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New York

Monday, 17 September 2012 by Irene Hoofs


{nope that is not me in the picture but jewlery designer Zelda from the Netherlands}

Let me start with some personal words about my trip to NY last August. The last time I was there was in August 2001 when we were getting ready to move back to Amsterdam.... yes, about a month or so before 9/11...in a way I felt lucky that I had experienced NY at its best...or had I...? Truly incredible how this city has rebounded after going through such a traumatic episode...NY remains one of the most fascinating places that I know...

Living in NY has changed my life ... it gave me confidence and I started believing in myself.

It all started when I got this idea to develop my own stationery line. After 1 year of learning the basic Adobe illutrator skills and with the help of an illustrator my first collection was born and was sold via some great department stores. But even more importantly, I finally knew then what I wanted to do in life...so I have a lot to thank NY for... my business blossomed and organically grew to the launch of Bloesem in 2006.........................................[READ MORE]


{cards from my own greeting cards collection back in 2002}

Back to NY ... and knowing how important this city has been for me ... a little heartbroken my husband and I left the city, always telling each other that one day we will come back ... almost 10 years later I finally dared to go back. In an impulsive response to one of Jurianne's tweets I replied .. 'shall I join you?' I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to go back to the city I've held so dear in my heart all these years.

It was Jurianne’s first time in the Big Apple. Unfortunately, we arrived in one of the not so nice neighborhoods somewhere in Brooklyn. Driving through Brooklyn it all looked so nice but we kept on driving and suddenly the whole atmosphere on the street started to change, when we arrived at the B&B that we booked on-line...I decided not to step out of the car and asked the cab driver what to do ... he only nodded his head ... (recall the movie Coming to America... I am sure Jurianne must have felt this way on her first visit to NY...)... so we headed back to the nicer parts of Brooklyn and found ourselves a room at a wonderful boutique hotel... super friendly personnel...so we decided to spend the night (we could not stay the entire week...) and perhaps look for something closer to the convention center the next day... 

After sending out an "emergency" email to blog friends and old friends, Joanna Goddard from A cup of Jo was the first to respond and offered her home to us while she was away for the weekend. Thank you so much Joanna for being so generous... and we received several other offers...it made me realize once more why I love this city and its people (and blogging...) so much...very welcoming and always ready to help...we ended up staying in an apartment of friends (who I met when they were living in KL...) at the upper east side for the entire week ... Thank you Hickey family, we cannot beging to tell you how grateful we are...you are the best!

After our little adventure in Brooklyn it was time to focus on the New York Gift Fair... after all that was why we came to NY in the first place. But not before Jurinanne and I visited the High Line. In one word: FANTASTIC! Also fun to see how the meatpacking district has changed enormously over the years. I remember only Pastis being there when it had just opened...

Eating genuine raw food in one of the many great restaurants you find in the city was a fantastic experience and changed my perspective on raw food completely...admittedly, I started out as a bit of a raw food sceptic.... but I am a convert now and even downloaded some raw food recipes since I came back to KL and felt how different you feel after eating this fresh and healthy food... 

Back to the NYGF...my plan was to meet people and discover new designs. And I think I managed these objectives reasonably well...:) 

Meeting people was easy given the fact that we came with Tuttobene, meaning 16 Dutch designers sharing one booth together ... too many interesting people to introduce to you in one single post so I will be sharing my new friends and their work in the following two weeks with you...



During the following week I will introduce you to some of the wonderful people and designers I met at the NYIGF. 

..Tuttobene booth designed by Jan Habraken



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