7 questions with Jasmijn Verlinden
Like Jasmijn fell in love with our Lien in grey violet, we fell in love with her vivid style. So we took this opportunity to ask her some life questions & had a glimpse into her equally colourful home.
Jasmijn Verlinden is a freelance brand architect and one of the driving forces behind the ‘Ik koop Belgisch’ campaign. Lies and Jasmijn met through an online event at the beginning of 2020. Sharing her big enthusiasm, expertise, and unconditional love for unique Belgian brands was what started a valuable and long term partnership.
What's the most valuable advice you've ever received, and would like to give your younger self?
It's nothing fancy, but I'd tell my younger self to uncompromisingly 'do me'. In today's world of endless distractions and opinions, it's not always easy to know what you want and what you think you want because you are nudged into it. Listening to my gut helped me stay close to who I am and who I want to be instead of living someone else's dream. It guided me in my professional and private choices and led me to a life I'm very pleased with today.
What does a better world look like to you?
Since having children of my own, I've become much more aware of the privileged environment they grow up in. I find it incredibly important to teach my sons to be kind, generous and thankful for the opportunities they get. It breaks my heart to see kids start their lives in very different circumstances, so a better world to me would be a world in which no kid would have to live in emotional or material poverty. If I can keep on wishing: I'm very passionate about #ikkoopbelgisch and genuinely believe we can make the world a better place by buying (and producing, even though that's not an angle of the #ikkoopbelgisch campaign) locally. I've been a convinced vegetarian since I was 13 and a world in which we all consume less meat feels like a damn good look-out as well.
Where do you go to escape?
My best friend lives in Berlin, and I love to head over there and spend a long weekend hanging out with our families, going from one park to the next with Kaffee und Kuchen. Closer to home, I love to escape to my kitchen to try out new recipes. I'm an art historian by education, so museums and galleries are also my happy place. Louisiana in Copenhagen is my absolute favourite.
What are you looking forward to in the next few years?
I launched my own business in 2020, and I look forward to nurturing and growing it. The other day, my oldest son asked me "but mom, who tells you what to do now?" It felt terrific to answer "I can do whatever I like". I've always been very determined and running my projects, really suits me well. Besides working with amazing brands and teams, I very much enjoy mapping out a path for that business of mine. And again, I try to stay close to a format in line with what I want from life, not with what others expect or project.
What is a dream project or collaboration for you?
I love to work for a mix of brands, ranging from new kids on the block to more established players. In the future, I'd like to combine Belgian brands with some fascinating foreign customers. And as apparently it helps to speak your ambitions out loud - even if that's scary :) - it would be a dream come true to count a Belgian heavyweight like Dries Van Noten amongst my clients. Time and time again, I'm mesmerized by how he effortlessly seems to blend fashion and culture. Helping to get those stories out there would be an honour.
What kind of bag person are you?
I used to think I was doomed to carry around a backpack for at least the next 10 years. With two sons with a love for collecting, I always drag around sticks, stones and toy cars and a backpack seemed to be the better container for that. That is until I discovered Lies Mertens' LIEN bag. It looks compact but can carry all of my stuff AND my sons' many finds and looks beautiful all at once. I have a pretty outspoken style, and at first, Lies' bags seemed too simple for me, but there's so much more than first meets the eye to LIEN. And in the distinctive grey colour, it gets a bit of an edgy feel.
What is the most treasured item/object in your home?
I just can't choose. I love decorating our home, and I'm constantly shuffling stuff around. There are very few new objects in the house, many things come from my parents' or grandparents', and every item has a story. We've recently transformed a lumberroom into my home office, I love every single inch of it. If I had to choose, I'd say this whole room is my most treasured 'item' as it's the place I can call my own but also use for crafts projects with my sons (they insisted on having their own desk).