CC Beyond Business
CC Beyond Business about a successful escortservice
On June 12th, owner Marike was interviewed by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (CC) Youtube channel Beyond Business. This was for the series “the dime that turned into a quarter” presented by the Bucket Boys, and is about her successful escortservice. Watch the episode below (in Dutch) and read a little bit more about what’s discussed.
The dime that became a quarter: escortservice
YouTube channel CC Beyond Business publishes inspiring videos about entrepreneurship that go that little bit further. In the series ‘The dime that turned out to be a quarter’ you see stories of 6 entrepreneurs who started with nothing. And then become successful by thinking differently, daring, and following their dreams. Follow the unprecedented paths of these creative entrepreneurs and read how their passion became a flourishing company.
Escort agency Society Service
Marike van der Velden runs the largest escort agency in the Netherlands. She started with not much more than a website and a telephone from her student room in Rotterdam. Society Service offers luxury dates with highly educated women. Now a multi-million company, with 500 to 1,000 applicants per month. Of which only a few are admitted.
A good idea that worked: a student at the university with new concepts for the escort industry. Van der Velden’s vision is clear: “The escort must do her work safely and with pleasure, with clear boundaries and a good balance between escort and client.” The political climate can make her business “illegal”. Because she also rents out real estate, she is not worried. “If you do something less common and people don’t like that, don’t worry about it,” says Van der Velden in the video as a tip to other entrepreneurs.
The Bucket Boys interview Marike and an escort of Society Service
Bucket Boys: Most people will associate escorts with the red light district, 50 euros for a quickie, tourists, but the woman we are going to visit today shines a completely different red light on the world of prostitution. Marike runs the largest high class escort agency in the Netherlands, but whoever thinks it’s about a quickie is wrong. It is about luxury dates with highly educated women who provide a real Girlfriend Experience. But, as a customer, that’s a rather expensive experience. Marike started during her studies business administration at the age of 21 from her student room in Rotterdam Society Service. What started with a starting capital of a few thousand euros has now grown into a multi-million euro company with a thousand applicants per month, of which only a few are admitted. She wrote her own book, and when she announced the launch of the Virgin Experience, all the media in the Netherlands were on top of it. This is Marike, owner of Society Service, the largest escort service in the Netherlands.
Marike: Many people have a certain image of the industry in which I do business, but as soon as people saw that I am very serious about this and this is also just entrepreneurship, that changed. You don’t need a lot of money to start an escort service, and we also were a bit creative with our expenses, for example, a fellow student who built the website. I started Society Service from my student room. I had a laptop and a printer on my desk, and that was it. For interviews with the press and applicants we went to a five star hotel around the corner.
Bucket Boys: Business is going well, and that was confirmed when Marike came up with the Virgin Experience.
Marike: The Virgin Experience really appealed to the imagination. Two university-educated ladies who start an escort service that is specifically aimed at men with little or no sexual experience. We received a lot of attention from the press, which immediately made us known in escort land. From there things moved quickly.
Bucket Boys: So… the Virgin Experience, whereby the escort is expected to give the client a familiar and safe feeling. Two terms that are inherent to Marike’s vision.
Marike: I think it is important that an escort can do her job with great pleasure, feel safe, feel that she can always say no and that her boundaries are respected. I think that sort of thing is more important than making more money. In addition to making clear agreements, there are also many things that are a lot less clear and that depend heavily on how something feels, how the connection is between the escort and a client. I try to find a balance between making and keeping clear agreements, and staying open, not condemning others and giving them the feeling that someone can say anything to you.
Bucket Boys: Marike takes good care of her ladies, she believes that’s is one of the most important factors is her success. We can talk to an escort from Society Service.
Escort: I first thought of doing this work because a little more than a year ago I was feeling very good about myself. I had always played with the idea and wanted to go for it. I thoroughly studied Society Service and Marike beforehand, so I quickly got the feeling that I could safely do this work there. The best thing about my work, for example, is the Virgin Experience, because you then notice that you offer someone a very special experience. You show someone intimacy in a very nice way and you learn someone with little experience more about it in a playful way. It is of course more than social work, because it also involves sex.
Bucket Boys: We are looking at the website of Society Service, how does that work?
Marike: Clients can select a nice escort on the website. They can filter on all sorts of characteristics, from the size of the buttocks to age and more. We receive between 500 and 1000 applications every month, so there are enough applications. Enough bookings as well, with about 10 bookings per day I am satisfied. The rates start at 700 euros for two hours, but on average 1150 euros are spent per booking. That’s for about 5 hours. There are also longer bookings of a whole night or a weekend away. One of the craziest bookings we’ve had was quite recently; a client wanted five ladies all to himself. That was very nice and special to arrange. Furthermore, there are some occasions where many people come to the Netherlands, such as the nuclear summit a few years ago. Those are busy times at our escortservice.
Bucket Boys: So if we understand correctly, Marike is thwarted in all kinds of ways, but if there is a political event where all kinds of prominent people from all over the world are present, she is sold out. That is hypocritical. If the hypocrisy breaks down and the industry in which Marike operates becomes illegal, she does not have to worry. She owns enough real estate to make ends meet from the rental income. That is a very good backup.
Marike: Whether my work remains possible depends of course on the political climate in which we live. A situation is conceivable in which my work is banned and my company is suddenly illegal. Fortunately I have enough room to do business in a different way.
Bucket Boys: Does money make you happy?
Marike: Certainly. It gives you the means to pay for the things that bring you happiness. The money itself is does not make you happy, but the knowledge that you have the freedom to do what you want to do and you have the resources for it certainly makes me happy. For example, I really like to travel, but that is very expensive. It makes me happy that I can travel.
Bucket Boys: Any tips for other entrepreneurs?
Marike: Just do it but be prepared to work hard. That is extremely important for a starting company, but that is not for everyone. However, if you find something that you are passionate about and enjoy, then you will keep it up. In addition, if you are going to do something that is not so common, do not care about what others think of it.