Rare Bird

Fed up with office life, Nancy Veeken started her shop smack bang in the middle of the recession. Things could only get better. And they did.

Why did you start Rare Bird?
“I went to Montaigne fashion academy in Amsterdam and after my graduation I worked for years as a designer of children’s clothes. After a while I noticed it was starting to grate on me – making yet another collection each season. Designing wintercoats in the middle of summer, it just didn’t do it for me anymore. Because of a sad event, I came to a point at which I could change the course of my life. I wrote a plan and I visualized everything using mood boards. Of course everybody kept warning me about the recession, but I just thought: I might as well start something now, things can only get better.”

How do you like the combination of a ‘real’ shop and a web shop?
“I originally wanted to set up a web shop, but I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere on an industrial estate. Having both a shop that’s not on an A-location and a web shop was a great start. Customers know how to find me both ways. And I have great conversations with complete strangers every day. That was virtually unimaginable when I was still working for an employer.”

How did you figure out what kind of shop you wanted?
“Because of my work I used to travel a lot. On my travels I got inspired by special shops, as I could feel someone’s poured his heart and soul into his shop. That’s what I wanted. I currently sell a mix of old and new. For instance prints and illustrations I like. But I’m also selling the vintage and antique items my mum collected during her life. I couldn’t just sell them to some junk-dealer. So now they’re in my shop, together with my own collection of vintage stuff. In the future I’d like to design more myself, but all in good time. I am seizing the day, living my dream.”