‘Your branches can only reach high if your roots go deep’

It is quite ironic…as a little girl I hated shopping and I used to dress like a boy.

However, I did grately enjoy creating something out of nothing and around the age of 12 I discovered my mum’s sewing machine (that was collecting dust anyways). I asked her to show me how to pull a thread through the needle and I would figure out the rest myself. My first piece of art was a skirt made out of an old jeans. Of course I never actually wore it since…I did not like wearing dresses or skirts. Ready for my next mission, I bought a cheap purple satin fabric (what was I thinking?!) and started cutting a dress pattern. A dress, again! I think my inner Cinderella was trying to come out. I remember my dad seeing the cutted piece hanging around in my room and wondering who’s fabric it was. I bet his thoughts were: no..it could not really be hers?! Eventhough these little creative missions should have been my sign to pursue a creative career in fashion, a few years later, stubborn me chose to study International Business Administration. After all, I needed a ‘real’ job in the future.

Shortly after graduating it became clear to me during a walk with my husband down a boulevard in Tangier. A tree knows its identity and purpose, I did not. I was setting goals in all the wrong places, while my purpose should have been so clear to me. At that time, I still did not find a great love for shopping. Living in the urban agglomeration of Holland, it is incredibly busy in every shopping center. Therefore, like a man, I only shopped when I needed something and I preferably shopped alone or online. I am just too impatient to be standing in queues for smelly fitting rooms or the cash register. My taste in clothes had greatly changed over the years and the fact that I hated shopping, did not mean I could not highly appreciate fashion. Fashion, however, did not seem to appreciate me.

So when I was looking to buy some new clothes for the summer holiday, I stumbled upon one unflathering piece after another. Why did all tunics and dresses I liked have to have something wrong with the fabric, design or fit? Do designers not know that most women have curves? And when I finally found something I liked, it turned out to be a jumpsuit instead of a short dress. To make matters worse, finding modest pieces that did not require warm layers of clothing to cover my arms or cleavage for example, turned shopping into mission impossible. Finally, I ended up sewing my own maxi dresses.

Back to the boulevard…my husband told me what a lovely dress I was wearing and could not believe I made it myself. I told him about my struggles during my shopping spree in Holland and he said: ‘Well, surely you are not the only woman with those struggles? Why don’t you do something about it??’ I remember looking at the dark sky with bright stars. I was not looking for signs anymore. ‘Yes, it is time’, I said. The rest is history.