A little while back I was contacted by two spirited young 'creatives' (as they call themselves) and owners of not one, but two, amazing businesses. Ivon and Lieke are a Dutch dynamic duo working under the name 'Geek de Chique'. Apart from focusing on their own stunning design work, they've decided to team up with young designers and artists and create a 'win win situation' (or should we say winning situation?) for both parties. They're also giving away a summery goody bag to three lucky winners! Read the interview and competition rules below and enjoy!
So first off, who are you and where did the name come from?
We are Ivon van den Aker and Lieke van den Berge, the great minds behind Geek de Chique
. We both live in Rotterdam, the loveliest concrete city of the Netherlands. When we are not realising our awesome ideas for Geek de Chique, we both work as graphic designers. Ivon currently works at an advertising agency, and Lieke works freelance from home. Geek de Chique is our little treasure. During our studies we got the idea to launch our own t-shirt line. There was just too much t-shirtcrap
happening at that time and we wanted to add something more valuable. The name resulted from a brainstorm session over the Internet that resulted in some new new t-shirt ideas and eventually also our name. The name stands for who we are, computernerds with a sense of style.
What's the idea behind Geek de Chique and what's Geek de Musik?
Everything and anything we'd like to create or imagine, we create for Geek de Chique
- it’s our own label. We produce everything from t-shirts, handmade scarfs, and bags, to postcards and calendars. The best ideas usually are inspired by very bad jokes or one-liners we love.
Geek de Musik
is a project we started last August. We ourselves experienced how hard it was to finish school and get your name out there with only a small portfolio. So we wanted to help young graphic designers build a portfolio. Another problem we recognized was that young artists and musicians don't seem to spend any time or money on their visual identity. We figured these two groups could really help each other out. Musicians and artists could really use some great merchandise, designers need experience and some awesome projects to add to their portfolio
The project turned out a great success and since the beginning of January we are expanding and working with more kinds of creative talent now. We're looking for all kinds of creative people - illustrators, designers, stylists, photographers, you name it. Additionally, instead of just musicians we are now looking for young people with big ideas for projects or businesses. We help them find a creative person who can help build a visual identity for them.
Geek de Chique started as a webshop, did it not? How and why did you decide to open a pop up store?
Yes, Geek de Chique started as a webshop. During the Geek de Musik project we opened our first shop in Rotterdam. This pop up store was open for a month and everybody who bought something got a free ticket for the concert that some of the musicians gave at the end of the project. This first store was a great succes and we felt confident it was time for more. In our pop up store we don't just sell our own stuff, but we try to provide an offline podium for young designers. The store has turned out to be a great way to help them to promote and sell their products offline. It's very dangerous to work in such an inspiring shop, however, we just want to buy everything ourselves, haha! Everything is so beautiful!
And how do you go about selecting the artists who get to sell in your store?
For the launch we approached some designers who we loved, knew, or came across on the Internet. The products are sold in the store for just two consecutive months, so we are continuously searching for new artists and designers. Some designers do approach us now, and that's real fun! The products we eventually end up selecting for the shop must be unique, handmade or hand-designed, and affordable.
How does Geek de Musik work and how can Dutch musicians and designers get involved?
The first step is to find some musicians that are really serious about their career. Not a band that started just last week and is never gonna get to tomorrow. We sit down with them and together we try to find out what are the things they need the most. A website, logo, merchandise, demo-cover. The next step then is to look for a designer who fits best with the style of the musician. A match is born. We assist them in every step of the design process and help them realize perfect products.
What would be your tip for artists and young business owners who are just starting out?
You have to think outside the box, be unique and use everything that is around you to promote yourself. Don't just sit around and wait 'till it happens. You have to make the calls! Also, starting a business takes time, a lot of time, without payments. If you love what you do and believe in it, all pieces eventually do come together. Just never forget that you also need to make money, as you cannot live from charity. A lesson we still have to learn sometimes.
What are you offering my readers today? And what do they need to do?
Well, the summer is coming so we are giving away a great goodie bag with a nice summer t-shirt or tunique and some lovely little things from our store!
The only thing we want in return is that you have to leave a comment with a great joke or riddle we don’t know yet.
The three jokes that make us fall of our chair get the awesome goodie bag! Remember: we like very bad corny jokes. (we’re still geeks!).
You can leave your jokes and riddles in the comment section of this blog post until the 25th of April, 2011. The winners will be notified personally.
Any last words?
It would be very nice to get the word out that we are still looking for all kinds of creative people to join us! They can all sign up at our website: www.geekdemusik.nl
Also, for those who live in The Netherlands, we've got a bunch of fun events coming up:
On April 30th you can find us at a very fun fair in the Rotterdam neighborhood of Liskwartier and on the 25th of June, we're at bazarbizar, a large creative fair in Rotterdam!
Thank you so much Ivon and Lieke for the great interview and AWESOME giveaway!!!
Links: Geek de Chique
| Geek de Musik