My passion for what I do goes back to childhood when my career started at age 5 by assisting my dad with his carpentry business. But it has now come full circle after 20 plus years working with objects in retail that I have honed a childhood passion into a lifestyle, creating objects in my own working studio in Amsterdam.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with a variety of retailers in several different capacities. I have worked as a merchandise manager and buyer with established brands like Conran – Habitat. I also spent 8 years with Anthropologie. When I started working with Anthropologie they were a small company with 10 stores and when I left as the company’s Visual Director, we had grown to 80 stores. I learned a lot about myself in those invaluable “growth years” with the company. I was surrounded by an aesthetic that I found compelling and I was inspired by the beauty and possibilities in reclaimed objects from Europe.
I moved to Europe to begin my own business collecting objects gathered from markets. It was a natural transition from my life and job in the States. Part of my process is to search for objects that I can manipulate, recreate and bring new life to. The brainstorming of how I will recreate an object is a challenge I enjoy – making objects more beautiful and useful. I also learned that I needed to get back to touching the objects not just trying to display or sell them. I missed the tactile.
My father, the one I loved helping as a child, is from Holland. I have always been drawn to Dutch design and the respect for the craft that my father displays in his work. So, when the chance presented itself, I gladly packed-up and moved to Amsterdam to set up shop. I bought a bike, picked up the most loyal business partner, McDuff and Swarm began.