Face to Face: Catch up with Mae Engelgeer
In the latest issue of the Bloesem Gazette, titled “The Converation Issue“, we wanted to delve into the minds of our favourite talents from around the world. Having had a long time crush on her work, we got in touch with Dutch textile designer, Mae Engelgeer, again after we last interviewed her in early 2012.
Hi Mae, the last time we talked was in May 2012, has a lot changed since then? We’d love for you to update us.
Yes a lot has changed. I think the last time we spoke I had just moved into my first studio space. We were busy developing the ISH. Collection and our presentation for Milan 2013. I think since Milan things went into a more vivid flow, but now (2.5 years later) it’s not quite like that anymore, which of course is a good thing!
What is the first thought that crosses your mind when you wake up?
Is it morning already? And then I think about the things that are on my list for the day, and of course my daughter, getting her ready and to school. Then coffee, I love coffee!
What are your recent designs inspired by? How difficult is it to keep coming up with new collections?
We are working on a more minimalistic collection now. And (I am) very excited, there are a lot of collaborations in the works and I am even working on furniture fabrics! Something that has been on my list for a long time.
I always have new plans for new collections and I am always thinking of what is next before I present new work, so no. I think at this moment we have a lot of projects running at the same time, so there is always something to continue with or to finish. During the process of one design or collection I easily pick up new directions to continue with. So one project slowly goes over in the next collection. It is a continuous flow from one to the other.
Could you share with us 3 of your favourite spots in your city?
I really like this new place called SLA. They have very nice and healthy salads, drinks and it is located close to my house which is in the old south of Amsterdam, called De Pijp. I also really enjoy the North of Amsterdam, near the NDSM warf. There is a lot going on there. Good spots for drinks and hangouts. The Stedelijk Museum, which is new and really has international allure and great exhibitions. I am very happy they sell my collection in the Museum Shop.
What is a normal day in the life of Mae Engelgeer?
I think it’s quite busy. Being a mom and having a career that takes a lot of time. So what is normal: Waking up, breakfast with my daughter, then getting her to school. Then I cycle to the studio which is in the East of Amsterdam, overlooking the canals, which I really love.
Then coffee and starting up the computers, reading some emails and catching up with the intern(s) to discuss the projects to work on. Maybe 1-2 appointments or preparing for the textile lab if we have an appointment scheduled for that week. Working on different project. Trying to finish my “to do list” which I always make but hardly ever finish because there are always things coming up during the day or things take longer than expected. I think I always want to do more than the hours that I have in a day. But I think this is normal when you are running your own studio, it is never finished. Then (I will) see if we have to order or ship production. In between there might be some phone calls, and emails. Actually this continues the whole day, if not on my computer then I read them on my phone. Then home, family time and later in the evening I often end up behind the computer again.
Is there a piece of advice you would share with budding designers who are still in school or thinking of quiting their day job?
Follow your dream, work hard and just go for it.
What comes to mind when you think of the term “success”. Do you feel you have achieved it?
Well, what is success? I am of course very thankful for where I am and what I do as a textile designer at this point, but there are still a lot of things on my list to do or achieve. At the same time I am also very happy looking back.
When you look back at your very first collection, how do you feel?
This was the Bow collection. I look at it in a few different ways. On one hand, it was the start of my work as a textile designer and it got picked up by several design stores. And on the other hand, I am happy my style changed into a more graphic and modern signature style.
Finish this sentence — “If I could, I would…”
If I could, I would go to NYC directly!
Images courtesy of Studio Mae Engelgeer.
We want to say a big thank you to Mae for being a part of the 3rd Bloesem Gazette , The Conversation Issue. We are big fans of her work and can’t wait to see more from this great design talent. In the meantime, we’re happy to sell Mae beautiful creations in the Bloesem shop.