From the street to successful entrepreneur
Diana Gabriels comes from the street. Many things that were obvious to others were not to her. This ended when her loving grandparents took her in. Her own parents were unable to take care of her. That is why she has been unable to create a frame of reference. However, that did not affect her own family. Her children Joanna and Ian are her everything and she is who she is because of her family.
The born in Rotterdam sportswoman and entrepreneur is convinced that if you put a child into the world, you have the responsibility to be a ‘primevel mother’. By that she means that you have to care for your children unconditionally. Gabriels believes that it is important for colleagues in her company to put their children first. ‘If you get pregnant, you will not be fired. If your child is ill, you will just stay at home’, says Gabriels. ‘Children get the highest priority at all times’, she continues.
I can be booked as a motivational speaker. Not only for entrepreneurs, but for everyone who needs a helping hand. I ensure that people with a positive vibe are left behind.
Standing still is going backwards
Now she eagerly awaits with anticipation for the day she can call herself a grandmother. Diana is of the personal approach, without fuss. This is what she says about her own life:
‘People think that a businesswoman like me does not have children and has no emotions. On the contrary, in business I am tough, but in private life I am a wimp. When I think back to when my son was born, I immediately become emotional. I started with a lonely life and many things that were self-evident to others were not to me. Maybe that makes me an odd one out. Nevertheless – or perhaps because of that – I succeeded in developing myself into a loving mother, a fanatical sportswoman and a successful entrepreneur. I like challenges and always strive for better. Standing still is going backwards. My motto is therefore: ‘It does not matter where you come from, it matters what you make of it!’
Diana’s passion for beauty
“My passion for beauty ensures that I can see something beautiful in everything. In a person, in art and in experiences”
Diana’s way to success
As a six-year-old girl I started with classical ballet and I learned what discipline means. When I was nineteen, I stopped dancing and decided to live in a way that suits me. A life in which I could be creative. I chose entrepreneurship. A choice that I could not substantiate at the time, but which I felt was good. Because of my passion for beauty I started a beauty salon that same year. A right choice, because work still feels like a party to me.
Joanna was born five years after my first beauty salon. I was a single mother, which was difficult to combine with entrepreneurship. Yet I did not let that stop me. On the contrary, because this led me to an idea for a new company: a gym for women. Tailored to their needs and agenda, with or without children. I sold my thriving beauty salon and opened the first gym first gym in The Netherlands. This immediately became a great success. Soon I decided to open a second branch.
Despite the success, after a few years I was ready for a new challenge. Development is of great importance to me. I decided to start learning again and followed a mental coaching training. I found out that I wanted to combine what I learned with my passion for beauty. During my training I started a consultancy and mediation agency for plastic surgery and obesity. I sold my two gyms so I could fully focus on this new challenge. This is now 28 years ago and I still work with a lot of pleasure in my own practice.
I still find joy in looking for someone’s beauty. What I have learned, after all those years of entrepreneurship, is that discipline and passion are two factors that you always need. No matter what you do.
My passion for beauty means that I can see something beautiful in everything. In a person, in art and in experiences. If you look well enough, beauty is always and everywhere. So also in you.
Photo: LINDA.Photography: Cornelie TollensStyling: Alex van der SteenMake-up: Serevine van Donkelaar