Want to see a little loot from a recent shopping trip? I mentioned last Friday that I hit Hema, a Dutch department store with eight locations in Germany, one of which happens to be near to me. I first discovered it while vacationing in Amsterdam (my travel review here) last Fall and I’ve been hoping to get back ever since to spend money I don’t have. :)
My friend and I hopped the train and headed up to Oldenburg (charming old city, great shopping district) where we spent the afternoon drooling in Hema where things have the most adorable packaging, the prices are right, and the selection is great. Here is a glimpse of some of my loot, what I could fit in my tote anyway — I’m so glad that I don’t have a car, I’m certain I would have spent a lot of money on more cute ceramics!
My favorite departments include the home accessories and kitchen goods, stationery, kid’s toys, and the snacks & candy! Oh the candy! I love the prices too – super affordable. For instance, the small blue cups were under a euro each and the aqua mugs were under 3 euros. All of the ceramics shown above, including the gray bowl, white doily-patterned plate, and the snowflake silver/white bowl was only around 13 euros ($20 USD)! That’s a great deal. And the white candlestick holders were around 10 euros for the pair. I love them, they look great with my aqua candles I think. :) I love using aqua in my home in the winter, it’s an unexpected color to add to my lilac, black, grey and white/cream mix but with the silvery accents that I have around and the ethnic prints and patterns I think it’s a gorgeous hue to work in to my wintery look.
I am so glad that I found a Target equivalent here though I think Hema is smaller and has a bit more to choose from when it comes to cute stuff like postcards and ceramics. If we had taken the express bus from Oldenburg over the border to the Netherlands I heard that we would have been able to shop at a much larger Hema — but we did not have the time so we’ve agreed to head back in a few months, perhaps with a car, to hit the next one. I am already excited for my next Hema trip!
Have you shopped at this store? Did you like it? Aren’t their postcards the best?!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
It was nice to hear from Jennifer Causey today, as I’ve followed her work since the beginning when she was just a wee budding New York based photographer and now she’s working for clients like Chronicle Books, Real Simple, Anthropologie and Time Out NY to list only a few. She just opened a pop up shop for the season to feature the work of some of her favorite photographers who do not sell their work elsewhere, Molly Wizenberg (New York), Brian Ferry (London, I recently wrote about him here), Shari Altman (Vermont), and Laina Briedis (New York), along with her own Simply Breakfast 2010 calendar.
Looking back in my blog archives, I found this post back from the summer of 2006 where I praised her work. It was fun to go back and read that… And it made me realize that so many of us built our careers before an audience of people online and how supportive and wonderful this community really is. I mean, think of your favorite bloggers — especially the big ones. Did you know about them before they started their blog? Most likely not. And most likely, they were not even in their current profession back before their blog launched. It’s so interesting to follow one another around online and to witness this growth. This, to me, is why blogs will always be different from a magazine. In a magazine, you see ONLY the best work. The pruned, the stuffed, the polished… And a lovely flipside too but…
Online it’s a different world. You see the not-so-polished become polished over the course of months, years even. You witness the birth of new names, watch their success grow, and then attend their book signings. Go back to some of your favorite blogs and find their very first post. Read a few posts from their first 6 months blogging. You will get a different version of the person you know today — maybe less secure, more vulnerable, a bit afraid even… I think this is a great reminder that we all start somewhere, usually at ground level, and build and build until we reach higher grounds. And then we build some more. On a macro level, it’s why we love Oprah and others in the spotlight who grew due to their supportive fan base. And on a micro level, it is why we love some of our favorite bloggers who are moving on to explore other avenues or who, like Jennifer, are opening up pop shops to support her friends — photographers that she believes in. Jennifer is such a rock star.
It’s exciting and motivating to consider all of this, don’t you think? And I think it is inspiring to new bloggers and those just entering creative fields for the first time to focus on this fact: Everyone had a first moment in this community so if you feel scared or unsure please don’t. If you’ve ever looked at someone else and their success and thought, “Why Bother?” then I encourage you — yes, bother! Muster up the courage and do your thing. Go for it. We all deserve a place and for those who jump in a go for it, you’ll find it. Don’t worry. :)
(images: simply photo)
Interior designer Maha recently talked about creative director and shop owner Niki Jones on her blog (here) and I fell instantly in love with this online store in Scotland. I love the ethnic prints and patterns and the strong contrasts, especially all of the white and black. Does white and black ever go out of style? It doesn’t seem to be the case, it’s such a classy, seductive palette. It’s good and evil brought together to form a passionate dance, one trying to lead, but neither succeeding because the balance is the beauty of their dance. That is why I think that the collection of Niki Jones is so stunning. And it’s not all about white and black, there are other colors brought in to add spice like purple and red. Those strong jewel tones that are so popular this time of the year.
So, who is Niki Jones you ask? Niki trained at the Scottish College of Textiles and the Royal College of Art in London before working at Habitat as textile designer and style coordinator. She then got into ceramics and worked as a design director at Wedgwood. Moving out of London, she went to Scotland where she started her own brand of household goods because she couldn’t find well designed and well crafted pieces that were special, online or even in London as she says that she, “became aware that there was a real lack of choice (in London) if you were looking for something a bit different and special.”
In her line, you can find Uzbek textiles, knitted and felted goods from countries like Iceland, furniture with bone inlay, mirrors, rugs, French antiques, optical patterns, embroidery and hand knotting – details she insists on and that give the home personality and style. I love that black silhouette chair, is that not stunning?
Okay and the kitty… I wish I could order that sweet little creature! :) Meowwww!
(images: niki jones)