Veerle Akkermans from Utrecht started her shop filled with homemade items after she had to give up her studies due to a chronic illness.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
“I’m 32 years old and I live with my boyfriend Dennis and Sjoeke the cat. After high school I really wanted to go to art school, but as I didn’t exactly know which direction I wanted to take I first went to Italy to work and learn the language. After two and a halve years I finally ended up in Utrecht to study Language and Culture studies with a minor in archeology. Unfortunately, because of a chronic illness, I was unable to finish my studies and started my own business. Ever since Sinterklaas (a popular Dutch saint who hands out gifts to children who’ve been ‘good’ in early December) gave me a tiny sewing machine back when I was seven I’ve loved making things. I especially love old crafts, and the more fabric, the better: knitting, spinning, weaving, crocheting… After lots of practice I taught myself all those techniques and these days I sell what I make.”
What does creativity mean to you?
“Trying to make something original. I detest ‘prescribed creativity’; copying things from an example in a book, I just hate that. Other than that I love to see what your hands are capable of: what brilliant tools they are! Take crochet: you’ve got a thread and a stick, you move your hands and before you know it something beautiful emerges!”
What are your plans for the future?
“I’d love to outsource the web shop’s maintenance, so I’d have more time to devise and create new designs. The past few months my products seem to have drawn a lot of attention and I’ve been able to increase the amount of outlets where you can buy them. Since I have to keep a close eye on my health, unfortunately I have to say no to some requests. But I’d rather build up selectively and at a gentler pace than take on everything and exhaust myself in the process. I’d like to be doing this for a very long time: making pretty stuff all day and getting paid for it as well. Isn’t that just the best job ever?!”