nathalie robberse


When talking to fellow creatives, we often wonder: HOW DO THEY DO IT? To prevent Instagram stalking or doom-scrolling to figure out their secret sauces and success stories, we prefer to ask them face-to-face. Today: an unfiltered conversation with NATHALIE ROBBERSE, CO-FOUNDER at TEN WOMEN. Cover photo: courtesy of Nathalie Robberse


Before the pandemic, there was the girl-boss era. But the world has moved on. And a modern-day girl boss needs more than the corner office. Nathalie Robberse worked in fashion when she realized she missed a space to connect professionally and informally with like-minded women. Of course, there were press events within her work field, but small talk was the norm at those types of get-togethers. A community was non-existent; it was all about personal development, fueling one’s network, learning from peers, and having fun. And so, in May 2020, Robberse took the first step. The story of TEN (The Empowerment Network) started with an Instagram account. Within four months, TEN’s first event took place, and after less than a year, Robberse and business partner Luca Knegtering launched TEN Women’s first membership program. “I met Luca through the TEN’s Instagram page. We felt an instant connection and decided to run the company together. She’s TEN’s co-founder now.” Back then, there weren’t that many examples, and they decided to start. Through the years, they figured out what would work best for them and their target audience – leading to an annual membership, monthly events with talks and masterclasses, regular network drinks, photo shoots, a big group of international members, and an internationally reclaimed status. 

Also, read: Sia Arnika: “As I get older, I feel more centered – and it shows in my designs”


Since the start, TEN Women has been about fueling connections and opening unexpected doors, Robberse explains. “TEN was born because we missed something in the networking world: real connections, inspiring conversations, and unexpected doors opening. Through our unique events, we offer the knowledge we lacked when building our careers. It would’ve been great to meet mentors outside my network years ago. Therefore, at TEN, we unite to broaden horizons, share expertise, and lift each other.” 

How would you describe TEN’s main objective? 

“TEN is all about empowerment and connection. We aim to create a worldwide community. Currently, we’re working on a renewed platform, and we’re expanding our services across the globe. Our first TEN founding members in New York and Mexico City are a fact, and we’ve held our first events in those cities. We hope to expand, broaden our horizons, and connect our members worldwide. Human connections are the common thread in everything we do.” 

Nathalie Robberse

What are your plans for expanding abroad?

“To fuel worldwide connections, there needs to be a solid online platform to make it happen – and we’re currently working on it. We host international events quarterly for now, but we would love to set up TEN franchises since locals know best what their communities need. In Mexico City and New York, a couple of founding members are ready to give it a go. We discovered that there’s a need for female-led communities in those cities, too. However, the topics of interest for potential members vary from place to place and culture to culture. No size fits all so that a franchise construction will work best.” 

How do you decide on the year’s themes and programs?

“We decided on four overarching themes for the year ahead. 2024 is about Entrepreneurial Vision. One of the events’ themes is about The Power of Unlearning. We wondered: how do we tie our identity to the things we do? What habits define us? Many people link their identity to their comfort zone. For example, not being a morning person while the truth is limitless. If you realize so, a new awakening unfolds. Later this year, the central theme comprises Unconventional Strategies and Collaboration over Competition.” 

What hiccups have you experienced along the way? 

“Do you have a minute? At the start, Luca and I hosted the events on our own. Since we were starting, we had to, but it was challenging. We discovered it’s impossible to host an event, oversee production, present the talks, etc. Through the years, we’ve learned we don’t want to be the only faces of TEN; we like to carry our community together.

Nathalie Robberse

What’s the best part of doing the work you do? 

“Every day is fun. I like overseeing the company and surrounding myself with interesting people. Through TEN, I met so many incredible individuals I would’ve never met if I hadn’t started the Instagram account four years ago. It made me realize how the smallest actions can impact life tremendously.” 

Who or what is currently on your vision board?

“Building TEN networks in multiple countries. Outside TEN, I would love to generate a passive income. I’ve always pursued it, but I want to learn more. I think it’s wise to spread the risks you take. It would allow me to take bigger steps with TEN as well.”

What are you most proud of? 

“I’m very proud of my collaboration with Luca. Our fast-paced work style has made us great business partners. And, of course, we share similar visions and values, which helps, too.”