When we decided to take this series of interviews, we knew that for our letterpress items‘ customers, we had to post Femke‘s interview first. We had really just purchased our new Heidelberg Tiegel (that we named Charlotte, as you may have noticed!) and we hadn’t even opened our shop and website when we took on her custom letterpress business cards order. She was our Charlotte’s first customer!
Femke is the artist behind Dutch Origin Design by FEM. She creates unique jewelry, but also paintings and drawings. In order to get to know her and her activity a little better, we managed to steal a bit of her time and had her answer a few questions for us.
1.Tell us something about yourself as a person and also as an artist and a crafter.
Ever since I was a child I have been drawing and painting but I also have a passion for creating jewellery with beads. After high school I moved from the Netherlands to Oxford to study Art & History of Art, but after a while I decided to go “safe” and got a master’s degree in Law. After my graduation I worked for international fashion companies such as O’Neill and Inditex (Zara/Bershka). As I traveled around the world for work, I got inspired by the different cultures and when I moved for personal reasons to Milan I started my own art & jewellery collection Dutch Origin Design by FEM.
2. How did you start your business and how did you choose to create the particular items that you make? How did you first get interested in these fields?
In Milan, I was constantly surrounded by fashion & design and became inspired to explore my ideas for my own collection. With gemstones, which I bought in Indonesia I created my first jewellery and I continued to source for more special & natural beads. This resulted in the launch of my website Dutch Origin Design.com which displays both my art & jewellery collections.
3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
People find it important to differentiate themselves among others with unique pieces of fashion or jewellery. However to find affordable pieces you often depend on the mass production of the fashion industry with little intrinsic value or actual uniqueness. The ambition is to provide people with fashionable jewellery which are unique because of the history of the components and look, but are still affordable. For both my art & jewellery nature plays a key role, natural colors & shapes inspire me to create.
4. What would you say are the main aspects that characterize your work and at the same time differentiate your work from others?
I would describe my paintings as abstract figurative art with harmonious compilation of colours & shapes. For my jewellery I always search for natural materials, handmade and vintage beads which result in one of a kind jewellery. The reason I use natural materials is the enduring beauty, little imperfections which add value and emotion. I prefer to source my materials from little boutiques, family companies and relative small artists. I believe their passion for their products will reflect in the end result.
5. As an artist, crafter and seller, what were the biggest struggles you had to deal with in the past, but also at present?
Finding the right balance between quality and price is subjective. For my own business I don’t have the constant pressure of meeting targets and I can focus on quality and one of a kind items. But the challenge to source unique materials for a reasonable price and not have to fall back on mass production due to price will always exist.
6. What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of regarding your work?
The combination of family life and my own work. To be able to express what’s in my head and hands works well for me. Currently I am working on multiple assignments (mostly paintings) for people who want unique but affordable pieces. The latest assignment was received with such enthusiasm, that it inspires me to continue creating & sharing my designs.
7. What are your plans for the future of your business?
Painting is time consuming but personal rewarding and I hope to be able to focus more on painting assignments going forward.
8. What did you purchase from Funky Box Studio and / or Funky Print Studio?
Printed jewellery boxes , printed hang tags & letterpress printed business cards.
9. How did you come by FBS / FPS? (recommendation, google search, etsy etc.)
I was looking on Etsy for customized (printed) hang tags and jewellery boxes with the right look for my brand. During this ordering process, I asked if FBS was able to print good quality business cards as well. Not knowing that FBS was busy working on the opening of the FPS at that time.
10. Please tell us your general opinion on the purchased items.
Think it’s important that the quality, look and the price is right. The result of all my purchased products is what I wished for. The added value of the letterpress print for my business cards was exactly what I was aiming for.
11. Also, what did you think of your interaction with FBS / FPS from a customer service point of view?
The communication with FBS/FPS was very effective. FBS/FPS listen well to the customer’s “wishes” but give their professional feedback when necessary to achieve the right result. FBS/FPS is in my opinion very reliable for quality and delivery time, it’s important that suppliers don’t make promises they cannot keep.
Check out Femke’s updates on her Website.
The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!