Working from home here in Germany has been a real nice experience since back in New Hampshire I live in the country and do not have easy access to a city there. Here I live in the city so I can take quick breaks throughout the day (without the hassle of a car) to grab tea with friends, walk through the forest (2 blocks from my house, it’s about 10x the size of Central Park), or go find inspiration by roaming a museum or visiting a small shop. A few minutes ago I needed a break, I was feeling sort of crabby and instead of giving into the bad mood I decided to shut off my laptop and visit a new design/kids store one block away. I thought that maybe this new store was feeling the same way because her shop had its grand opening today but the weather is gray and a bit draining. I imagined that maybe this shop owner, a lady I’d never met before today by the way, was sitting in her shop waiting to meet those in our little neighborhood here. I thought maybe this lady was alone and wondering if anyone would support her shop today. Then I imagined how I would feel if in her shoes. That thought motivated me to get out of my house and go welcome her to our hood. I live here now, I should treat this as my home and be a good neighbor. And not to sound like Little Miss Goody Two Shoes, but I remember my mom always taught me that when I’m in a bad mood the best thing to do is imagine someone else out there who may also be feeling bad or lonely and actively seek them out and do something kind for them.
When I walked in to Lillehus (located at De Ha?n Platz 10 in Hannover List), the owner Susan was sitting at a little desk writing (seated as I imagined! too funny!) and I was the only customer so immediately I introduced myself (in English) and she started speaking to me in English (always a treat!) and soon we were chatting and laughing and having a really nice time. She thanked me many times for coming in and seeing her, she said it was a wonderful welcome to the neighborhood.
I think I can say that mom is always right because once again, her advice taught to me as a child worked. And it worked in another way too…
See this light…
It was designed by Hannover-based textile artist Orike Muth. She is someone I really look up to, I think her aesthetic is gorgeous and so original, she screenprints by hand all of the papers that she uses for her lamps and lampions, and all of the textiles she incorporates into her potholders, pillows, etc. I’ve been looking for a table lamp from her for the entire 8 weeks that I’ve been here and could not find the one that I was looking for. I saw the perfect light on her website but she sold out and she is currently working on her new line so there was a good chance that I would not find one before I leave here in December.
The lamp I spotted on Orike’s website… I think I will add some trim to the bottom of mine with beads to dress it up a little.
When I walked into Lillehus today and saw THE light sitting on a table I nearly passed out. It was perfect! It was what I’d been roaming this city for, one design shop after another, hoping to find and never could find. And now it was sitting before me on a pretty white table. Not only did I buy it but Susan (the store owner) took 20% off of the price as a grand opening day present to her customers. Just another way that doing good to others always results in something good – not always a material object, often just a good feeling — but today I received both a happy mood and a pretty light. Not only am I back to myself again, but I met a nice small business owner and found the lamp I’ve been desiring for quite awhile. What you put out into the world comes back to you. Always. Don’t you believe that too?
As corny as it sounds, whenever I look at this lamp I will remember today and the happy memories along with it. And please, if you live in or around Hannover pay Susan at Lillehus a visit. She is so, so sweet and a bonus for expats is that she speaks great English. The shop is mostly for kids; she stocks lots of Maileg products from Denmark (my mushroom is above on my kitchen cabinet only 5,- Euros each!) and cute stuff from a few indie designers in Berlin. She is soon to expand into clothing for women and cute rain boots too.
(images from holly becker for decor8)