one point, I started teaching hula hoop classes with special tricks.”
Not much later, you left your office job to start your own business. How did that happen? “I have never understood how people can work at an office their entire life and work for a boss. I tried several things, but it started to bore me every time. As a result, I was always in one place for a short time. Then I accidentally started hooping, and things got serious quite quickly. I never thought hooping would be my thing, but I am very pleased it is. Although it was difficult at the beginning, because I didn’t know where and how to start. I would go to the supermarket to hang adds. That did not work. Then I started emailing events, to see if I could join them. As many people as possible needed to know I existed.” What events did you participate in? “The first year I joined Summer Sundays and Boothstock, both great events to participate in. The good thing about those events is that people would see me as an entrepreneur. That was a whole new experience for me. Around that time, I also hosted a workshop for bloggers to expand my network. Not long after that, I was approached by blogger Jennie from the Blog about starting a hoops webshop together. Within a week we had sold our first cargo. It was crazy. We also posted videos with basic tips on YouTube. A few months later, I quit my job. It was frightening at first, but now I know that people like what I do and like to join in a class or buy their own hoop. And the cool thing is that I have already teamed up with brands like Coca-Cola, Booking.com and L’Oréal. I get super excited when I get an email from a brand like that.”
Who is your target group? “For workshops and events, I focus on women aged 25 to 40 years. It doesn’t matter how old you are, working out and playing is very important. I actually do many different things for different target groups. I, for example, have been working for the program Lekker Fit! for more than two years now. This is a program to encourage children to work out more often. For this program, I teach at various primary schools in Rotterdam. I am proud to be able to work on this. It’s great fun to see the children moving to the beats of the music. Hula hooping is not really a common sport and it is often underestimated, but you can definitely get sore muscles from it!”
How do you differentiate yourself from others? “By keeping it simple, but being professional. I’m open and excited, and I do not like complicated things. I think people love that. I do this with a lot of passion and you can see that. I just want to spread happiness! I think if more people were hooping, they would be a lot happier and more relaxed.