Stories are there to be told! Everyday we show you what we love, while we believe the story behind these items can be just as inspiring. After our visit to Platform 1.1 last October we immediately fell in love with the amazing accessories of the Amsterdam label Zand-erover. Zand-erover translates the forms of nature to minimalist design. All products are handmade from durable material in order to create a unique, tailor-made product.
1) Let’s get back to the beginning of Zand-erover. How did it all start and what was the turning point that made your label come alive?
It’s actually quite different from what most people would think. When I started I wasn’t neccesarily ‘into’ bags or accessories. I had the same bag for years. When I finally looked for a much needed replacement, I couldn’t find any that I liked. Since I’ve always been making, building or creating things, I decided I was going to make something that I liked!
Because I attended Artemis academy, I learned to create forecasts based on the things that interested me and I learned to channel that into a visual way. That led to the basic inspiration for Zand-erover, which is nature, but in a very minimalistic and bare way. This theoretical approach to my ambition to make things, really helped me in creating a clear goal to what I wanted to do. A half year ago my sister joined me and it is great and much more fun to run Zand-erover together.
2) Can you tell us a bit more about the idea behind Zand-erover?
Zand-erover aims to create products that people will treasure for a long time. Natural elements, shapes and colors come together to a simple but special renewed design. All materials, colors and forms are inspired by nature.
3) Why did you decide to name your label Zand-erover? Could you tell us more about it?
When first sharing my style ideas, people around me immediately recognized the basic forms and primal aesthetic of it. So we talked about a brand name and somebody (my father-in-law, he is an architect) suggested ‘Sand’, because, apart from it being a hint to my name, it’s the building block of everything. I thought it suited, and went for ‘Zand-erover’ which is a Dutch saying: ‘Sand over it’. It denotes an attitude of leaving things alone to work themselves out, but also the start from the very beginning of something.
4) Ranging from backpack to wallets and jewellery, Zand-erover offers quite a variety. Where does the inspiration for all the items/designs come from?
The first idea for a new design always starts with folding paper into differents shapes to create a new form. We never start out to make a specific item, or product. We always let the shapes lead to a suiting purpose. Our designs originate from folds and lines that make shapes we love. These shapes, but also colors, I have noticed, are mainly inspired by things we see in nature.
5) Difficult question – we know – but what is your favourite item of your collection?
Oh no, that’s actually an easy one! The backpack, although it’s our first design we’re still not bored with it. We have a special kind of love-hate relationship with this product; it’s the most difficult product to produce, to make it look as neat as we need it to look. On that note, it does look very neat!
6) We read that every product is handmade. Can you tell us something about this process?
Whenever we have thought of something new, we make a basic sketch of what we want it to look like. Then we cut the shapes out of some paper and fold it, so we can really see the scale and proportions of it. When we are happy with the model, and confident the design is technically possible, we cut out some leather and start making one or two prototypes.
Usually after this we need to let it rest for a while, show it to some people and make adjustments. When the design is final, we recreate the patterns in the computer. Recently we started laser cutting the patterns, because with such geometrical shapes, this is a necessity to get it perfectly right. The rest, sewing and putting it all together, is done by me by hand.
7) What was Zand-erover’s most memorable highlight?
We remember the first few shops our products were sold at, people started noticing our products, that was really special. We think it’s good to remind yourself of every small highlight. Set your goals, but also celebrate the ones you have achieved.
8) Any cool new stuff coming up that you are willing to share with us?
We’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to Milan Salone del Mobile, to show our products. We’re very flattered to be seen amongst such talented designers. Of course, this has always been a dream… AND in a few weeks we will also launch some new products, like a wallet and another bag for men.
9) Where do you see your brand 5 years from now?
Well, originally we started out to make products and designs over a broader range than bags and accessories, so that is something my heart is still really into. We’ll probably start producing home products later this year. In five years, we hope to have come to a point where our brand is recognizable by a clear style in our whole collection, through shapes, materials and colors, no matter what type of product. From bags, to lamps or even wall art! Simply put: We’d love to have the freedom and knowledge or craftsmanship to be able to keep making cool things.