We are live! On the 7th of March, 2019, our ILNI website was complete and the publish button pushed. This exciting moment came after weeks of back and forth exchanges with our Web designers working to get just the look we were after.
Then, only a few weeks later, an email appeared in my inbox that set in motion an exciting collaboration for ILNI. A Dutch Milliner from Gouda had heard about ILNI and was interested in showcasing our bags in her hat salon. “Your style / your bags fit really well next to my hats!” were the magic words in her email.
Her gorgeous hat salon is located only a few steps away from the Royal Palace, in the most elegant shopping street of The Hague, Noordeinde. No one in their right mind would refuse an offer like that, so we immediately emailed her back and made an appointment to meet.
Her store was everything we could have hoped as an excellent example of a handcrafted business. The space was complete with a long table filled with needles, a big variety of textures, and unfinished hats that were, nearly perfect. Simple, black mannequins lined the walls showcasing a wide range of different hats. White, round boxes with the elegant ‘Berry Rutjes Jr.’ signature were stacked on the floor, displaying even more beautiful hats.
Betty Rutjes explained in our first meeting that she had heard of our brand via Linda Zoon, the fashion illustrator in Rotterdam, with whom we worked with before. We were grateful for the connection made by Linda.
She loved the ILNI brand and bags and agreed to showcase the ILNI bags in her shop over the next three months, from the 1st of April to the end of June. The bonus was I also got to be in the shop two days a week giving to the chance to share the story behind our bags with customers walking into the shop. You can find me there on Tuesdays and Sundays until the end of June.