Kids in Ibiza are proud to showcase a series of hard working Ibiza Mamas who have built their own business empire. This week we present you with entrepeneur and mum of three Selina van Hulzen-Heitman who is a qualified dance instructor, Montessori primary school teacher and recently founded the first Dutch speaking school and educational programme on the island.
What brought you to Ibiza?
We moved to Ibiza as a family 4 years ago now, when my third child Ziggy was just 3 weeks old. We previously lived in the heart of Amsterdam in a small apartment juggling a busy working life; myself a dance and primary teacher and my husband an architect.
We visited friends on the island 2 summers before this and came away feeling that a part of us belonged in Ibiza. Not long after, a friend found us our dream home in Morna Valley and my husband and friends went over to finalise the move and prepare the house for us to move into.
Tell us about your children:
Mads is my oldest child and he is 8. He’s a typical young lad, enjoys school and being around his friends.
Lou is a very active 6 year old. She loves tennis and ballet and also now does some modelling.
Ziggy is the baby of the family and now 3 years old.
Nurseries and schools in Ibiza – what have you chosen for your children and why?
Mads started school in Amsterdam, where he didn’t take well to day care or school. We were therefore worried about him adapting to the local Spanish school in San Juan. Fortunately, he loved it and adjusted well to learning both Catalan and Castellano. As time progressed, we felt that the teaching was a little outdated and that learning English would be more beneficial than continuing with Catalan. He is now at Morna International College; thriving, super happy and funnily enough he received an outstanding achievement award in Catalan.
Lou began at Benirras nursery and continued onto the local primary school in San Juan. After 1 year, she attended the Mandala school for a short transition period and has since also moved to Morna. We felt this was the most consistent and sensible step and she is super excited to be at the same school as her big brother.
Ziggy also went to Benirras nursery, moving onto the local primary in San Lorenzo. Being the youngest in the family, he has found this transition a bit tricky and is still very clingy to his mama at the school gates.
Tell us about your business:
I am a trained Montessori and dance teacher. Upon arriving in Ibiza, I chose to settle the family in first before pursuing any work interests.
After a year, I got the itch to work again. We built a little casita to use as a guesthouse for friends and acquaintances. My husband is an architect and owns Ibiza Interiors, so this was the perfect opportunity to showcase his work and style of interior design.
Not long after, an opening became available to teach at my daughter’s dance school. I began teaching dance and also trained in Barre, which is a combination of Pilates, yoga and ballet. As part of my ongoing training, I first had to teach adults and after 6 months began teaching children as well.
My passion for classroom-based teaching was never far away and with that in mind I decided to start a dedicated school programme taught in Dutch. It felt such a natural step and the classes are currently based at Morna College and take place after school. I will be running a dance, languages and sports programme in the summer. I am also extremely pleased to have already gained some accreditation for the Dutch school and due to receive a bursary from the government to support the school’s development.
What’s your mama trick to manage work and family life?
On the weekends, we have 1 day reserved for a social activity; party, play date etc. and one day is reserved for family time. When I first moved to the island, I had every intention of being a liberal mama but then one of my kids didn’t sleep through for nearly 2 years. From this point onwards, I have enforced strict bedtimes and structure to the day, and this seems to have done the trick.
We are very fortunate to have an onsite housekeeper, who makes the day to day that bit more manageable.
What’s your favourite day out with your family?
We love to go to the beach nice and early and enjoy a picnic.
The kids also love to stay at home and just play.
What’s your best day (and night) spent on the island when not working and off mama duty:
Formentera for sure. It is the perfect escape and so beautiful there. On the island I would choose lunch at the beach with friends.
I’m most definitely more of a daytime person, however if we do have an evening without the kids, we enjoy a nice alfresco dinner with friends.