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.

140531_Saturday Market_RARE BIRD

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.”