Adiuvantes – Finding inspiration in unexpected places

Interior @ Adiuvantes / PHOTO: ROSSANA Photography

What are the first things that would come to your mind if you had to describe Amsterdam? Most of you might mention the canals, the many bicycles, the coffeeshops, Anne Frank, Van Gogh, beautiful little cafés and boutiques… and of course the Red Light District!

If you think about the Red Light District, certain pictures pop up in our heads – that’s for sure. The one thing you would probably never associate with the area is a concept store selling beautiful and sustainable products. But it is there! And we have found and fallen in love with it.

The name of the store, Adiuvantes, finds its origin in the Latin word “collaboration”. The owner Femke shares the same believes with a variety of brands all over the world: honest and pure products using natural resources and working in community. That is why Femke sells excactly those kind of items at Adiuvantes. Read more

Yooyama: art or decoration?

Interior @ Yooyama / PHOTO: ROSSANA Photography

Entering the shop, Yooyama feels like crossing an invisible door to a very special museum exhibition. All the items on sale (from design pieces of furniture to small decoration articles) present a touch of uniqueness. It’s impossible not to feel the need of spending a little time observing each of them. You want to take everything home with you, that’s for sure. But there is more to it than that: you want this world of original colours and shapes to trigger your imagination. You feel a strong desire to reach out to the hidden artist within you.

“We started this project about two and a half years ago,” says Johanna Spielberg, who co-owns the store hand in hand with Volker Jöcks. “The idea was to run a store and an online shop for young artists. Each of us is a potential collector; we tend to keep things that represent good memories. So, we wanted to recreate at the store that same collection you would have at home. For that purpose we decided to work with three different actors: renowned brands, newbies (smaller companies like dassie or art & atmosphere) and young artists. All of them work sustainable, are socially engaged or implement ecological values.” Read more

A shop full of stories // Una tienda llena de historias

A shop full of stories // Una tienda llena de historias


Vintage Fabrik is Tabitha Gopp’s first shop; a longtime dream of hers that came true last year in March 2014. The store combines original antique furniture from the 1920s’ to the 1970s’ with handmade pieces of jewellery, rich and varied decoration items made out of recycled materials, tons of postcards…and even fair trade chocolate! Once you go inside there is no possible rest. The space is so packed with all kinds of curious objects that your eyes jump from one to another without even giving you the time to process the information.

Located in Nordstraße, one of Düsseldorfs most lively streets, the concept underneath the shop is to offer unique decoration pieces, coming from different corners of Europe, that can be found nowhere else in the city. In this sense, when it comes to getting the furniture in good conditions to be sold again, their modus operandi includes also minor restoration works. In the small studio of the shop, Tabitha and her assistant take care of the delicate cleaning process and pay attention to other details – like the surfaces – so that the items can be fully usable. A task not always easy to complete due to the fact that some of these furnitures were used in fabrics that haven’t existed anymore since decades. Read more

The sweetest second life

The sweetest second life

Helsinki, one chilly afternoon of fall 2010. Jaime and Yuan’s daughter is three years old when she becomes stubborn asking for a bow. At first, her parents don’t have any intention to throw on a coat and head out onto the street in desperate search for one before shops will close their doors. However, you know how little reasonable small girls can get when they consider a concrete item is missing in their fantasy world (and even more if we are talking about such a very precious – and pink – detail).

Starting to feel the urgency for finding a solution to this unexpected family crisis, Mexican Jaime de Vizcaya comes up with an original idea: he is going to create a rubber bow out of some old bicycle tires, which have a worn-out inner tube manufactured in brown that now looks conveniently pinkish. As soon as they finish the bow and witness the emotion on their daughter’s face, they recognise the potential of it.

Of course, the fact that both Jaime and his Chinese wife, Yuan Long, had an extensive background in the field of design, helped to easily turn a family anecdote into a business idea. Thus, a new professional adventure soon started for them with the creation of Toinen Elämä (also written 2.elämä), their eco-friendly brand that sells jewellery, complements and items for home decoration, all created from recycled materials. The name of the brand means ‘second life’ in Finnish.

Detail of the ‘Butterfly’ collection, feminine complements made out of recycled bicycle and car inner tube. / PHOTO: 2.elämä.

The story
Yuan arrived in Helsinki in 1999 to study at the University of Art and Design, today part of the Aalto University, from where she graduated in the ceramics department later. In 2002 she spent one year as an exchange student in the US, where she first took lessons in jewellery design. Read more