Wednesday is the day of our Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people interviews. Today we meet a lovely and sparkling couple, Linda and David. They are working in their own creative business and are involved in a very inspiring project. Discover more below.
As we normally start, I will ask both of you to introduce yourself: we would like to know who you are, where you live and what you do.
Linda: Do you want me to go first?
David: Go, Ladies first 🙂
Linda: All right. My name is Linda, I am half Greek and half Luxembourgish, I was born here in Luxembourg. I studied graphic design in Brussels and as soon as I came back, I started to experiment a lot with creativity and actually ended up working as a free lance, without really expecting it to happen. In the meantime, I had a very short experience having a job in an advertisement agency, but I didn’t really like it and I definitely preferred being self-employed. It was not easy, but when you learn to love it, nothing can compare with the joys and freedom of working for yourself. So, since then I was on that route and David also joined at some point…
David: My name is David Mourato, I am Portuguese, I was born in Luxembourg and I also did my studies in Luxembourg. Right after school, I went to work in small agencies where I spent around 8 – 9 years and at a certain point I was really fed up and thought I really had to find something else to do. So when Linda went free-lance, it made me think a lot about it.
Linda: This is where our path crossed.
David: Indeed. It happened quite fast from then on. I quit my job and became freelance as well. It was exciting. Although we quickly realized we actually ended up doing the same things, both of us were doing graphic design and creative projects, only in separate entities. This created some tension between us but it served as a lesson. We made the most of it, gave up our egos and decided to work together instead. So a couple of months later, we started Kinlake, our creative business.
And this is actually how Kinlake started.
Linda: Yes, it was really cool, because we realized that now, working together, we can do so many more things than separately. Each of us brought their own personal skills to the table, additionally to their graphic design background. I do illustration and hand lettering, and David has an affinity for photography and videography as well. So our creativity feels limitless and this make us feel stronger. When you team up together, you can do more things.
Basically how would you define Kinlake?
Linda: If we’d have to sum it up in just a few words, it would be our creative studio & our lifestyle blog. Kinlake represents our synergy and the creativity that we apply on a day to day basis. For us, being creative every single day is vital, and it translates in many ways, on a professional basis and on a personal basis.
So in details, which services Kinlake offers as a creative studio?
Linda: We do all sorts of things that can give a business, a blogger or any type of project an interesting and creative visual aspect: brand styling and graphic design, web-design, some handmade and personalized work such as illustrations or hand-lettering, and many more. We also do photography, and videography, like short documentaries. We just really like to create interesting material that tells a story and that makes a brand or project feel compelling.
And which is your ideal client at Kinlake?
Linda: We are really lucky because most of the time the people that come to us are actually our ideal clients! I think we have done a good job communicating about our philosophy. So the people who come to us also come for this particular reason. And often they are the right people for us. We love to work with start-ups, bloggers, people who make something by themselves – all these people inspire us creatively. Some people who come to work with us have actually embarked on a wild adventure of starting their own business or blog, and this is very exciting creatively: it allows us to start something very personal, from scratch, like a design or brand styling that is really going to fit perfectly with what they want to pursue. This allows us to also provide a bit of framework, such as useful tips & skills that can help someone to reach specific goals such as growing their audience or communicating a message.
What has been your favorite project so far?
Linda: That’s a hard question!
David: It always depends on the circumstances. Some projects are harder, some projects are easier, some are exciting from the beginning, and some make you more proud towards the end. Every project has a different story. It’s like relationships, each of it is unique. But I guess it’s fair to say that the best projects come from working with people who trust us and are eager to work with us!
What are the next projects you are working on?
Linda: We have been working on an e-shop called Afrolia , that is going to be launched by a very stylish woman of African origins. She is really cool and had been working very hard to launch this exciting startup. We like the concept of this project and she trusted us to work on her e-shop even if it was our first. We also designed her brand identity.
David: We are working on a series of video-documentaries for a magazine launched from the ecological party in Luxembourg, featuring local initiatives that work in a collaborative way. This project has allowed us to expand our videography skills even further.
Linda: We have also been working for some more projects, such as designing for new upcoming small businesses or bloggers.
So, to conclude about Kinlake: why people should come to you? Which competitive advantages are you giving to people if they are coming to you instead of to another agency?
Linda: We are pretty happy about the way we do things; We like the personal aspect behind it. This is from our perspective the most important thing: people who work with us, work directly with us and meet us in person. We are a small business and a friendly one: People can come into our home or meet us in a coffee shop, everything is casual as long as we “click” with someone – we don’t separate so much the business aspect and the personal aspect – they are very blended and I think people really appreciate that. We work with people as if they were our friends – of course there is a business transaction behind, but we try to give much more than that at the end.
Now, let’s mention also the other project you are involved, Orla Collective.
Linda: Orla Collective is something that comes from our interest about living more ecologically. We became interested in a healthy lifestyle and greener choices. Living a happier lifestyle closer to our roots, without materialism. That inspired us a lot and we thought: are there people like that in Luxembourg? For sure there must be. The idea was to begin a blog – but was pointless doing it alone. I really feel that the more people are involved in a project, the more it can become a movement to spread the word. So we started out Orla Collective with this blog platform which is open for anybody to contribute. It works pretty well: Some people write about yoga, some people share healthy recipes, some people write about DYI. Just mindful living, in general. The idea is to accept anyone who is at least a bit interested in it and to make it as open and fun as possible.
David: The idea is to create a collaborative movement where everyone is welcome. It is about all the small things each and every of us does and to share these small things to make a better world.
So when did Orla Collective start and what does it include beside the blog?
Linda: We started in summer 2014. So now it has been a bit more than one year. At first we only had the blog, but six months later we did our first work-shop – we thought it would be cool to take the community from being online to offline and have people meet each other through those similar interests, in real life, though fun activities. We also organize brunches in collaboration with the girls from Ready, for example. Lots of new friendships are born this way, as the community truly comes together.
What are the next events that will be organized by Orla Collective?
Linda: Next event is a work-shop about DYI Christmas gifts – December 2nd. Then we will have a Christmas brunch on December 13th at Ready. You can have a look at our Orla Collective facebook page if you want to see more!
Moving ahead to your life in Luxembourg then, what is the place you love most in Luxembourg?
David: Well, because we live in Esch, our favourite place around here is the Ellergronn, in the nature.
Linda: Yes, this has a particular significance for us, it is the place where we go when we need to reinvent ourselves and refueled. Esch used to be the center of mining and metal industry – but surprisingly there is a lot of beautiful nature around. It is not as breathtaking like in the Haute Sure but it has its charm, actually because of the mining industry this all area is called Terre Rouges which means the red rocks, so when you walk in the forest you see the ground is red and you can feel the history of this place. That’s our feel good place.
And then what’s your favorite restaurant?
David: I really like Mamacita. I think the quality of the food is nice, they are generous, it’s cool. I also really like the Mesa Tai Ji in Esch. The Beet restaurant in town and Amapura restaurant in the Station area in Luxembourg city are excellent for having yummy plant based food.
Linda: There are also a lot of nice Italian restaurants – there we would just take our parents. More cozy settings, like Notaro.
David: The truth is, though, that we don’t really go to restaurants that much anymore. We actually really like to cook at our place and experiment with food in our own kitchen.
Linda: The only place you can always find us is Ready coffee shop. It is not a restaurant – but the quality of a humble sandwich from this place is often better than an entire dish at a restaurant. When things are done with love, you can feel it.
And about nightlife, you have a favorite place where you go?
David: I guess that for the past 7 years, our nightlife is pretty scarce, we only have a few drinks with friends once in a while, with no real preference when it comes to the place really.
Linda: It is not to say we are not party animals, but going out at night isn’t really our thing, we actually prefer to invite people over at our place and party over here!
And what else you like about Luxembourg life?
Linda: I personally like the fact that is small enough to make some good connections and it gives some more exposure to people trying to create their own business. You don’t get lost socially like in a big city.
David: I really like the fact we are really in the center of Europe, everything is well connected and close.
And what would you change or improve about Luxembourg?
Linda: It’s a small country, so things are a little bit behind, but at the same time there is the possibility to achieve things faster, because the people that are here tend to be well-inspired to make things happen. People can absorb inspirations from their travels, take them back here and create something. There are so many opportunities and space for new things to happen. Things like pressed fresh juices, food trucks.. that were not existing in Luxembourg until two years ago, are now growing fast, if done well. Lots of new business ideas can take advantage of that. It’s like planting a seed in very fertile soil!
Last question now: what is the best adjective for you to describe Luxembourg?
Linda: I would say fertile – here there will be a lot of opportunities for ideas to grow fast!