How long have you been involved?
I have been working for Abrazi for almost five years now. For the first two years, I supported the team as a freelancer in social media, graphic design and business-to-business marketing. From my very first meeting with Arthur and Jelte, I actually already had a vision for the brand. Or rather; of the brand it could become in my eyes. When COVID-19 came around the corner, Arthur and Jelte gave me the chance to make my vision a reality, and we started repositioning and building the brand.
What is the most enjoyable part of your work?
As creative director, I am ultimately responsible for all brand communications across all platforms, both owned and external. A few years ago, I would have said that I like the strategic part best; thinking about where we are now, where we could be in six months or three years, and what action points are needed to achieve that as a team. But at the moment, the thing I love most about my job is the team we work with.
What is your go-to work outfit?
For me, I don’t really have a go-to outfit…. But I would say an oversized shirt with either slacks or (skinny) jeans, and combat or cowboy boots? And in winter a thick jumper considering I’m often cold.
Gold or silver?
Both - I always wear both at the same time. Not many people wear that, but I find it most fun to mix and match. I also often wear three earrings, one of which is silver, and four necklaces, two of which are silver, because I really like that kind of mismatch.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Get out of bed and take my phone off airplane mode, check if everyone is still okay, and then shower. I don’t have breakfast, so I’m always out the door pretty quickly.
Without what can’t you start your day?
That was coffee, but I actually try not to drink coffee anymore - you shouldn’t put this in there, that’s really stupid. By the way, just put it in, whatever. Latte coffee with grey barista Oatly.
Who or what inspires you?
Ugh, a lot of things. Seeking inspiration is one of the most enjoyable things there is to me. I’m constantly analysing what I see, what I hear, what other people, companies are doing. I listen to podcasts a lot - just love hearing people talk about certain topics. I also really like magazines, and not just Harper’s Bazaar and VOGUE, but also just The Gentlewomen, i-D and Cereal. I try to get inspiration not from social media, but from people who, in my eyes, really have a vision. I look up to women entrepreneurs who have made it far, whose books I love to read because I love to learn about their personal stories: how they started, what they encountered and what the pitfalls were. Then you come back to people with a vision.
How do you recognise that vision?
Well, when you look at Diane von Fürstenberg, for example, when she started her company there were very few women who managed to make it far in the fashion world. In her book, she talks about how she was brought up, why she made certain choices, what she ran into and how, despite having young children at home and being newly divorced - which you hardly ever heard of in those days - she kept her own train of thought every time. That she made her own decision time after time. I think when you can pierce through all the opinions and expectations around you - from friends, your family and society - and manage to make your own moves, then you really have your own vision.
App or Call?
Appen, Yes I app more than I call. I am also a very easy caller, but I am more likely to send a quick app than make a quick call.
What is your favourite dish?
Oeh, pasta, pasta with homemade red pesto from pienlaathaaretenzien. Delicious - but only when I make it myself.
What would you serve at your wedding?
Ohh, I think this is a really tricky one, what would I serve at my wedding, I don’t know. I think I would want a mega elaborate buffet with all snacks and things where everyone gets to fill a plate themselves, rather than actual food being served.
What did you want to be when you were little?
Haha I really went from place to place. When I was really little I wanted to be an artist, but that was really back in the day. I think there was also a serious period when I wanted to be a dolphin trainer, but I also realised pretty quickly that I wanted to work at the top of a big company. When I think 17, Steve Jobs’ book about his life came out, then for a while I wanted to be CEO of Apple - I really quickly put that to one side, though. But it really did go from artist, to dolphin trainer, to becoming CEO somewhere. And if I think about it now, I want to be a goldsmith when I grow up later.
What do you think is the most iconic wedding?
Kanye and Kim’s wedding. Yes, I can’t help it, when I think of iconic weddings I see that huge table in front of me, in Tuscany, Florence. With that huge wall of flowers.
Toscanini in Amsterdam, on the Lindengracht. Italian. You can eat really well there.
What is the best advice you have received or can give?
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” In other words: daring to think big will always take you further. What advice I give myself? I think something along the lines of: if you want something or think you might want something, don’t let fear guide you. Fear is not a good adviser - we can do a lot more than we think, but often don’t do it because we are afraid of failing. I would say try it, chances are that what you want will in fact just work out.
What is your favourite item from Abrazi?
The thick magic necklace in gold, which is the item I wear most often, least like to take off and which I always get the most compliments on.
Do you also have a favourite item from the men section?
I think the leather cufflinks are super cool. This has been something that’s been on my mind for a while, we already had wooden cufflinks and at one point I was thinking of other natural materials we could use. Puck and I then went to the hardware store to buy a hollow pipe so we could hammer rounds of exactly 12mm, and collected vintage leather by buying old bags at the Noordermarkt to then make cufflinks from these. The first one we made immediately looked so cool. In the end, eight different colours came out of that. This is still my favourite item from the men’s collection.
Yes, it may sound a bit corny, but I am extremely proud of what we have done as a team in the past year and a half, and I am very much looking forward to putting Abrazi on the international map with the team we have now - and perhaps with new people in the future.