Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen both started as visual artists. She as a photographer, he as a sculptor. Nowadays they create design furniture that isn't exactly ordinary. Despite the fact that they come from a small village called Evergem, they have a strong international position. In this video they tell about what they consider to be important in their way of working.
Watch the video here:
Hannes: “We were actually working as visual artists. Fien as a photographer, me a sculptor. We'd always wanted to do something together. So we decided to start making functional items. And the rest is history.”
Hannes: “It started with Interieur Kortrijk, where we met a lot of international retailers that wanted to work with us. And we got the opportunity to go to Milan to show our work. That allowed us to make more international contacts.”
Fien: “We're always looking for an interaction between an object and its environment. I think we chose the right moment to act, because people payed attention." Hannes: “We were on an island, as it were. We didn't know what was going on around us. I think that's how we made something new that hadn't existed before.”
Hannes: “The first objects we created, were things we wanted in our own home. We had a couple of objects made and we couldn't wait to try them out at home. But there was one piece that we couldn't get through the door.” Fien: “It always starts with a passion for an object that you want to make, that you want to look at and live with. Hannes: “And problem-solving comes later.”
Hannes: “We're not selling our products anywhere and everywhere. The right location is very important to us. We have shops in Berlin, Copenhagen, New York,... These creations are our babies, we want them to be in the right place.”
Hannes: “We used to go to fairs ourselves, we did everything, from construction to the contact with customers. That was something I struggled with. It's something I'm not very good at.”
Fien: “We take quite an intuitive approach to social media. It's something that happens quite organically, naturally. Perhaps because I'm a photographer. When I see something, I have a good idea of how I want to present it.” Hannes: “We live in Evergem, a hamlet really, nevertheless, we're known worldwide.” Fien: “Even someone who's not a big name can have an incredible reach through these channels.”
Fien: “I think makers need to concentrate on what they make, what they want to make. They need to keep tapping into that passion.”
Hannes: “When people speak to you, it's because of the object, not because of how you come across. Don't try and play to the audience. Do your thing and you'll win them over.”
This video has been produced by The Machine.