June 2, 2015
Eighteen months ago Pauline van Mourik received an email, saying that Hutspot was looking for new employes for their second store to open on the Rozengracht. Soon after this she visited the van Woustraat store, she walked in and thought “wow, this is where I want to work”, and Hutspot felt the same.
She had just finished the all-round styling study at Artemis Styling Academy in Amsterdam, applied at Hutspot, got hired and started working immediately on the Rozengracht. She is a great store employee and loves to style the Rozengracht store, she has also launched her own brand: Ratjetoestyling. She sells her home accessories and furniture also at Hutspot.
Was your current business first a hobby? Or did it start at Hutspot?
No, I already collected everything I liked for years, which were primarily home accessories and furniture, but also things that I found in nature such as feathers and stones. Basically everything I collect are used materials and I find them at numerous places. The only requirement that I have is that the stuff has to give me a ‘wow’ feeling.
Last year I took some stuff from my collection along to brighten up the Rozengracht a bit further. The enthusiasm I received by both the owners and colleagues, sparked the idea to actually sell the collected this. This created Ratjetoestyling.
For one year now, I sell items from my collection at Hutspot and I also work as a freelance photo stylist, photographer and interior decorator under this name. Currently, you can find many different accessories and furniture linked to Ratjetoestyling In Hutspot. They consist of chairs, coffee tables, lamps and suitcases but also, for example leather bags, vintage racquets and peacock feathers.
Where do you make or store all those items? Have you got your own workplace?
Yes, I do! For a few years now, I live “anti-squatting“ in an old farm on the edge of the dunes and beach in Heemskerk called “The Duinhoeve”. The farm has a beautiful view over lavender and flower fields and you can regularly spot a large group of Highlander cows behind the house. The farm has an old cowshed that by now I have transformed into a storage and workspace for Ratjetoestyling.
It’s a great place to live and work because it is right in the middle of nature and it is really easy to travel from there to Amsterdam.
So you didn’t start a business deliberately, it just grew like this?
Well you could say that, yes. It all started out with selling my collection in Hutspot, which went quite spontaneously and without premeditated plan. Maybe even a coincidence, yes. When I noticed that a lot of people were excited about it, I went out to collect even more cool stuff. My parents taught me that it is important to take good care of the earth, reusing cool items is a big part of that.
So what inspires you most when it comes to Ratjetoestyling?
For me, nature is the true source of inspiration. I grew up on the beach and in the forest, and that’s where my love for nature grew to what it is today. I find the combinations of colours, textures and shapes just beautiful, and I try put this out there with my styling work. To me, weathered materials tell a genuine story.
Where do you hope your company will grow in 2015?
My goals for the future are, in addition to collecting and selling my collection in Hutspot, to focus more on styling. Currently I have been working on several projects such as styling for a cool brand like Spruitje. Next year, I hope that even more exciting challenges lie ahead and that I can engage in more creative styling projects.
What advice would you give people who want to start their own company? What to avoid and what to do in particular?
You learn so much from being an entrepreneur. I see it as a huge process of growth. It’s very important to develop yourself and work in a field of business you enjoy
Follow your heart, do what makes you happy and try to realize your dreams. Anything you give your heart’s attention to will grow. That goes for a private company too.
You can find Pauline her beautiful home accessories and furniture at Hutspot Rozengracht.
Text: Samuel Taselaar