Designer Spotlight : DRAAJ – Fresh designer on CROWDYHOUSE
This monthly selection is also a great opportunity to introduce you to one of our brand new designers: DRAAJ. DRAAJ is an independent studio and workplace located in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The DRAAJ collection consists of handcrafted objects designed by the artist, wood turner and musician Karim Eharruyen. With loving devotion, he works on these objects in his atelier Houtzaagmolen De Ster, which happens to be an ancient saw mill. Karim does not consider himself as a creator, but rather a discoverer of existing forms and structures. He does not want to impose a specific meaning, but just passes on what the earth already offers. He invites you to play freely with the objects, feel the shapes, arrange them as you please. Give your own DRAAJ (twist) to them. Wood lives. Each piece has it’s own history, a story that is reflected in the growth rings, the grain and the knots. Like a human being, every wooden object therefore is unique. Karim nurtures these stories with compassion and let them flourish in his objects. He works exclusively with sustainable timber. With wood species that have grown up not too far away. If possible, he offers found wood a second life. Because recycling materials often have rich stories to tell. And recycling reduces the impact of the production process on nature. DRAAJ objects can be obtained, among other materials, in oak, maple, pear and walnut. Discover his store on CROWDYHOUSE.
If you want to discover CROWDYHOUSE best catches make sure to check this page!
Tell us what you think about our december catches in the comment section below 🙂
Meet Golnar, Ruben and Bilge. They are 3 designers and good friends, and are initiators of Form&Seek. Form&Seek is a young collective of designers and right this moment they are presenting their work at the London Design Festival. We think Golnar, Ruben and Bilge have a very exciting story to share. Have a nice read!
FLTR: Ruben, Bilge and Golnar
What is Form&Seek?
We are a dynamic collective of young designers. We gather designers who are interested in both the functional and poetic appeal of design and believe that objects have the power to communicate meaningful messages and new ways of looking at the world. By placing our work within the familiar framework of everyday life, we aim to innovate and provoke discussion.
Why did you start Form&Seek?
We started Form&Seek in 2013 with a group of friends in London as a platform to show our work to the world and give creative talents the opportunity to do this. It is difficult for young designers to bare the cost of exhibiting and international design shows. We wanted to have this opportunity through sharing the costs and responsibilities in order to have our own shows. Through Form&Seek we are constantly creating an ever-evolving network of designers who are challenging design and looking at it from diverse perspectives. It allows us to have a place in the design through creating a context and environment of our own.
If you can define From&Seek in one word, what would it be?
FRESH – Form&Seek gathers the newest and freshest ideas together.
How many designers are part of Form&Seek?
It varies, we started with just 9 designers when we first showed in Istanbul Design Week in 2013. This year in London Design Festival we have 30 designers showing with us. Since 2013 we have created shows with 72 different talented designers.
How do you select designers to be part?
Form&Seek is by invitation only. We look at what sort of work the designers are doing and think about the process behind the work. If we find the process and material interesting and if the work fits the show theme we will invite them.
At this moment you are exhibiting at London Design Festival, what is the show all about?
We have two shows at London Design Festival. The show in Boxpark is based on the concept de-construct/re-construct. The work we have selected for the show play with this idea through the process involved in making the work. Here all the work on exhibition will be available to purchase as well, which is very exciting for anyone wanting new and unique design pieces. Our second show based on the same theme will be held at London Design Fair in the Truman Brewery. Both are within the Shoreditch Design Triangle.
What can we expect to see from Fom&Seek in the near future?
Each year we are growing larger. We started with 9 designers and now we have tripled the amount of work and space needed. We have big plans for Milan Design Week now. We are now working on taking Form&Seek further from a collective of exhibitors making their own work to a brand which will hopefully be able to take on a collection of objects to produce under the F&S label. We would also like to have opportunities to curate other shows and spaces.
SHORT AND PERSONAL QUESTIONS
What is your best quality as a designer and what would you like to improve?
Golnar: I feel I am open minded and don’t dismiss anything as impossible. I’d like to be able to turn more ideas into a reality.
Ruben: I am quite versatile and comfortable in different disciplines. I would like to improve my leadership skills as we are starting to grow as a studio.
Bilge: As designers we should be able to understand and create new human behaviors and habits. This all leads to stories that design objects tell and the user feel that they are part of the story. I believe in my work I am able to tell good stories. In the near future I would like to work with different mediums and scales to challenge myself.
What is the best part of being a designer in this decade?
Golnar: connection to the whole world. I love that we can travel the world doing what we do. Meet people from other cultures and influence and inspire one another.
Ruben: You have the freedom to build a company and do many things yourself that used to be very difficult to be done.
Bilge: I believe we live in an era that people understands and values design which i feel very lucky.
What are your biggest struggles as a designer?
Golnar: keeping up
Ruben: To know when to stop and to know when to push something further.
Bilge: Designing process is always an emotional roller coaster, it actually doesn’t happen overnight. As a designer i need to play with the material understand the processes to be able to design. Since the craftsmanship slowly leaving the cities it is getting harder to be part of new craft techniques.
If the sky is the limit, where would you be in 10 years from now?
Golnar: Living a nomadic, creative life between continents.
Ruben: I would like to have a hub where design, art, music, food and theatre come together.
Bilge: In 10 year i would live in London and have a huge airy studio in a very green neighbourhood where i can make a big mess:).
The person I admire most in the whole world is…
Golnar: my parents
Ruben: Nelson Mandela
Bilge: Vincent Van Gogh
My favorite music artist or band is…
Golnar: I really like Joan Armatrading
Ruben: Mos Def
The most important thing in my life is…
My guilty pleasure is…
Golnar: Catching up on sleep
Ruben: Red Wine and cheese
If I could have a super power it would be…
Golnar: teleport from Europe to Australia and back
Bilge: Flicking my finger and getting what I want
My favorite city in the world is…
Bilge: London so far but I need to see much more in the world to answer this, so ask me in 10 years
This month CROWDYHOUSE is celebrating its third birthday and the launch of their brand new website. CROWDYHOUSE started three years ago as a crowdfunding platform for design, transformed into a rebel with a cause within the existing design industry. CROWDYHOUSE works with selected raw and talented designers with an exciting uniqueness and connects them to the crowd. Founders Mark Studholme and Suzan Claesen are looking back at their journey and explain what the ‘new’ CROWDYHOUSE is all about.
Three years ago CROWDYHOUSE started in the uprise of the crowdfunding market. Mark and Suzan, whom both have a background in the furniture and design industry, have a lot of passion and compassion for what they call the ‘undiscovered designers’. This group of young and talented upcoming designers is main group they facilitate. When CROWDYHOUSE launched as a crowdfunding platform the aim was to help these designers raise funding to set up a production line and directly sell to customers.
Mark & Suzan, co-founders of CROWDYHOUSE
The platform kicked off with 20 different products online, based on the crowdfunding principles each needing a minimum number of orders before the designer would start the production. Shortly after the launch CROWDYHOUSE grew fast in number of products and designers to fund on their site. The response from customers on the products was very positive, it became clear that there is a huge consumer need to buy something different from all mainstream design products out there. However, selling the products through crowdfunding turned out not to add a lot of value. Many designers were able to deliver directly and were mainly looking for a suitable platform to sell their work.
After taking in these learnings Mark and Suzan took away all the parts, including the crowdfunding concept, that were distracting from the most important and exciting part of CROWDYHOUSE, the raw and talented designers they bring together on their platform. With the launch of the new website the vision for CROWDYHOUSE has never been more clear.
Mark and Suzan feel the commercial system of the traditional design industry has led to a rather uniform pool of established designers, working for a rather uniform pool of well-known brands, selling to a rather uniform pool of consumers. With CROWDYHOUSE they are working towards a world filled with a wider variety of design. That’s why they open their doors to design talents that are blessed with an exciting uniqueness. Even for the super edgy ones with a small commercial audience. Not just any upcoming designer is suitable to join their club. Their creations must be unforeseen and outspoken. They must be skilled enough to produce high quality products suitable for daily usage. And most importantly, they should be absolutely passionate about their work.
‘When the right people are gathered in the right way, the whole becomes greater, perhaps much greater, than the sum of its parts. Gathering the right people at the right time in their lives, in the right combination of talents, is our core business.’ – Suzan Claesen
Beyond the limits of the traditional design conventions CROWDYHOUSE creates the right conditions for upcoming designers to be discovered. They encourage designers to develop design that is off the beaten track, and offer a platform that intensifies their designs and gives them instant credibility. CROWDYHOUSE creates a platform for designers where they are free to add some swag to the design industry. By removing the obstacles between designers and design fans worldwide their goal is to enhance a more personal connection. Currently CROWDYHOUSE is selling products to customers in 58 different countries worldwide.
‘Having talent is something. Yet marketing it and getting noticed is completely different. We see designers with skills that are both undeniable and unparalleled, but they still seem to stay undiscovered. It’s exactly these raw talents we want to connect to the crowd.’ – Mark Studholme
Many designers that joined CROWDYHOUSE at the very start have experienced the impact the platform has had on the growth and recognition of their studios. Tjalle Niehof and Jasper Kuil from studio ‘Van Tjalle en Jasper’ are a great example of upcoming designers on their way making name in Europe. They were one of the first designers to join CROWDYHOUSE. Over the past years their studio grew in popularity in the industry and sales through the platform allowed them to further develop their business. Today they are a profitable studio selling their work all throughout Europe. The role of CROWDYHOUSE is giving them the needed exposure connecting them to the right people interested in their work.
‘CROWDYHOUSE played a big part in us being discovered as upcoming design studio’ – Japser Kuil
Tjalle and Jasper from studio ‘VanTjalle&Jasper’
For ceramic designer Jasmin Djerzic, CROWDYHOUSE was one of his first online sales places. He produces his products himself in his workshop. From the moment Jasmin joined CROWDYHOUSE he quickly noticed people discovered his work through the exposure on the platform. He started selling many products and even struggled to keep up production. Jasmin’s vision is that design should be affordable for everyone. Right this moment Jasmin is expanding his production line to make his products available for a larger market.
‘I am proud to be part of the CROWDYHOUSE family, it is fantastic to be able to present my work among so many like minded designers’– Jasmin Djerzic
These designers are on their way to take the next step, a level up from an upcoming to an established studio. Mark and Suzan believe it is a good thing designers spread their wings and have ambition to grow big, even when they started small on CROWDYHOUSE. At the same time they welcome new upcoming design talent they connect to the crowd.
What to expect from CROWDYHOUSE the coming years? CROWDYHOUSE believes the design industry needs some spice. They aim to do that by going off the beaten track, and add some swag to the design industry. CROWDYHOUSE wants people to feel instead of think, to laugh out loud instead of giggle and to be orange instead of grey. Within the traditional design industry CROWDYHOUSE is the rebel with a cause, the real deal with a feel.
Keep an eye on the new website where CROWDYHOUSE will continue to surprise you with the most unique products from Europe’s most exciting designers.
Our fresh designs/monthly selections are back again! This time we have combined two months that mark both the end of the spring and the beginning of summer; and with that mood in mind we have chosen the best new designs on CROWDYHOUSE for you to enjoy! From special furniture for your living room, to perfect additions to your home decoration and useful designs for the outdoor season, this monthly selection is going to get you in the mood for summer. Keep reading to find the best products for designers all over the world on CROWDYHOUSE.
Like, comment and share with your friends! If you want to look for the designs on CROWDYHOUSE you can find them here:
Laura Bin recently launched their latest product The Rising Balance candleholder exclusively on CROWDYHOUSE. Please find below the press release and launch statement by the designers.
The Rising Balance candleholder inspires the dynamic between two great elements: earth and fire. While your tea light burns and becomes lighter, the circular stone follows the movement downwards. While in transition, the two elements remain in constant equilibrium.
The Rising Balance candleholder consists of three brass components, which were cut into shape by water, before being carefully sanded, polished and folded by hand. The circular stone is made of basalt, a volcanic rock, and counterbalances any tea light with a maximum diameter of 39 mm.
About Laura Bin
Designers Laura Klinkenberg and Bin Xu are engaged with developing the label Laura Bin. The Rising Balance candleholder is Laura Bin’s first entry towards accessible products, considerable time and effort is spent on the design process. Besides form, function and interaction, Laura Bin seek to find content within their work. Currently Laura Bin is involved with the sale of the candleholder and is waiting for suitable circumstances to launch its next two designs.
The full press release and high resolution pictures can be found here.
Studio Hamerhaai, located in Haarlem, Netherlands, was created by couple Niki Schoondergang and Boudewijn Van Den Bosch. Their love for wood with a life drove them to create the now famous Rijkswachters, design robots made from wooden crates in which the works of art of the Dutch Rijksmuseum were kept during the decade the museum was under construction.
They’re smart, they’re fun and they’re great! Read our exclusive interview with Niki and Boudewijn, and find out more about them and the story behind the Rijkswachters.
Boudewijn, 40, graduated from university with a degree on Chemistry. However, he pursued a career as a sound engineer and director in TV. He also had a passion for designing and making furniture, which started as a hobby, but then became his full-time profession.
Niki, 32, followed a career in the world of theatre and TV. She was a freelance producer and researcher, as well as organizing corporate events and teaching event management at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht.
They met in 2003, both working in TV, and fell in love. After Niki started helping Boudewijn with new designs, sales and finances, they soon decided to focus full-time on their design projects, which is when Studio Hamerhaai was born.
About their work
Tell us about the story behind the Rijkswachters, how did you come up with the idea?
In general, we use a lot of transportation crates for our designs. We love them because they have cool prints on them (text as “this side up,” “handle with care,” arrows, glasses of wine, umbrellas, etc.), and the wood is of good quality (because they ship across the world, so it has to protect the pieces). At one point we realized that we needed more crates to meet the demand for our designs. But who in the Netherlands had more of those transportation boxes?
Boudewijn had a brainwave. In that period the Rijksmuseum was under construction, and all those artworks should had been stored somewhere, which would have probably been boxes, right? Bingo! We were a bit too early (about 2 years) but the summer the Rijksmuseum opened, we were able to pick up the boxes with a truck (or 4 🙂 ).
Those boxes had been in the depot for more than 10 years and we discovered there was an accurate administration to manage which piece of art was in which box. It really made sense to have such an administration because ALL the art of the Rijksmuseum was stored. That’s 1 million pieces of art!
The people working at the depot had cared for them with so much love, it was really great to see. And they were very happy their waste could get a second life. So we combined the boxes (and their accurate administration) with our love for robots, and we designed the Rijkswachters.
How has people reacted to the story behind the Rijkswachters?
We really loved the Rijkswachters, so we put it in the open. The response was (and still is) really great! People really like the robots and love the idea of retracing the origin of the material.
It first was a side project, but it has taken over our business :-)! It’s now the foundation of our studio and gives us room to design and prototype our other ideas. And yes, we still have many boxes left and yes, we still enjoy making robots!
You are both life partners and business partners, how is that like? What are the good things and challenges of working and living together?
Our private and business lives are totally intertwined. We are our own bosses and we love what we do. We work hard, but try to have as much family-time together as possible. (So yes, we stop working at times, but when the children are asleep we’ll work again!) It has its perks, but also its downsides. For example, you can’t really complain to your spouse about the discussion you had with your colleague at work because it’s the same person! Ha! 😉
What is Niki’s strength? What is Boudewijn’s strength? Do you think you complement each other as a couple and working partners?
Boudewijn is full of ideas. He always sees the possibilities of a situation and manages to make something out of (almost) nothing. Niki is an organizer and loves telling stories, no matter which medium. She’s very precise and uses her helicopter view to keep the studio on track.
So yeah, you could say we complement each other!
How is it like being a mother/father and a designer? What are the perks and challenges?
Our eldest was so proud her father came to her school to make some market stalls for the school. The whole class helped, using real screwdrivers and hammers. Talk of the day! I think we face all of the challenges balancing work and a family as any parent. We’re so lucky to have their grandparents nearby, and they understand the challenges (being freelancers in the arts themselves).
What is the most fulfilling aspect of being a designer for you?
It’s still so cool to make stuff you love, and other people like it so much they want to give you their hard earned money. It makes us proud.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Creating every day.
What is your least favourite part?
The noise in our workshop!
Quick Q&A with Niki and Boudewijn
If I could choose one thing to take to a desert Island I would take…
The Avalanches with “Since I Left You”
I can’t start my day without…
If money and time were not a problem I would go to…
Buy land close to the city, where we could live, have a spacious garden with a kitchen garden (moestuin) and have a workshop, workspaces for other makers and a gallery (yeah, even more entwined business and private lives!)
When I am not working I love to…
Boudewijn: listen to music and go to concerts
Niki: sew my own clothes
If I could have a super power, it would be…
Boudewijn: No more needing to sleep (you have twice as much time!)
Niki: I would love to fly. (but first I should overcome my fear of heights ;-))
Meet Jantine and Vivian, together they are April and May, one of the most influential blogs in the design industry. Jantine and Vivian believe there is a story in everything. Together they create, inspire and curate.
Recently April and May designed a new collection of mirrors for Loof. Loof is a Dutch furniture brand that loves working with wood and honest materials with a natural finish and a serene geometry.
Vivian Hoebe, one of the founders of April and May: “A mirror is an item we use every day, this especially made us so enthusiastic to come up with a beautiful design. A product that we cherish every day and with a handy shelf as a great extra to combine function and aesthetics.” With this collaboration Loof underlines its ambition to collaborate with inspiring parties and to team up with those who hold the same beliefs.
By adding this mirror to the collection, Loof enters other rooms besides the bedroom. Mirror Sight feels at home in the hall, the bathroom and the living room too.
Mirror Sight is beauty with a function. The design with the rounded corners gives the mirror a serene and elegant look, the thickness of the plywood ensures a bold edge. Mirror and oak veneer are combined in perfect balance. On the shelf of Model S and Model M is room for small products, such as perfume, a scented candle or jewellery. Due to the thickness of the plywood and the bevelled edge, the mirror stands out against its background: something beautiful should not be overlooked.
Recently April and May joined CROWDYHOUSE. Next to the Mirror Sight collection April and May has designed beds for Loof. CROWDYHOUSE is the place where they show their own collection in one place.
Summer is coming! That means great weather for outdoor plans, weekend getaways and fun in the sun. CROWDYHOUSE loves summer, and we wanted this year to be a special one for you. Therefore, we have selected some of the best products available on our website that we think will make your summer 2016 an unforgettable one. Whether you are travelling, hosting a barbecue, or planning a beach day with your friends and family, we made sure to have at least one product for every occasion. Take a look at what we are talking about!
The Sac Marin is the perfect bag to explore a new city, to go to the beach, or simply to use every day during summer. This cotton duffle bag was designed after sisters Valérie and Caroline Hebel realized the need for a perfect bag to use while travelling; one that was light, big enough for your personal belongings, and easy to carry.
They dye the cotton themselves and make sure to produce each bag with care and love. Marin et Marine offers a variety of colours and sizes for you to choose your perfect summer bag!
With the wheel bench by Weltevre, you will never have to worry about finding the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the weather, as it is easily movable and it only takes one person to do it!
Perfect for your backyard, to enjoy the sunset, a nice meal, or simply taking a break outside. The wheel bench is made out of oak wood directly from The Netherlands, and it is an invitation to create your perfect spot, wherever that is.
After a long day, settle down and enjoy the sunset. You can take the field chair to the park, the beach, or your friend’s house. It is easy to transport and super comfortable to give you the rest you deserve.
The field chair is made out of wood, inspired by a clever, well-known farmer’s construction and offers the perfect sitting for what summer is about: relaxing and enjoy.
Summertime calls for celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with a bottle of nice, cooled wine? That is why the “Hat” wine cooler is so cool! It not only keeps your wine cool, but it is also an incredible design that will give style to the occasion.
What better way to relax than by rocking back and forth while listening to the waves come and go? That’s why we think the beach rocker by Weltevree is a design you want to have this summer. The beach rocker is simple, yet beautifully made and designed to never go out of style.
Available in two variations, red and blue or yellow and green, the beach rocker will make your summer even more relaxing.
Summer season equals patio, terraces, and balcony season. Manuela Balcony Table allows you to enjoy a drink, a coffee, a smoke, or anything you want in the comfort of your own balcony. It is designed for those small European balconies that are not big enough for a complete table and chair set.
The name comes from Manuela Malasaña, the Spanish neighbourhood in which the creators of the table had the amazing idea of designing a small table without legs or installation requirements for summer balcony season!
The beach chair by Weltevree allows you to enjoy your summer days in the beach, while being authentic by choosing a classic but beautiful design.
The beach chair is available in two variations, red and blue or yellow and green, which refer in a subtle way to the horizon, which always looks different depending on the environment and time of day. With the beach chair, your summer days in the beach will be special.
The idea comes from a German bourgeois tradition for regular meetings with friends and always at the same place.StammTisch by Niruk is everybody’s individual mobile meeting point – in the countryside, in town or even at home.
The Guidelight by Weltevree is a must have this summer. It is beautiful, practical, and serves for every occasion. Whether you are going on a camping trip, or just want some decoration to light your patio table, the Guidelight is useful for any situation.
Available in green and red, the Guidelight will turn any unexpected spot you land in into your home.
Our number one summer product for 2016 is the Daddy’s Fire plate by Daddy’s Brand! Summer season calls for barbecues and outdoor cooking, the Daddy’s Fire plate is the perfect design to have for it.
Pour a drink, throw some wood on your fire and place the plate on your fire pit. Daddy’s Fire plate is always stand-bye for all your grilling, roasting and baking experiments. Place the iron plate on your fire pit or self-built fireplace, it’s as easy as that!
We have showed you the designs we think will make your summer great. If you want to see more products for the summer season, make sure to check out our 2016 outdoor collection. Now it’s your time to decide what kind of summer you want to have!
Dora Kloppenburg is a Dutch designer located in Utrecht. Following her childhood dream of becoming a designer, she launched her own brand Dorain 2013 specializing in shoes and accessories.
Dora Kloppenburg is mostly inspired by the Russian constructivism in art and architecture. She cares deeply about the quality of her designs, as well as knowing her raw materials are produced in the right working conditions, in the most sustainable way possible. Her work is simple and clean, with special details that make it unique.
CROWDYHOUSE had the opportunity to sit with Dora Kloppenburg and talk about her story, the meaning behind her work, and the unique way in which she designs her products.
I started at the Technical School for Pattern and Fashion Design, and after that I studied fashion and textile at the KABK (Royal Academy of Art) in The Hague. Later on I switched to product design at the HKU (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht), where I specialized in designing and making shoes.
What does a typical working day involve for you?
Every day is different. My day usually depends on the orders, the events or the trademarks I have. Some days are mostly about emailing and ordering materials. Other days I produce new stock, and others I work on research for new products.
How did you get to where you are today?
I always wanted to be a fashion designer as a kid, that is why I started studying fashion. But later on I wanted to learn to work with different materials, so switched to product design. Now I mostly design fashion accessories. I think this is a great combination of both: drawing patterns, stitch the leather, and sew and sandpaper all the wooden parts.
Where are you based and why?What do you love about it?
I am living in Utrecht for one year now. I lived in The Hague for eight years, but I wanted a change so I moved to Utrecht. I love that it is a really young city with a lot of creativity.
Dora’s creation process
Can you tell us a little bit about how you started Dora?
After my graduation I worked at a textile design studio called Tas-ka, as a designer and product developer, and learned a lot about having your own business. I was really curious about that, so I started my own brand.
I think it took me half a year to create a saleable collection, which was a big step for me, because I mostly created conceptual designs. The BLOCKS collection (see 4 Block Necklace Zebrano) was my first wearable set of designs. I presented the BLOCKS (see Block Hairband Beech) collection on the Dutch Design Week and from then on I got different selling points for my products.
What has been the most exciting thing that has happened so far?
All the adventures it brings me. My exhibitions on the Dutch Design Week, my show on the Amsterdam Fashion Week, and one of the most special things was a big exhibition in a huge museum in Leipzig where my work was the opening of the exhibition.
What is the worst thing that has happened?
All the financial things that come with having your own business.
Could you tell us a little bit about the process involved in designing Dora products?
I do a lot of research in the library. I like to be there and find beautiful books about new artists. After collecting new inspiration I start to translate this into form and colour studies. I almost never sketch; I like to make 3D models. I have boxes full of old models in my studio.
Do you have a favourite part of the design process?
Yes! Making the models and translating all the ideas in my head to a 3D model.
What is the most painstaking part of the process?
If it is a product that should be for sale in stores, you have to think about what is realistic. How much can the material cost, how much time do I spend on it… I like that challenge; but sometimes it is also great to make free, autonomous work, where you don’t have to think about what is realistic.
How long does the process of hand-making a wallet take?
I think a wallet takes me an hour. From cutting the leather to sewing the model.
Who, where & what inspires you?
For my graduation shoe-collection ‘REMOTION,’ I used the Russian constructivism in art and architecture as a starting point. I researched constructions that are driven by mankind, just as Oskar Schlemmer did in his ‘Triadisch Ballet.’ The shoe-collection is a series of constructions that show the movement of the feet and use man as a machine to drive the construction.
From this collection on, my biggest fascinations are construction and structures that can be changed by the user, but in a smaller, simpler way. You can also see that in the jewellery and leather goods that I make.
The series BLOCKS is a jewellery collection inspired by wooden play blocks. The user can explore the different possibilities of the jewellery and play with the blocks. The jewellery is handmade in the Netherlands, made out of residual wood from the shipbuilding. Different woods are used such as walnut, mahogany and beech.
The series FOLD is a leather goods collection. This collection plays with the in and outside of the products. What happens on the inside becomes visible on the outside in colour and form. The wallets, cardholders, key chains and bags are all handmade in the Netherlands.
Do you use sustainable or recycled materials?
Yes, I do! Every product is handmade in the Netherlands from residual wood and eco-leather from a small tannery in Germany.
Why is this important to you?
I think it is really important to know where the products you buy come from; if it is made in a good working condition, if the materials that are used are as environmentally friendly as possible, etc. I also think that you will get a better quality product if you do this, and it is really worth spending your money on.
Do you make all the products by hand? If so, why is this important?
Yes, I do. It is important because I like to know if every product is made the right way and if the quality is good enough to be sold.
Where do you source the raw materials?
The leather is from a small tannery in Germany, and for the wood I work together with a woodworker to use his residual wood for the jewellery.
What are your plans going forward; do you have any exciting new products or ideas in the pipeline?
I would like to work on an affordable shoe collection. Also, I would like to produce some of my products in a nice factory, with good circumstances.
Quick Q&A with Dora Kloppenburg
If I could choose one thing to take to a desert island I would take…. My notebook. Then I would have all the time in the world to think about new ideas
I can’t start my day without… a good breakfast. I love eating!!
If money and time were not a problem I would go to…. a year trip with our new camper driving to Morocco and further.
When I am not working I love to… sleep, eat, chat.
If I could have a super power it would be… to never be tired.
Het Financiele Dagblad features CROWDYHOUSE’s co-founder Suzan Claesen
In February 2016 Het Financiele Dagblad mentions Suzan Claesen on the list of most successful platform founders.
The Dutch business and finance newspaper includes the CROWDYHOUSE’s co-founder among 5 profiles of successful start-up founders.
In their article, Het Financiele Dagblad presents personal stories of the platforms’ founders, focusing on the motivation behind their businesses and ideas for future development.
According to the article there is a growing need for online platforms in society. CROWDYHOUSE and other global businesses like Uber, Airbnb or Catawiki are becoming more and more popular due to the raise of a platform generation.
The article closes with a forecast for the beginning of a platform revolution.