One of the nice things about Lifework is it lets us visit workspaces all around the world. I came across Menno Van Eijk’s 1001Vintage on Etsy. The amazing range of pieces caught my eye so I started digging and found out it’s not just Menno, who is based in Amsterdam, that is behind the store. There’s a collective of design hunters that include Audrey and Nataliya who are also in Amsterdam and Mari Luz who lives in Madrid.
These four friends share a passion for eclectic furniture and homewares and travel. “Me and my friends have always been interested in different cultures, eras and art,” says Menno. “It came naturally that we became vintage traders. We decided to join forces and 1001vintage was born! We all have our different talents, which makes 1001vintage a versatile bunch. From time to time we come together in my studio to take photos or to discuss our plans. Mari Luz has a thing for Spanish retro kitsch, rustic items and mid century design. Nataliya likes German porcelain and Belgian glass. Audrey is into industrial items and lighting. I have a ceramics and lighting fetish. I love everything mid century, especially Scandinavian, German and Dutch design.”
When it comes running the store they share the load pretty evenly. ”We work together on photography, listing, writing, research, sourcing new items and even interior design,” says Menno. “And we also visit other European cities together to get fresh ideas and look for vintage gems. Last year I went to Paris with Nataliya, and to Berlin with Audrey and her boyfriend. We’re visiting Mari Luz in Madrid in March and then we’re all traveling to London after that.”
Their plans for the future include a new shop with vintage apparel and accessories called 1001flair. Over the course of this week we’ll visit each of their home offices and learn a bit more about what it takes to run this kind of a business. First cab off the rank is Menno.
“Even though I have a wonderful studio in an old warehouse located in the center of Amsterdam where I work on my graphic design projects, ceramics and take photos for our shop, I sometimes just feel like staying home and work at the dining table, because that way I can indulge in my other passion…food!
I started selling items from my personal collection, because I feel it’s important for me to learn to let go of things. This way I can actually appreciate them better, since the memories remain and somebody else gets to enjoy the items too.
As a result, almost everything in my home is for sale. I like to see it as a rotating, ever-changing collection. I have a thing for German porcelain Op Art vases, Dutch and Scandinavian lighting, and primitivist sculptures, which adorn my living room and work space.
The downside of working from home is that it’s quite hard for me to stop and turn off the computer. I tend to work till late at night and always feel that there’s something to be done. The dining table is probably where I spend most of my time when I’m at home. It’s where I draw, make phone calls (with the other 1001 members), create new designs, read, eat and laugh.”