There used to be one corner in the kitchen that you would never see on my blog or Instagram account. Not a messy closet or an unorganised office, but the kitchen corner with our water dispenser. As we can’t drink from the tap here yet do take hydration very serious, that 20 liter water bottle was just a part of our day to day life. For boiling water we used an old fashioned kettle. Not an eye sore perse, yet a kettle that I would always put in the kitchen cabinet after use. So for me, as a stylist and a clean countertop activist, the Quooker is one of those items from my kitchen dreams
Quooker has it all
We have known the Quooker tap for a long time as it is a Dutch invention. Only recently, it became available in our region and I decided to jump on it. Because this tap has so many benefits. No more heavy water bottles to cary in, no more chemicals in the water, no more waiting for the kettle to boil, no more chilling of water. This tap has it all! And besides that, the black tap I chose is an absolute stunner.
The installation was quick and easy. The beauty of this system is that everything is installed in the cabinet under the sink. With this tap rocking the counter now, I am able to get filtered water, boiling water, and, as a total bonus for myself, sparkling water straight from the tap. All in the exact amount I need it in, at any given time.
Worth the investment
As you might know, we live in a rental home. But because it is so easy to instal, remove and re-instal, we will be able to take this baby with us to what ever new home we will be moving to in the future.
This Quooker has changed the way I start the day with my morning routine. It has made quick pasta dinners so much faster, feeding the kids in under 10 minutes (an essential when having active boys I have learned). And it has increased the amount we drink. The incredible esthetics and clean counter top makes this tap one of my favorite items in the house now.
So… January just flew by before being able to reflect on the past decade. A decade in which I not only became a mother, I also moved countries twice and started up two businesses that I am very proud of today. It is always worth reflecting. Looking back gives you the opportunity to see what went well and what goes on the improvement list. Looking forward allows you to set our business goals for 2020. And being focused on those got me from being passionate about styling to running my own business.
We did not get here overnight. We suffered from imposter syndrome for years, because being a creative and doing what you love can feel like a hobby. But now, six years after arriving in Dubai with an idea, I can say that my gut feeling has been my biggest driver. It got me started with Live Loud Girl, a blog where I would share my love for beautiful interiors. It allowed me to build a team of people I trust and can share ideas with. It forced me to make bold decisions, bluff where needed and grab opportunities. It pushed me to start the furniture business Fronteriors with Kath from House of Hawkes – a partner who others will refer to as my competition. And it challenged me to rent a proper office. Moving into Studio Fronteriors last year, has been a dream come true. It is the home to the Live Loud Girl, House of Hawkes and the Fronteriors team and the place we use for photo shoots and brand styling.
As interiors is kind of our thing, we have put effort, time and money into making this studio an inspirational place for all of us. Painting the ceilings and walls, putting in a wooden floor and adding furniture and accessories that make us smile when we walk in in the morning all adds up to our output.
Taking ourselves seriously (but not too serious… fine line…) and being professional is important for building our brand. We stay very close to what we believe in. Because if we don’t, who will.
Growth is essential. We want to stretch a bit and do things we never would imagine we could pull off. Being scarred and biting some fingernails is part of the fun.
It is not only about how much we make. We focus more on how we make it. The creativity prevails the financials. The fun overrules stress. And coffee always, always beats water.
If starting your own business is on your new years resolutions list, go for it. Here are our cliche tips that have worked for us:
Stop saying you will start, just start!
Speak to people about your ideas. Getting feedback is so valuable
Get out there and sell your product. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will
Work hard, work a lot. Having your own business means that you are working 24/7. If that does not excite you, make a new plan
The festive season is on our doorstep. It always seems so far away until you wake up one day and realize you are late for both getting the house decorated and doing the Christmas gift shopping. Buying useless gifts and things made of crap materials, is something that we didn’t really think about in the previous decade. Yet nowadays, we want to be more mindful about what we buy. We also want to think about where we buy it from. And we care about the lifetime of the items we gather around us. Besides that, we personally rather give our money towards a creative who puts passion into every item he or she produces in stead of to a large, un-personal chain.
One account that I always check during a coffee break is @bartsboekje. Maartje’s Dutch humor on her Instagram Stories makes us laugh. Her realistic way of photography makes us drool. Her destinations want us to pack our bags and go. Yet most inspiring is her drive for building this business from scratch. Like many entrepreneurs we admire, Maartje did not follow a straight road to become a travel influencer. She discovered her passion and talent whilst doing different jobs and created her own space along the way. To get a better understanding about how @bartsboekje got where it is today, we asked Maartje about her journey.