My Visit To Piet Hein Eek

I can't wait to tell you about but first, a little story so you can better understand my connection to Piet and his work.

I've had the pleasure and privilege during the span of 12 years in the design industry to meet and see some of the most inspiring people and places. I consistently feel lucky to have these experiences and despite how some may begin to feel comfortable doing so many fancy things, even expect them, I remain grounded and always fight against my "ego" - I guess it's something I learned from my father. No matter how high he climbed in his career, he still ate lunch with the guys in the trenches, who worked in the "guts" of the company, and he always helped people in need, and gave jobs to those who worked hard and were intelligent, not to his friends or to people who just looked great on paper. I liked his personality and respected him so much for this. I remember how actively he worked to hire minorities and how angry he'd get when someone would look down on race, gender or sexual orientation. He believed and valued equality and human rights, and felt everyone was the same and that there are no differences, just different personalities.

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Today, despite how I exist within an industry that can sometimes be all about brands and names and prominence,  I still somehow find others like me who are grounded and "normal" in spite of their enormous success and blessings in life. I am drawn to talent, personality, and people that possess a keen emotional intelligence. However, they need to have a keen business sense too and be very strong-minded who are true pioneers and go-getters. To me, these types of people are really the most captivating and make me feel inspired and excited.

One person who stands out in the design world is Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek.

You may or may not know him. If you are American, most likely you aren't so familiar as maybe you are with Kelly Wearstler or Jonathan Adler. But in Europe, he is known if you are in the design world. Piet is rather iconic even and has achieved quite a lot at such a young age - he only recently crossed over into this 50s, yet has so much success and status it's inspiring, really.

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Piet studied at the Dutch Design Academy in Eindhoven and his graduation project, nearly 30 years ago, was a scrapwood cabinet. Today, you can find this cabinet in his work "compound" (shown throughout this story) and the cabinet travels with him to trade fairs - because it tells his story as a student who started with a love of recycling, making something new, and using wood - a material he clearly loves most. Piet is an artist at heart, I could see that I explored his multiple spaces at the Piet Hein Eek factory.

 As you enter the space, you can see all of the "scrap" art Piet has created throughout the years.

As you enter the space, you can see all of the "scrap" art Piet has created throughout the years.

In fact, in Eindhoven, you can visit a very special space too - in fact, I encourage you to go to Eindhoven JUST to see this space because it's worth spending a day there - the Piet Hein Eek Factory and Store.

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On location, there is a large cafe with delicious food, his factory in the center where everything is made from furniture to custom jobs for clients, a concept store on two floors, workshops you can attend, a special art space on the top floor, and a few other areas for pop-up shops and dining (those open full swing during Dutch Design Week each October when the whole city visit Piet to see the artists and designers he's welcomed to his massive space to show their work). In the next few years, if all goes according to plan, Piet will create an on-site boutique design hotel. For now though, you can rent his gorgeous guest homes in France .

 Nard from Piet Hein Eek's team, giving us a tour of the space including the factory and "behind-the-scenes spaces.

Nard from Piet Hein Eek's team, giving us a tour of the space including the factory and "behind-the-scenes spaces.

I took a tour and spent time with Piet to get to know him better and he's quite nice and easy going, while also being very much a "boss" and a go-getter. We had a meal together. I met his wife and one of his lovely daughters. At Piet Hein Eek, it's a family first business in spite of how busy he is. You can see he cares about his family (they work with him) and his employees, in fact he treats his hired staff like family. I liked watching him interact with his staff, there was this genuine admiration and respect, a "dad" that everyone ultimately looks up to.

When it comes to design, I admire how quickly he spots something and can spin it into so much more - he has a clever eye and that eye has brought him into the world of ceramic making, building and space design, metalwork, art installations, and the making of beautiful, custom lighting too in which he takes vintage pieces and modern elements to create pendants, table lights, and chandeliers.

 My favorite lighting that he has created is a collaboration between Piet and Veronese, I just adore this collection of Murano glass lights which range from small to massive.

My favorite lighting that he has created is a collaboration between Piet and Veronese, I just adore this collection of Murano glass lights which range from small to massive.

 Table lights from Piet Hein Eek

Table lights from Piet Hein Eek

Throughout this post, you can see some impressions of his factory and the space around it - to get a better sense of how massive it is. Also, he has recently teamed up with to create a line for them, you can find more on that and see the products .

If you follow me on Instagram , I'm sure you saw lots of Piet Hein Eek and his store while I was there a few months ago. If not, here are some more iPhone photos for you to enjoy below to get a sense of the space.

Thank you for your conversation, dinner, your book and the welcome you gave me. I'll never forget it.

(Photos: Holly Becker for cattledogs)

 

Domotex 2018 First Impressions: My Lectures and Our Lovely Blogger Panels

, , ! But first, hello everyone, how are you? I'm getting ready to board a train to Berlin to work with and his team to help kick off his new brand in Germany, Jonathan Adler Germany! If you are in Berlin and would like to come, you can certainly join us - more information here. If you cannot make it, be sure to follow my and Instagram Stories starting today to see what we're up to with "the" Jonathan. BUT FIRST. Domotex and my first impressions.

If you have been following me on the blog or Instagram, you know that I had two lectures, each followed by moderating a panel of experts who are bloggers but also book authors, stylists, trend experts, and photographers. It was quite an amazing group and I'm so proud to say that our talk shows were a success. I was excited to read the enthusiastic response yesterday in the Domotex press release, pay special attention to pargraph 7, in or in .

Domotex 2018 First Impressions
Domotex 2018 First Impressions
Domotex 2018 First Impressions

The morning session was an hour with 15 minutes of audience Q+A and the topic was, How To Collaborate With Bloggers To Market Your Products. I spoke for 30 minutes and then I moderated a panel that included Niki from , Igor from blog and , Agata from , Stefan from , Desiree from and Mette from . This was a wonderful and very diverse and international team to work with - all ages, differing skillsets, etc. yet we all felt the same on this topic and each had a very interesting perspective to share based on their own experiences using social media daily.

Here are a few of my slides from that presentation to give you a taste.

 Opening slide

Opening slide

Domotex 2018 First Impressions: My Lectures and Our Lovely Blogger Panels

The first part of my presentation simply asked, Why Bloggers? And then I answered, "Why Not?" with 8 reasons.

Domotex 2018 First Impressions: My Lectures and Our Lovely Blogger Panels

I broke down 8 key reasons why brands should work with bloggers: TRUST, POWER, RESOURCE, ENGAGED, TARGETED, ADVOCATES, SEO, CONTENT.

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I am very data driven, so I did a lot of research first to get the right numbers and I found this slide especially good for my audience to see.

Domotex 2018 First Impressions: My Lectures and Our Lovely Blogger Panels

After taking the audience through 8 reasons why brands should put some of their advertising dollars into bloggers and influencers, I explained quite thoroughly WHO they should work with because not all bloggers are equal. This was the best slide in my presentation because I said what I really believe brands needed to hear the most. There is still a lot of confusion around how to work with bloggers, but after this presentation followed by the panel and then the Q+A from the audience, I am confident that everyone left with a good understanding of how to work with professional bloggers. 

Domotex 2018 First Impressions: My Lectures and Our Lovely Blogger Panels

In this part of the presentation, I broke down the different things that bloggers offer. After all, it's not just a post on our blog anymore!

Domotex 2018 First Impressions: My Lectures and Our Lovely Blogger Panels

I covered everything from underwritten posts to shop this post on Instagram and beyond, though I know from 12 years of experience that to really learn how to work best with a blogger, a brand has to ask the bloggers they have their eye on and see what the blogger has experience with and what they feel would fit your brand best. In other words, you really need to develop a good relationship between blogger and brand and go from there.

Next, I talked to each blogger on our panel, and I asked them questions about who they are, what they do, how they work with brands and so on. It was a lively and interesting conversation to have first thing on Friday morning, opening day, but fortunately we had a great breakfast and the seats were full with interested, curious guests, so we were very excited to be there sharing our expertise with the crowd.

My Lecture at Domotex by cattledogs

Finally, after the bloggers shared their bios and experiences, we took questions from the audience and then, it was a wrap!

In the afternoon, I had another lecture and then, moderated a panel of, this time, 7 bloggers since I'd invited rug expert, , to the stage to take part in our "Trend Talk Show".

Here are a few of the slides that I created for this segment, in case you are curious...

 Opening slide   

Opening slide

 

Trend Talk by Holly Becker

In the first part of my presentation, I shared with the audience a slide for each member of my panel, and also included one for myself, profiling the blogger.

Trend Talk by Holly Becker
Trend Talk by Holly Becker
Trend Talk by Holly Becker

After making all of the introductions and bragging about my fabulous panel, I then went right into the slides featuring mood boards that gave the audience something visual to follow as we spoke about the trends for 2018. I spoke about my three slides and then, I let each blogger talk about their slides - each blogger had an average of 3 slides to talk through. Lots of people were taking photos of the slides on their phones, so I believe the audience really enjoyed what we had to say.

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I wrapped up the presentation and that was that! It felt good to be finished with both presentations (I must say!) but now, looking back, I want to moderate more panels at fairs again because I love it! This was my first time as a moderator, I usually stand up along and give lectures. After, the general feedback was that the audience thought I'd been a moderator for years. That was a lovely thing to hear, and I'm glad I went for it.

I love public speaking but even more, with a panel, so this is something I hope to do more of in the future, interviewing on stage, video work with interviews, panel moderation, anything that gives me a chance to be social and open up people and make them laugh a little as they learn a lot - this is my passion. I guess that's why I got into blogging and teaching in the first place.

So that's my first impressions from Domotex - I'll be back on Thursday with more. I'm in Berlin for a few days, so please follow me on Instagram - I'm sure you will be inspired by my trip and the things I do there.

THANK YOU DOMOTEX for everything!

Have a lovely Tuesday! Oh, and I'm over on Sotheby's if you want to read, "". Thank you for the interview!

Holly

 

Why Dried Flowers Aren't Just For Grandma

When I mention dried flowers, what do you picture? Be honest now, are those memories of dried roses that gathered dust on your grandmother’s bookshelf creeping to mind? Or, perhaps you’ve seen a bit of a revival happening on Instagram with that sweet whimsical look? Whatever idea you have about dried flora, I am certain that you’re going to be wowed by the work of , who is pushing the boundaries of dried floral art! Plus, had you been at this weekend with Holly and her panel of professional bloggers, you'd have heard them all unanimously agree in their trend talk show that past season (also known as dead/dried) flowers are a micro trend at the moment.

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What has touched me the most the past few years in the industry, would have to be the momentum that the maker movement has had. I’d say that the surge in this area no doubt goes hand-in-hand with the slow-living phenomenon. I admit I do yoga, and I’m really working on being more in the moment rather than thinking about next week (anyone with me here?), but most of all, I’m beginning to be aware of the small pleasures in my day-to-day life.

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One standout for me is enjoying my morning cup of tea in an earthy mug that was made by a favorite ceramicist of mine. When I look around my apartment, I can find other examples of that simple joy that a handmade, or small-scale object brings me. With that in mind, makers from Sweden, and when the opportunity arises, from abroad, will be my focus here on cattledogs for all of 2018 and I hope you will enjoy discovering them here with me.

Mark Antonia Dried Flora

So, back to dried flowers. When I stepped into the Mark Antonia studio, in Auckland, New Zealand, I was naturally expecting to see a lot of dried flowers; but I never imagined the sheer volume that was actually there. The raw plywood was the perfect backdrop to display the array of drying branches and flowers that will soon see Antonia’s magic hand.

Mark Antonia Dried Flora

Antonia De Vere works beside, Mark Seeney, (hence the namesake) whom she met at art school. The couple combines their talents with floristry and hand-poured candles by Antonia, along with custom industrial furniture, homeware, and retail fit-outs by Mark.

Mark Antonia Dried Flora
Mark Antonia Dried Flora

I had been a fan of her custom arrangements for some time after admiring them in some of the coolest stores and commercial spaces in Auckland. I even owned a small one myself. There was just one small detail that I failed to notice in her minimalist creations; that all this time, she has actually been recreating Mother Nature. I'll explain what I mean.

Mark Antonia Dried Flora
Mark Antonia Dried Flora

The idea struck Antonia when she saw the waste left behind from her fresh floral commissions. She experimented with the scrap flora she dried, until she found her signature minimalist style, treating each consignment as a sculpture. Watching her at work is simply mesmerizing.

Mark Antonia Dried Flora

Each leaf, berry or bud is painstakingly clipped and glued onto a twig and done to such meticulous perfection, that you might be mistaken, like I was, and assume that the variety already existed in nature. That's what I meant when I said earlier that she is, "recreating Mother Nature".

Mark Antonia Dried Flora
Mark Antonia Dried Flora

Antonia has taken dried floral art to a whole new level, suggesting an almost Japanese Ikebana feel. Not only do these arrangements look stunning on display, the bonus is that it stays looking like that for a long time to come.

Have a great day everyone!

(Article + Photography: except for bottom grid by Mark Antonia)

Meet These Interior Bloggers At Domotex!

Have you heard of ? This is a "The" B2B flooring fair that takes place in Hannover, Germany and it just got better! WHY? Since their previous fair, they've updated the show with the help of an expert agency and so now Domotex will include lots of new experiences for guests to enjoy and I can't wait to tell you how I'm involved in all of this.

  Mariantonia Urru

Mariantonia Urru

The show is the world's leading flooring trade fair based in Hannover, Germany (In 2019. they will launch Domotex USA for the first time in Atlanta, Georgia!). Domotex is visited by leading architects, product designers, interior designers, shop owners, industry professionals, trend experts, leading members of the press, and so many others who need to stay on top of flooring trends and now, the show will include for the first time a dedicated group of social media experts to cover Domotex primarily on opening day, which is this Friday, January 12, 2018. GUESS WHO was hired to help lead this initiative? Me!

I was asked to work with the Domotex team (Timo, thank you!) since last summer on how, together, we can develop their blogger outreach and an interesting blogger program and then, who to select to be at Domotex to support this new format.

After months of planning,  below and we just got some great news that rug expert, Michael Christie from the Ruggist (also shown below), will be part of our team so I'm going to see if we can bribe him somehow to join our afternoon panel about TRENDS as a sit in guest because Michael will definitely have a lot to say regarding rug trends for sure.

From left to right after my photo...

Stefan Nilsson - Stefan Nilsson, "", is constantly on the go – he travels the world scouting for trends in lifestyle and design. Listed as one of the most influential people in the Swedish design industry, Stefan writes for top magazines, hosts radio shows and is a frequent guest on Swedish television and a speaker at some of the most influential design fairs in Europe. Trendstefan also runs Stockholm's liveliest design arena under the name , where he manages a blogger's network with twenty Swedish bloggers writing about design.

Desiree Groenendal - Desiree Groenendal is the founder/editor of the award-winning blog , best known since 2007 for its monochromatic, minimalistic, industrial view on design but also for showing glimpses into Desiree’s life at home in Amsterdam where she can be found sharing her latest styling projects. Desiree also shares her many travel inspirations as she is frequently a guest at industry fairs and invited by brands to be inspired by their latest products and services, which she photographs and shares on Vosgesparis. Desiree is also the co­founder of , a Dutch agency for styling and photography alongside Dutch photographer Wen van Woudenberg.

Igor Josifovic - Igor Josifovic has a passion for interior design, home décor, travel and plants and likes to share his joy with his readers on the . Igor’s blog focuses on interior design and decoration ideas for happy homes and showcases the beauty of our world and the inspiration brought back home through traveling. It also highlights the beauty and beneficial powers of houseplants. His love for houseplants resulted in a second project called which has grown into a global network to include a popular book, Urban Jungle, (German title: "Wohnen in Grün"), co-authored with his friend, Judith de Graaff. Igor lives in Munich but works all over Europe.

Mette Jakobsen - Mette Jakobsen is the voice behind the eclectic lifestyle blog, . The monsterscircus is an award-winning, creative lifestyle blog based in Denmark. It's a global one-stop community based on her love for Scandinavian design, craftsmanship and ideas on how to master home decorating with both intent and personal style. Mette is a passionate hand-on woman who freelances for magazines, loves anything interior-related, who is keen on storytelling and is always on a mission to live an authentic life while celebrating the beauty of today's modern society online as well as offline. Mette collaborates with major designer brands and contributes to several leading interior magazines worldwide both in print and online.

Niki Brantmark - Niki Brantmark is an interiors book author and is the founder and writer at , an interior design blog inspired by her life in Malmö, where she lives with her Swedish husband and three children. Originally from London, Niki is the author of the newly released book, Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life along with The Scandinavian Home and Modern Pastoral.

Agata Dimmich - Agata Dimmich is the creative mind behind , where she shares bits of her work and life in Milan, design finds and ideas for a happy living. With a focus on interior and prop styling, photography and content creation, Agata works primarily as a stylist and blogger. Her work has been featured in many lifestyle and interior magazines and books including Elle Decoration.

Michael Christie - Known widely in the handmade rug industry as "", Michael Christie has been providing commentary on the world of rugs since 2008. With a passionate appreciation of rugs and carpets acquired during a career spanning over two decades, his experience in retail and trade only sales, wholesale, and niche manufacturing informs his irreverent style. In addition to ‘The Ruggist’ Michael had previously written for various trade magazines before taking up the Editorship of United States’ based Rug Insider Magazine in mid-2017.Based out of the Canadian Maritimes, Michael travels regularly to major trade fairs and conferences around the world, and also presents ‘For the Love of Carpets!’ which chronicles modern carpet design over his career.

Here is our for this Friday:

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Lecture: "How To Collaborate With Bloggers To Market Your Products"
Time: 10:00 - 10.30 a.m.

SPEAKER: Holly Becker
"How To Collaborate With Bloggers and Influencers to Market Your Products" is aimed primarily at exhibitors and other bloggers, but will also offer a wealth of inspiration for architects, designers, interior planners and other DOMOTEX visitors.


DOMOTEX

Panel discussion: "How To Collaborate With Bloggers To Market Your Products"
MODERATOR: Holly Becker / PANEL: Stefan Nilsson, Agata Dimmich, Igor Josifovic, Niki Brantmark, Mette Jakobsen, Desiree Groenendal
Time: 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
A 30 minute discussion with a panel of bloggers and influencers from all over Europe on how they collaborate with brands, best practices, success stories, things to avoid, and more 15 minutes at the end for the audience to ask questions. The audience will be asked to submit questions on a slip of paper during the discussion and during the final 15 minutes, the panel will answer as many questions as possible.


DOMOTEX

Blogger Tour - Hashtag #domotex
GUIDE: Holly Becker
Time: 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
A tour for one hour lead by Holly will take the Domotex bloggers and others working in new media around the Domotex halls to visit some favorite stands, each selected to show a broad range of rugs of today that include innovative materials, handcrafted quality, aesthetic beauty and beyond. Bloggers (and non-bloggers) are welcome to join this informal, educational tour. Meet Point: Blogger Lounge


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Panel discussion: "Interiors Trends in 2018 – What We Love"  
MODERATOR: Holly Becker / PANEL: Stefan Nilsson, Agata Dimmich, Igor Josifovic, Niki Brantmark, Mette Jakobsen, Desiree Groenendal, with special guest appearance by Michael Christie (pending)
Time: 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
An informal discussion (with visuals to follow on screen) with Domotex  on current and future trends in interior design which will include furniture, trends in living/thinking, accessories, and of course, rugs.

DOMOTEX will take place from January 12-15, 2018 in Hannover, Germany.

Follow us on Friday at the fair, Saturday as we sightsee in my city and on Sunday as I return to the fair alone to cover more exciting brands from the trade show floor - all on my Instagram  and the official show hashtag #domotex.

NOTE: If you would like to join us, please do. It is a B2B fair, but if you email me before Friday, I can get a pass for you as I have a limited number of guest passes that I can issue. Please send a quick email to [email protected]

See you at #DOMOTEX!

Love,

Holly

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