Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflecting on 2013 and sliding in to 2014!

Painted Ikat wallpaper and Coco Ikat pillow designs

"To live honousty and passionately, creating your own happiness. Complaining is futile as you are the one that is in charge." Mariska Meijers

We know all to well that we should not dwell on the past. But it is the experiences from that very past on which we further build our lives. We learn from our failures or at least we are supposed to. There is no success without failing, but gosh we human beings can be so blind and stubborn at times.  

My biggest failure of last year was stacking one thing on top of the other until I reached a total overload physically and mentally beginning of December. Looking in the mirror I could not find that smiling upbeat girl.....

It felt like a head-on collision! I realized that 2013 was not the only year I had been stacking up but it has been going on for years. Running full speed ahead, never taking a step back and reflect.

Everything I do comes from my heart and with so much passion that it is difficult to control. I am convinced that I am heading the right direction but taking the winding road* has been making me a bit car sick….

So for 2014 (oh how I hate new year's resolutions) I will do my best to think just a little bit more before I leap and making decisions that lead the MARISKA MEIJERS AMSTERDAM brand and myself to the high way..... 

*please note that the winding road has resulted in success not just car sickness :) including publications in Architectural Digest,, Marie Claire Maison and many more and adding great retailers selling the Mariska Meijers Amsterdam brand, including Selfridges (London), Gracious Home (NYC) and Bals (Japan). 



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When life gives you lemons make lemonade!

Lemon and Ikat oil painting (Mariska Meijers)
There is something I would like to share that made my day last week Thursday. I had sold the above painting via my web store and the client had just received it without having it ever seen 'in the flesh'. This is what she wrote....

"Dear Mariska,
The painting was delivered this afternoon. And what else can I say than......I am in love! The colors are 'live' even more beautiful, they radiate so much that they give energy. I haven't thought of a definitive spot for it yet, but as soon as that is the case I will send you a picture of the"end result".
One of my favorite quotes has always been "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade". I will always think of that when I look at your happy painting. Mariska as of now you make my day, everyday! 
Again thank you very much! 
With best, Thessa" 

I was in the midst of a production crisis, stressed for time, trying to do too many things at the same time...and when I read my client's thank you mail it made me very very quite. I sat down (yes I was reading the email standing up doing something else at the same time), took a deep breath and smiled. It made me realize AGAIN why I am doing what I am doing and why I continue my bumby road. The ability to touch other people with my paintings and designs is what I love best, it is the essence of my work!
.....and I should not forget to make lemonade from the lemons I stumble over in the process :)

Thank you Thessa for your wonderful upbeat words and permitting me to quote you xox

To view my paintings click here!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Pursuit of Passion

Bold Cubism tray table in French Blue from
 my latest collection available here
I was soooo tired this weekend.....I do understand why some people consider me naive (including myself) but I just can't help being intensely enthusiastic and dedicated to pursue my dreams. Yes I work hard, it is crazy at times. For over 3 years I have been building my brand, working on collections and attended many trade shows including High Point Market, the New York International Gift Show (NYNow) and MaisonObjet in Paris. Building relationships and trust. Trust that I am a brand that is here to stay and deliver!
It takes time, dedication, a REALLY long long breath and the strongest believe that despite the fact that you have had quite a few failures (yes I have!) all that matters is WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW! This is what I keep telling people who ask me HOW I do it. It is never too late to pursue your passion whether in your professional or personal life. There are NO excuses, there is no hidden secret, JUST DO IT!

Here are a some of my recent high lights. Signs that I am on the right track (but don't forget there have been quite a few failures and there will always be and there still a long road to go!

FEATURED ON VOGUE.COM. Last month my Bold Cubism lamp in Parisian Pink silk fabric was featured as part of Vogues's Fall Culture Preview: The Ten Trends of the Season!

Abigail Ahern 'The woman who is rocking the world of interiors' has started an engaging forum where design lovers can share their living spaces and ideas. It is real and inspiring and you should check it out here!
As seen via Abigail Ahern
SPOTTED ON Holly Becker's DECOR8 BLOG as  "Trends MaisonObjet 2013"
Via Decor8

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Life is A Circus - ELLE Decoration Inside Design Amsterdam 27-29 September #IDA13

Trapeze artists in circus, lithograph by Calvert Litho. Co., 1890 
At least my life feels like a circus. Tatatataaaaa..... swinging on the trapeze, letting go and trusting to be caught. Juggling to keep all the balls in the air. And of course all acts to be performed with the perfect amount of strength, grace, and flexibility :).
I truly believe that being an artist-designer doesn't differ that much from a circus performer. The discipline, the perseverance and yes the BALLS to actually do it! The past months have not been easy. Letting go, exploring new boundries and crossing them. It is called GROWTH with plenty of growing pains. But the beauty of it all is that I am not floating in mid air alone. I have wonderful friends and family around me that love me and catch me and talented creative people to work with!
One of them is the incredible imaginative Lily Higgins, student of the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. When I decided to participate with my flagship store at the ELLE DECORATION Inside Design Amsterdam #IDA13 I wanted to do something special. I have always loved the circus and decided to turn my store windows into an old fashioned circus to showcase my latest collection of pillows, trays and lampshades. It only took one meeting with Lily and she new immediately what I envisaged. So.... I herewith proudly present THE AMZING LILY HIGGINS! Her whimsical life size drawings do our canal bank store windows pride.
Rabbit by Lily Higgins sitting on Mariska Meijers'
 'Bold Cubism' Pillows

Detail of store windom designed by Lily Higgins

We proudly present our Store Windows designed by Lily Higgins!


Monday, September 16, 2013

This one is for you Mum!

My mum and I....

it is your 74th Birthday!
and you love it when I write, especially on my blog


you have taught me to be strong and independent (not sure whether that stubborn part was intentional too ::)

you let me grow up in a loving warm nest..

you gave me two wonderful sisters....

you make me laugh and cry, think and wonder...

you taught me that there is no mountain that can't be conquered

you support my crazy dreams, even though it must drive you bonkers sometimes....

There are so many becauses Mum and these are just a few. There is no beginning nor is there an end to what I would like to say to you. Just looking forward to our next cuddle HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM LOVE YOU!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

(oh and Dad please don't feel left out you are as much in to this ride as Mum xoxoxoxox)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Parisian Encounters - Maison&Objet

Detail of the Mariska Meijers booth at MaisonObjet
In one word OVERWHELMING! That was my week in Paris. With a small apartment in the Marais as our home base my team and I worked round the clock. But working in Paris is no punishment :).
The MaisonObjet has been really good for us. Building a brand is not easy but this show brings  opportunities, we learn valuable lessons, build relationships, get inspired by other creators and enthusiastic clients. Enjoy the snapshots!
another detail with Jungle Fever and Coco Ikat pillows
trays and wallpaper in the background
View from the apartment in The Marais
Loved my own wallpaper design on
such impressive scale in the booth
of Eichholz!
Oh yes and I managed to run Sunday morning! Sooo beautiful and quiet..

With the lovely Tori Mellott editor of Traditional Home
We were picked by Nelly Rodi trend agency and featured
with some great brands like Versace-Rosenthal
 and Seletti
Some USA made in our booth. Beautifully handcrafted
wall sconces by dunes and duchess
My absolute favorite from a colleague designer. Rhinoceros by Imo
and yes :) Jonathan Adler popped by to say hi and view the
new collection!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Paris is Always a Good Idea - Maison & Objet Fall 2013

I am still that girl..... chasing my dreams......

The weeks leading up to Maison&Objet are always challenging but HOW do I look forward to board that train to Paris on Thursday! As Audrey Hepburn once said: "Paris is always a good idea". Paris, Maison&Objet,  is bringing good things for me and my team. For a couple of years we have been investing, building, enjoying, suffering (with a smile), thrown back, stepping up, side tracking......., stepping up again, and again and again....we are getting there slowly but steadily and with pride we will be presenting the new collection "Bold Cubsim". Based on my hand painted designs a beautiful range of pillows, trays and lampshades have been developped together with European craftsmen (and girls!), from Holland and Sweden (and we show a bit of US made don't we DunesandDuchess ;)) .
Thank you team, clients, fans, followers, friends and family! Believing in myself is one thing but YOUR support is indispensable! xox

PS I will be reporting fom Paris so stay tuned!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New York City Tales: NYNow, CitiBikeNY, Vogue etc.....

With the beautiful Stacy Kunstel and
 Dunes and Duchess Candelabra

Whilst my body has landed back in Amsterdam my brain is still in NYC. An amazing week with a packed schedule, great encounters and full of inspiration!
I started of with NYNow to scout some interesting products for my Flagship Store in Amsterdam. As for lamp bases I went to visit my favorite designers Stacy and Michael of Dunes and Duchess. I selected some beautiful sconces in the most amazing colors which will first grace the walls of my booth at  MaisonObjet in Paris. The other lamps I loved were Julian Chichester's new etched glass designs.
My favorite color and shape from
Julian Chichester's new range

What made my week especially enjoyable is CitiBikeNYC. It gave me so much freedom grabbing a bike to anywhere I needed to be. From my lunch date with the Brooklyn Contessa to my appointment at the Conde Nast headquarters in Time Square :). Girl on (w)heels!!!!

Off to Conde Nast #citibikenyc #prada
I know this is hardly a snippet of all my NYC adventures but I am going to see Woody Allen's new movie Blue Jasmin right now so I am signing off! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday xox

Monday, July 1, 2013

Connecting the dots and New Press: French Architectural Digest

French Architectural Digest issue featuring my designs

Coco Ikat wallpaper (black and white) and Jungle Fever tray

Home Office/Atelier of the struggling creative brain...
 " can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." Steve Jobs (from his Commencement address at Stanford June 12, 2005).

There are days that I struggle. My head is spilling over, my to do lists growing...Priorities, priorities...It is mostly Mondays, my day 'off'. My financials are spread out next to my paintbrushes and I feel guilty grabbing a brush in stead of a file. But I let my gut feeling take over and jump as I do with many things.... Steve Jobs was a wise man. When I make my choices I trust that what I do is right even though at those very moments it doesn't always make sense. Receiving the spread today from French Architectural Digest connects an important dot for me. It keeps me going in MY direction with sheer determination!

Never listened to Steve Jobs' Commencement address? You should! Click here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Torn between 'being' Martha Stewart and Juliette Binoche

My little writing nook

Where to start (again) and do I actually want to give my blog a boost again. I certainly know my parents will cheer as they were my biggest fans!
Since I have started my Flagship Store in Amsterdam I have been so overly consumed by it that my blog became one of these mountains I was dreading to climb.
I have no regrets starting the Store. It has given me so much insight, but boy it is an extra full-time job on top of all my activities as an artist, designer, 'empire builder' and mum.
There are days that I feel torn between 'being' Martha Stewart and Juliette Binoche (in her role as Vianne Rocher in Chocolat). Maybe I am a little naive thinking I can handle both sides of the trade: building an international lifestyle brand on the one hand and personally advising customers in my Store. I just want to elevate people's spirits with what I do and create whether it be on large or small scale, whether it be in my public or private life.
Am I overly committed? YES. Am I stubborn? YES that too and much more......and I am trying very, very hard not to apologize for being me.

I have to admit that I do miss the writing and if I jot things down in my diary why can't I just write and share it with you?

"All the things I love is what my business is all about." Martha Stewart

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Inspiration: My city Amsterdam (and running)

Amstel Hotel on one of my early morning runs taken with Instagram
City of Lights PC Hooftstraat

Amstel river 
One of my store windows with the Graphic Daisy collection

View from my store on to the Singel canal
Storefront in the evening
I often get the question where I get my inspiration from. The better question is: what does not inspire me! I am a walking (and talking) sponge. Of course travelling, museums, the usual suspects...but I also find inspiration daily just from biking around in my beautiful city, meeting up with friends for a coffee or dinner, people walking in the park, running along the Amstel river....simple daily life reallly...
Before I started my Flagship store in the historic centre I was bouncing all over the planet and I didn;t really know yet where I was heading to. Starting the store has given me a foundation, more structure and focus but it also keeps me more 'in town', but no worries I still do travel enough :).
Here are some snapshots of the last week or so which I hope will inspire you!

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for more regular up-dates (oh yes and I do have Pinterest too :)) and for running I use the Nike app click here if you want to know more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ground Rules (and Homes&Gardens YEAH!!)

Feature in Dutch magazine ELEGANCE (Dec issue) shot in my house
Author and producer Eva Posthuma de Boer with actor husband
 Frank Lammers looking glam with my lampshades as back drop

On the bed surrounded by my pillow designs
Snapshot of my store today lamp by Matthieu Challieres,
Painting: Lemon Tea, oil on canvas (Mariska Meijers)
MILESTONE! My Ikat traytable in British Homes and Gardens
"With" Snoopdogg at the PAN Artfair :)
At the PAN Amsterdam art fair #inspiration!

Meeting up with no 1 DJ in the world Armin van Buuren
(and he is a lawyer too like me :))
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 'ground rules' means 'the basic rules or principles on which future actions or behaviour should be based'.
Reason to write about this was triggered by yet another email from an aspiring designer wanting to know HOW I DO IT (building a 'successful' brand etc etc etc).
By nature I am a person that loves to help others but as there are only 24 hrs in a day I just can't give the individual attention to everyone (and I have had to promise a good friend to stop apologizing for that :)).
So here are some of my ground rules that I like to share.
(1) START NOW, take action. A lot of people talk about their dreams, keep pondering but don't take actual steps. I know it can be really scary, but
(2) FACE YOUR FEARS, put your teeth into them, swallow and digest...
(3) FOLLOW YOUR GUT FEELING and don't let others put you down.

It all may sound too simple and I know it just isn't simple because if it was, less people would ask me how I do it :). And lets face reality what you see (of me) is the result of endless effort, trying, failing and trying again, over and over. There are days that I feel that I am getting nowhere, there are disappointments.... But still it makes me smile sometimes how people can even think things come easy to me. I only wish.....  (4) IT IS HARD WORK. So press on, dedicate your time but make sure you do it al with (5) PASSION because where there is no passion there is no joy. (6) LET GO and enjoy the ride because life is too short to linger and look back. Make your own ground rules TODAY!

And above some snapshots from my last 2 weeks including a real milestone, my first publication in British magazine Homes and Gardens and 8 page feature in Dutch magazine ELEGANCE. And as you can see work also includes fun, going places and meeting inspiring people!

I thought I couldn't go on, I forced myself to keep going. My succes is based on persistence, not luck.

Estee Lauder

Sunday, November 11, 2012


With the Bauble I designed for Margot Janse
For David Higgs
Bauble for Claire Clark being installed. Heavy duty!
Jerome Nutile in the court yard of The Grand
Having a laugh with Clair Clark (one of many :))
Margo Janse with charming Carsten Klint
David Higgs and Andrew Gaskell. Great team work in the Kitchen!

Jerome Nutile in progress at Social Sofa!
Bauble for Ron Blaauw (** Michelin stars)
For Claire Clark!! (hey they tell me you cook for the Queen :))
Relaxing after dinner with Joe Barza and Lise Timmer
With Vincent Farges
Women power! With Margot Janse
Kiki Moya admiring his Bauble with Andrew Gaskell
an impression of my sketches for the 11 designs
Impression of Sofitel the Grand with the 'Christmas" baubles
For Vincent Farges
For David Higgs
Regine le Brun and Lise Timmer admiring "Athul Kochar" 
GM of The Grand  Robert-Jan Woltering (Bauble for Frank Rosin)
For Joe Barza
For Wolfgang Becker
"Living is tasting and tasting is living" in Dutch "Leven is proeven en proeven is leven". Such a true quote from Margot Janse! Dare to taste life and go for your passion, take risks and yes there is a price to pay (sometimes). I know all to well :}} and that is why I felt so at home last weekend!
Since a few years I have been lucky enough to attend the amazing annual Stars, Food and Art event organized by my friend and partner in crime Lise Timmer (Goeman Borgesius) of Clafoutis. This event started in Amsterdam about 6 years ago at the Hotel Legend Sofitel The Grand in Amsterdam (but has now become a worldwide Sofitel event). This wonderful hotel also happens to be a client of mine for who I provide designs and artwork. For the event of last week I was asked to design 11 "Christmas" baubles representing the 11 Chefs participating at this spectacular culinary event.
It took me quite a bit of mind breaking moments before I had figured out the designs, each of which had to be inspired by a Chef.
Mwaaaaaahhhhh I just did it, don't ask me how but the 11 Baubles were proudly presented last week at the event to be sold for charity: SOS Kinderdorpen. *

But all in life is relative. I thought I was facing a challenge.... meeting the Chefs and spending time in the kitchen I take a humble bow. Chefs are colleague artists but their performance contrary to mine has to be flawless AT THE VERY MOMENT it is expected from them. As an artist I can hide with my sketchbook or canvas, throwing away my initial doodles, but it is nothing compared to the pressure cooker of the kitchen. As a Chef you have to deliver right there and then! It was amazingly perfect and seeing the interaction and teamwork between the Chefs breathtaking. Big thank you to all to let me participate, taste and be inspired.... the team of Hotel Legend Sofitel The Grand, Lise Timmer, Claire Clark, Margot Janse, Ron BlaauwJoe Barza, Jerome Nutile, Frank Rosin, Wolfgang Becker, David Higgs, Vincent Farges, Kiko Moya and Athul Kochar. Every single one of them an amazing passionate person that strives for the best and at the same time deserves the best :)!

*This project would not have been possible without the relentless energy and workforce of Social Sofa who excecuted all my designs in such a fantastic way!


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