Running a nationwide business from Twente

Student Lorense designs and sells sustainable clothing

In short

  • Lorense is 22 and has her own business while also studying Entrepreneurship and Retail Management at Saxion. Lorense designs and sells fun and sustainably produced clothing.
  • She serves customers from all over the country from her home in Enschede.

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This article is part of a series called “Twente Leeft!” (Twente Lives!). You can read personal stories here about living and working in Twente. Twente is a nice place to be, according to the talents we meet. The beautiful nature, space, the down-to-earth mentality; they all characterise Twente. There are also plenty of career opportunities! Twente has many innovative, international and future-proof companies that are desperate for staff. Want to know what Twente has to offer? You can find Lorenses story below.

Her entire family has been asking Lorense for fashion advice for as long as she can remember. Lorense Pen has always had a passion for clothing, hair, make-up, and accessories. She is 22 years old and from Enschede, studies Entrepreneurship and Retail Management at Saxion and has had her own business for two years. Her self-designed clothing, under the name Lorense, can be bought on her webshop and at 24 shops throughout the Netherlands.

China, Bangladesh and Turkey

Lorense was not able to find nice, sustainably produced clothing anywhere. Not in shops, not online. “Just some basic items, that was it”, she says. “I then thought: I’ll just do it myself. Everyone has always said I am good at combining and picking out clothes for people.” She designed several garments, including colourful dresses, in a short time. “I then had to start thinking about where I wanted to have my clothes made. China, Bangladesh and Turkey were not options for me since they are not transparent enough. My grandfather's brother works in the clothing business too, and he works with a family from Poland. That is also where I ended up. I had samples made with his help, and that is how the ball started rolling."


Lorense has already designed and produced an entire collection. "From sustainable fabric from the Netherlands", she says. "It is becoming increasingly important to take the environment into account. And I think that idea is starting to grow in fashion; we have to! But I also want it to be affordable. I make elegant clothes, but I want them to be available to everyone, not just people who can afford a lot."

Getting inspired

Lorense does not just market anything. “I design something, have a pattern drawn by a pattern maker and then have a sample made. I then wear it myself or ask others to do so for me, and I also wash and iron it a few times to guarantee the quality. Adjustments sometimes must be made so that the clothes become more comfortable or look better. I will only bring clothes to the market when everything is right.” 24 stores are already selling her clothes. “I have connections with buyers through my agency, which greatly helps. And I look around me all day to get inspiration for clothes and prints. I also keep an eye out on which new shops are opening up so I can contact them. My clothes are now being sold throughout the country: From Volendam to Roermond.”


Having a business in Twente works just fine, according to Lorense. "Amsterdam is, of course, the fashion capital, but it can also be done online. Especially Business to Business; Facetime works wonders. I would rather be here in Twente with my friends and family."


Living in Twente is nice for her privately, but it is also convenient for her business. Her parents and sister run the family business, Pen Caravans. “I am often at the company. I can learn a lot there that I can use as an entrepreneur, especially on the administrative side. And Twente is my home. I am not saying I would never move to the west or even abroad, who knows, but I am perfectly happy here for the time being. I like that the people are so down-to-earth and appreciate what I do. People from the west sometimes think I'm a farmer's girl just because of my accent, but that makes me laugh. It makes you stand out, at least!"

Twente Lives

Twente is the ideal place to live and work, according to the talents we meet. Want to know why? Read personal stories about living and making a career in Twente on Want to look for a job immediately? Then take a look at our extensive job site.

Contact information

Hogeschool Saxion
Ko Wierenga
M.H. Tromplaan 28
7513 AB Enschede
+31 (0)88 019 8888

Global Goals

Date: 8 July 2022 |

Source of tekst: Lorense |

Author: Maaike Thüss

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