Tessa Leenders


Tessa loves to work with both brands & people. Continuously driven by curiosity and integrated learnings from different sources. I keep exploring deeper layers of human expression & communication.

Learn more about Tessa here:

If you are an entrepreneur, what motivated you to start your own business?

Get more in touch with the results i’m delivering and the work I put in. Also better sense of when my work is out of alignment with the bigger picture of how I feel my life should develop/expand.

What does success mean to you?

Good question. There is not one way of explaining success if you ask me, different meaning in a different context. But it has to do with accomplishments – and obviously connected to what you think is worth accomplishing.

What is your mantra or favorite saying? (If it's a known quote, please let us know who said it first!)

There is no shame in wanting to go for the depths of life, if you know how to remind yourself of the lightness of the surface.

What failure taught you the most about life or business? What was the lesson?

I dont believe in failures I indeed believe in challenging outcomes that give you perspective. Ehm perhaps it has to do the most with pressuring other people, not leaving or holding space for them to make choices within their own pace, an because of the force and pressure I put on them – the outcome has been the opposite of what I wanted it to be. I feel easily pressured by others, and learned to give them the space I would like to have myself. And then the next layer, the lesson upon the lesson. They are not you, everybody has their own needs, not everybody is good at expressing that – so you should ask rather then making your needs theirs.

What's your favorite book - fiction or non-fiction! - in the past year?

I don’t have a favorite book.

If you could teach the world one five-minute lesson, what would it be?

I would teach them about the stated lesson above – that we don’t know what others think, feel, want and others don’t necessarily know that from us either. So a lot of the times you not receiving isn’t about another not wanting to give – they often don’t know what it is that you want to receive or are simply not capeable (this can have so many reasons) of giving it. So it’s not necessarily healthy to connect your sense of worth towards having or not having your wants and need met by others. And more about you being capeable of fulfilling your own and building better relationships that can possibly contribute to understanding yourself and others better. Something like that – this was free flow writing without overthinking the answer. So hope this makes sense when reading it.

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?

Stop overthinking – believe in taking actions – small steps and focus on what I do know and not on what I dont yet know. Sometimes it’s easier to add little things a long the way to make it better then waiting untill it feels ready. I know a lot of people have been embracing this for a long time, for me it’s new, taking small steps, showing up imperfect, making mistakes and not beating myself up for not knowing things. It’s ok to not now, when you’re curious and proactive enough to want to learn how to do it better next time.

What does women's empowerment look like to you in action?

I don’t necessarily feel the need to put (women) in front of empowerment to answer this question. I think empowering others has to do with showing vulnerabilty, opening up, and acknowledging the things that go well, and yet feel comfortable asking people (and yourself) what the lessons were from the things that went less well. There is empowerment in creating space and comfort in talking about both sides – that feels balanced, truthfull and honest and is a good basis for empowerment.

What would you tell 19-year-old YOU?

You are allowed to take time and space to feel your losses, to cry if you are sad, to be angry when someone treated you badly and to speak about being and feeling alone. You don’t have to do everything yourself, and people will not think less of you when you don’t feel that you have it figured out. It is ok to do not know.

What will 86-year-old you want you to know TODAY?

You are telling yourself lies – and that is hard for a person that values trust and honesty as much as you do yourself. And having a powerfull voice like yours makes it difficult not to believe what you are telling yourself. Start using that voice to share better stories and find ways to think less. You are capeable of handling all that you feel, surpression is only distraction.

Does anyone call you by a nickname? What is it?

Deleenders, it’s my last name with ‘de’ for it. Mt father felt bad that our last neem would not be passed further (having 2 girls) and I though using the name would be nice to build some kind of legacy haha.

Congrats! You just met a Genie in a Bottle. You get three wishes. One can be worth $0-100, one is worth $100,000, and one is worth $100 million. What are your wishes?

I would pay someone a 100 dollar to explain this question – I feel there are several ways to interpretate it. Which makes it difficult to answer. Not sure if I can get a house somewhere for 100.000 but I would invest it in a place where I can feel grounded. The 100 million would be a sum I would like to invest in a foundation that in some kind of way would help people with (mental) illnesses. I know there are plenty of causes important, environment – wars etc. yet I do think if people start feeling less shit they would project less shit on others; animals, environment, people with less power. So that would be my focus point in life – people that feel better, treat everything around them better, so it’s kind of a multiply effect to work from that wound and let the healed people heal stuff around them that make them feel better.

What is your favorite quote? (It can be yours or from someone that you look up to.)

Can’t think of any right now

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