What’s next after boxXshop 2013?

BoxXshop 2013 by onahazymorning.com

BIG THANKS to all the boxxshoppers, especially for those who helped to build it up and down!
I couldn’t imagine that boxxshop would happen again this year, until Eliane jumped out to help organizing the event. This year, all the boxes looked really beautiful and charming, and I hope you all had a good time meeting people besides selling.

Every year after the event, I always had lots of reflections. When boxxshop was first launched in 2011, this small scale, handmade xmas market was still quite unique, offering products that people can’t find in the normal markets (you can also watch this short video about our original idea). In shortly two years, ‘creative markets’ have become a hype and online shops were also fast growing stimulated by the online marketplaces, such as Etsy. With so many xmas markets popping up every year, what else can we offer to people then just selling products?

I think these days people don’t want to be ‘the consumers’ only. Facts show that more and more people are actively involving in the production process; it happened in the food industry as well as in the design industry. If I may fantasize about the next event, it would focus more on the ‘process of making’ rather than the ‘end product’. This is what interests me most in all my projects, to connect people back to the production process so we can together shape the future economy!!

And you? What is your say about boxxshop? Tell me more about your idea, or simply leave a comment here.

(Thank you On a Hazy Morning for your lovely photos!)

(Thank you Marieke van den Boogaard for your lovely iphone photos!)


Event announcement: boxXshop


Date: Thursday November 28, 2013
Time: 6pm-9pm (Koopavond)
Place: Oostelijke Handelskade 34, Amsterdam

Fancy a quirky Xmas market with 100% handmade cute little gift?

boxXshop is a very special 180 minutes Christmas market on the Thursday Shopping Evening at Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam. During the event, Lloyd Hotel’s library will be transformed into 22 gift shops with limited edition handmade gifts for Sinterklaas and Christmas.

22 designers and makers will be selling their handmade goodies ranging from paper & print, jewelry, ceramics, crochet to yummy edible gifts presented in different box shops – after the event, all the boxes will be demolished and re-installed again as the library.

boxXshop is the place to be for you who fancy an alternative Christmas market, and who want to enjoying shopping in delightful Thursday evening in a cozy place. You can find us on Thursday November 28th at Lloyd Hotel. We will be there from 6-9pm…See you then!? Oh, and don’t forget to bring your cash!

Below you will find more info and impressions from our past events in 2011 and 2012.
You can get an impression of boxXshop 2011 by this video or these photos.

installing the boxXshop

33 makers and designers will offer you diverse handmade gifts perfect for Sinterklaas & Xmas

You can check this post The day of boxXshop to see how boxXshop was built together in 2 hours.

boxXshop is built by these boxes, currently used as Lloyd Hotel library’s storage

*This year boxXshop is made possible by
Lloyd Hotel
& Cultural Embassy, Nest Project and Eliane Roest.

boxXshop is calling for designers and makers!

Thank you for your interest! The registration is closed on October 31.

This year boxXshop will be launched again at Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam! Do you have unique handmade gifts for sale? Register a box today.

What is boxXshop?

A pop-up gift shop made of boxes.
Every box is a mini retail store (or a showroom).
Check this story to get some impressions: The day of boxXshop

When and where?

Saturday evening from 6pm-9pm, December 1, 2012 at Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam.

What can you sell?

1. Your own handmade arts & crafts & food…etc.
2. Delicate and affordable products under the price of 50 euro.
3. Unique gifts for the holiday season.

4. Objects that are no larger than the box: width 68 cm – length 35 cm – depth 37.5 cm

How does your boxXshop look like?

It is a multiplex-framed box: width 68 cm – length 35 cm – depth 37.5 cm

How to participate?

You can rent a box to become one of the boxXshop owner. Rent one box is 20 euro (price excl. btw).

This will include:
1. Shop space – beautiful multiplex-made box.
2. Publicity – you can expose your work at a great location.
3. PR – boxXshop was promoted by Etsy, Dutchhandmade, Lloyd Hotel & 101 woonideeen, strawberry earth and the participants last year…and this year we will again collaboratively promote the event.
4. Network – you will meet other designers and makers who share the same interests and experiences with you.

How about the insurance?

All the damages will be at the participants’ own risk.

How many boxes are available for rent?

There are 30 boxes available for rent.

How to participate?

Please send a email with your name, contact info and few pictures of your work to us. After reviewing your work, we will react to you and provide you further information.

How will boxXshop be constructed?

boxXshop will be assembled collaboratively by all the participants – yes, it is a great chance to meet other designers and makers who might become your future collaborators!

Lloyd HotelboxXshop is a collaboration between Lloyd hotel & cultural embassy and Nest Project. Join our event page and spread the CALL to your friends please 🙂

From a vacant restaurant to a pop-up ice cream bar

Isn’t it great if you can make a small business you’ve always wanted to make, without the big investors, long-term leases and designed interior? How about being a temporary owner of a vacant restaurant and testing your new business for 6 months?

Around the corner of our street, an entire building block is announced to be demolished. A Chinese restaurant has left a while ago, leaving a dark-, empty space. Few weeks ago, I noticed that something started to happen – the space has been cleaned; white paint has washed the wall. Soon after, a flyer arrived to announce the opening of the ice cream bar.

In just few weeks, the ice cream bar opened its door, transformed the vacant restaurant space and is now successfully seducing the curious crowd. So who is behind it and what has made this pop-up bar work?

‘I wanted to start my own business and happened to see this vacant space’, said Roos – the owner and the young entrepreneur of this temporary ice cream bar. ‘Nobody knows when this building block will be demolished, so I simply seize the chance to start up my business’.  As a temporary owner of the space, Roos had to appropriate the restaurant space in order to keep the investment low, and to furnish the space as soon as possible since there is only a temporary lease. This improvising character actually makes her space very inviting to the by-passers. People feel very comfortable to step in and to chat with Roos. ‘Yes, that’s also what I intend to create – to make people feel like home’.

Now you can easily get a ball of ice cream plus a cup of coffee together for less than 3 euro (these days, a cup of coffee in Amsterdam already costs you 3 euro). Customers start to improvise the service together with Roos. ‘Requests called in for kids birthday parties. So I’ve initiated workshops to make some crafts and ice cream together with the kids, for example.

While having an ice cream at Roos’ bar, I heard people chatting and fancying to see more this kind of temporary initiatives in Amsterdam. Temporary stores prove to attract attention which helps to draw potential future tenants, but still many storefronts in the city are left vacant. I wonder if there could be a new kind of match-make platform that helps starter entrepreneurs to nest in vacant properties (for example, popupsquare)? It should be a different one from the current retail property’s website: it should be able to match small-scale initiatives to urban niche spaces and to obtain the temporary permit [1] more easily.

According to Roos, it’s really difficult to acquire a commercial property to run a temporary bar / restaurant in Amsterdam. ‘I am really luck to have this chance. All the commercial properties are simply too expansive for starters‘, said Roos. I hope Roos could continue serving her cost-friendly ice cream and could benefit from this temporary initiative which might be the stepping stone for her future ice cream business [2].

[1] In Amsterdam, a temporary (pop-up) bar/or restaurant needs a temporary lease as well as a catering permit (in Dutch: horecavergunningen) which costs quite some bucks to obtain.
[2] Station Roos will stay at this location til January 2013, and will serve various food such as lunch and warm snacks in winter time. You can keep track with her activities at www.stationroos.nl

10 examples of Collaborative Store in Amsterdam

What is a Collaborative Store?
Imagine it’s like an online marketplace (e.g. etsy) translated into a bricks-and-mortar store. This is a perfect model for micro entrepreneurs – craftspeople, designers, independent musicians, inventors, food makers – who can collectively create the maximum visibility with just little investment.

Endossa is an interesting example in Sao Paulo which has defined their store as:

a shop where people choose what it sells. It´s a translation of many concepts behind web 2.0 into a bricks-and-mortar store. A platform where content (products) gets ranked and filtered by users (consumers).

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There are some basic strategies in running a Collaborative Store:

Open marketplace: rather than selecting vendors, the store is available to almost every product. It’s a user-generated selection process meaning eventually unique and creative products will be endorsed by the customers.
Micro-investment: usually a small amount of fee is charged without sales commission.
Shops-within-a-shop: micro-retail-space such as shelf / boxes are made available for rent. In some other cases, a shop space is collaboratively run by multiple tenants.
Temporary lease: leasing a shop space for a short period of time – for a day, a weekend or a month.
Mixed Use: mixing different types of activities in one space – retailing, workshops, performance, food & beverage, beauty salon…etc.

Collaborative Store is not yet very common in Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands, but there is certainly a growing interest in this niche. Below I’ve sampled 10 initiatives in Amsterdam based on the above mentioned strategies. Hope this list will inspire more initiatives and help micro entrepreneurs to find start-up spaces and to collaborate.

1. The New Label Project (Rozengracht 75) is probably the first initiative in Amsterdam that realized the concept of Shelf (box) Rental Store. The shop space is carefully designed with different sizes of boxes which can be rented by various types designers & makers.

2. Open Shop Amsterdam (nieuwezijds voorburgwal 291) is a shop collaboratively run by several Dutch fashion designers. Since 2003, various Dutch starter designers have joined this initiative before they become independent.

3. One Day Shop (Haarlemmerdijk 41) offers an empty retail space where various retailers can rent for 1-3 days.

4. Mini Shopping center of cool (Amstel 180) is a mini retail store that offers various sizes of spaces and temporary rental possibilities.

5. Charlie & Mary (Gerard Doustraat 84) is a cafe-in-a-retail-shop collaboratively run by Beter & Leuk café and Charlie & Mary fashion store. Actually Beter & Leuk (Eerste Oosterparkstraat 91) has another café which also offers micro spaces for rent for design and crafts.

6. The Novel Swap Shop (Ernest Staesstraat 7) is a meeting place for free clothes-swap, coffee and cake. It is a part of the Bookstore project, a social initiative offering artists-in-residence with affordable living-working spaces. Want to launch an event here? Why not join their clothes-swap day, chat with the artists with free coffee and cake, and talk about future collaboration possibilities…

7. Depot BG (Tolstraat 137) is a project space initiated by several creative offices who are temporarily leasing the building of former city archives of Amsterdam. In the past, Depot BG has hosted various events including film, exhibition, pop-up dinner…and its door is always open for new ideas & collaborations.

8. Bar22 (Wolvenstraat 22-24) offers its space to host various events: for example, an online retailer ThinksILIKEThinkILOVE has launched an evening pop-up shop here, creating an interesting atmosphere of vintage shopping party.

9. One Day Shop HTNK (Wibautstraat 127) is an annual fashion event that offers a platform for designer labels, photographers, illustrators as well as accessories designers. The participants have been growing into more than 50 vendors for the last event. It takes place at Club Trouw, where music, food and fashion together create an exclusive fashion marketplace & party.

10. Ultra de la Rue (Oudekerksplein 30) is a fairly new initiative in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. A group of artists and designers are temporarily leasing the space, creating a mixed use space as gallery, café bar and store. The space is located at a fantastic central location with a little taste of history and eroticism. Why not grab a coffee chat and brainstorm collaborative events with Ultra de la Rue?


Want to share more examples of Collaborative Store? Please feel free to leave a comment or pin your example at our Pinterest board of Collaborative Store.

Hotel the Exchange – Amsterdam’s new creative nest

Left side is the OPTIONS! design store from Hotel the Exchange.

Lloyd hotel’s second endeavor, Hotel the Exchange, has recently opened its door in the center of Amsterdam. It’s literally located in the center that is notorious for its touristic café, snack bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. Many locals tend to avoid this hasty & noisy tourists’ spot, though it does have very special charm of quirkiness. Besides those low-profile hotels, there are many hidden surprises such as rooftop sauna, introverted restaurants (without street entrance) and many abandoned-, vacant- upper floor spaces waiting for the future to come.

In the past, there have been many attempts trying to intervene this area or to activate these vacant floors, but the long-term procedure (resulted from the urban legislation, the monumental law and etc.) has discouraged many initiatives. So how did Lloyd Hotel make Hotel the Exchange happen within half an year?

The first Lloyd Hotel is transformed from a former emigrant hotel, successfully creating a new cultural spot by mixing a design hotel with event spaces. Then Lloyd has launched a temporary hotel in Tokyo – Llove Hotel. After these challenges, Lloyd Hotel’s next ambition is to be the cultural catalyst for not only a marginal neighborhood and abroad, but also for the center of Amsterdam. So they acquired the second property without any hesitation when those 3 buildings on Damrak became available.

A snapshot from google map showing the former Damrak hotel and the building front were covered by signs and winter gardens.

The facade of the 3 buildings are refreshed by Hotel the Exchange, with higher ground floor spaces.

It seems impossible to connect 3 historical buildings into one (which is in conflict with the monumental law), but the possibility has been quitely created by the history. First of all, these 3 different-looking buildings, have actually already been connected by the former owner to create 2 hotels. This explains why Hotel the Exchange could be undertaken within a rather short period of time – without going through the process of negotiating with the monumental law and of changing the destination of use (e.g. from ‘housing’ to ‘hotel’). Another possibility created by the history is the entrance hallway – a ‘shaft of light’ that allows daylight to fall into this narrow corridor next to a snack bar. Tracing back to the historical drawings, it has been found out that there used to be an alleyway in the 17th century, which has been ‘swallowed’ by the building later. So eventually the city is happy to see the alleyway brought back by Hotel the Exchange.

Entrance is next to a snack bar.

In the light shaft looking towards the entrance - this was used to be an alleyway before.

Hotel the Exchange has created 61 rooms, café STOCK and one design store OPTIONS! all within 3 small building blocks. The arrangement of the rooms were mostly adapted from the 2 former hotels, though the interior has become more ‘porous’ by removing some rooms and creating internal windows. Other than most of the low-budget hotels that tend to block the views towards outside, Hotel the Exchange has revealed the views to Damrak as well as to the inner courtyard. Both views exposed more chaos rather than romance of the city, but have allowed spectators to reality-check the center of Amsterdam, which has been decaying and is now asking for more attentions and creative solutions to re-generate.

Hotel the Exchange has brought back the double height ground floor space in order to create Stock café.

Inside the OPTIONS! design store.

So will Hotel the Exchange be the catalyst for change for Amsterdam’s center? And how? It is clear that they are spreading slowly the spider web in this area…we will not have to wait for too long to hear Lloyd’s next surprises!


I’ve like to thank Lloyd Hotel who shared their experiences and offered me a great guided tour through their buildings. Above story is based on the interview with Suzanne Oxenaar, who together with Otto Nan have initiated Lloyd Hotel, Llove Hotel & Hotel the Exchange.

The nest of The Mouse Mansion (Het Muizenhuis)

I’d love to share this winter wonder with you for this specific moment of the year.
It was an year ago, around the same period of Christmas holidays, that this installation The Mouse Mansion (Het Muizenhuis) popped up in the window of my neighbor’s house. Its surprising presence has surely created a new attraction in my neighborhood. Everyday curious crowds hung in front of the window; kids especially excitedly stuck their faces on the glass and crawled up and down of their parents in order to see every corner of this miniature house.

Well, the surprise is not just for the kids. I was also amazed after giving it a close look – these mice poppets, the miniature house, the furnishing of the house, the bathroom fixtures and the kitchenware…etc., every detail of this miniature house is crafted all by an artist,

The making of:
From the picture above, you can see that these water vases are actually made of paper!

An impression on the structure of the house before we get closer to look into the rooms…

The wall paper and all those blankets on the shelves…

The candle holder on the wall (right side)…

The tiles in the bathroom, the weighter, and the garbage bag next to the trash can…

The lady’s corner…

Bakery and the delicatessen…of course, the bycicle! These are mice in the Netherlands!

This is my favorite, Oliebollen street vendor – Oliebollen is a bit like donuts (fried dough) a traditional Dutch treat for December.

This window is located at Weesperzijde adjacent to the river Amstel. There are some café restaurants next to it. Beyond the event days, it’s just a domestic / and transit route. During the month when The Mouse Mansion was nested, the anonymous window has created a new point of interest. Since then, I see more often that these kind of temporary window gallery popping up in my neighborhood.

Though this year, The Mouse Mansion has found a permanent nest at OBA (Amsterdam Public Library), so I’m not able to say hello to these mice everyday anymore.

Now this book is lying everywhere in the bookstores in Amsterdam, and of course now it’s also in my book shelf. Though The Mouse Mansion will not come back to my neighbor’s window, I’ll have a cozy winter with the book accompany me.

Check the official blog of The Mouse Mansion / Het Muizenhuis.
http://the-mouse-mansion.blogspot.com (in English)
http://hetmuizenhuis.blogspot.com (in Dutch)

Sneak preview of boxx…

Thank you for your interest in boxXshop!! The registration is closed now.
There have been more than 50 letters of interest coming into our mailbox, and so far all the boxes are booked by 30 participants.

The 30 boxXshop owners are:
1. Anna Sutherland, architect and crafter
2. Anne-Lise Heydra, owner of anneliseheydra
3. Anne Olde Kalter, owner of La Farme
4. Caro de Bruin, owner of honoriginal
5. Caroline van der Bijl, owner of Stop Me
6. Daniela Castelbranco, owner of Futurerecycles
7. Eliane Roest, owner of Roest Haakt
8. Emma Repelaer van Driel, owner of WonderfulWall
9. Jo Barnett, owner of Berger Barnett Architects
10. Joana Pedroso, owner of Trincar Uvas
11. Ju-Hsuan Hsu, owner of ruru’s laboratory
12. Kaita Shinagawa, owner of Studio ku+
13. Liesbeth & Barrie, owner of pinipiru
14. Majorca de Greef, owner of Ton de Boer
15. Manon Maatje, owner of MAUK studio
16. Marta Pakovska, owner of Martice
17. Maroeka Deekman, owner of RoOkiez
18. Masaaki Oyamada, owner of Masaaki Oyamada
19. Nolda Vrielink, owner of Nolda Vrielink
20. Niki Clerx, owner of byNikiClerx
21. Pasquale Pontillo, owner of Archichef
22. Paula Huizingha, artist
23. Roxanne van den Berg, owner of VanRox
24. Sauling Wong, owner of essyello
25. Stephanie Lama, architect and dancer
26. Uno Shinagawa, owner of Unobento
27. Wilma Bosland, owner of Wilma Bosland
28. Nathalie Tura, owner of LaNina Quilts

29. Iwona Wozniakowska, illustrator and architect
30. Agnieszka Gozdziuk, aga.flo

boxxshop participants

Here you can also view the work of all the boxXshop owners at once.

Follow updates about #boxXshop at our facebook page. More info about boxXshop click here.

The nest of Ton de Boer

‘The nest of…’ is a new series of stories about the niche spaces for arts and crafts. With this series, we will explore together the exciting, surprising and inspiring stories of people and their nests in Amsterdam.

//////////// Meeting Marjoca de Greef at Ton de Boer, May 2011

Instead of a gallery, Marjoca started a shop called Ton de Boer with both high art and consumer items. I was curious about what has inspired her to create this store.

‘I think art can be more accessible to everyone. In a shop, art can become a daily object/ product instead of being unknown and superior in a gallery’, said Marjoca. ‘Besides, it is hard to survive as a sculptor artist…’

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