Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Marina

Wednesday is the day of Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People once again. Today we get the chance to learn more about Marina, a creative radio presenter.

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Good Morning Marina and welcome on Barefoot in Luxembourg, glad to have you on board for this episode.

Can you introduce you briefly: Who are you?  What are you doing here?

Hi! So, I was born and raised in London, I then moved to Shanghai for a job opportunity when I graduated University. I spent 3 years living as an expat there, where I met my now fiance who is Luxembourgish. Since then, we’ve both moved to Luxembourg and I work as a freelance journalist and radio presenter for ARA City Radio.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your work at the radio?

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about radio is the connection that you make with people. There’s no preconceived notion of who or what someone is, because you cannot see the other person. When people text or call into my show, I get so excited, it’s like we’re connecting over the airwaves! Another aspect of my job which I really enjoy is my podcast series called How I Got Here, where I interview successful people in Luxembourg about their stories.

What are the three things you are enjoying most this project?

Probably the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. From the start, I had stated that success is defined so differently for everyone so I’ve interviewed people from Grammy award winner Gast Waltzing to a lovely girl named Silla who has grown up as an orphan in Tanzania.

When we record the podcasts, I’m alone with them in the recording studio. It’s very intimate and also very real. It’s a genuine conversation. As we start to talk the interviewees start to relax and before you know it we are going into topics which they perhaps wouldn’t have thought they would be sharing! The most interesting part is that I get to make the connection between all these successful people. What is it that has made them all successful? Is it something that they all have or has it been different things that led them all to success? That’s what drives my work.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, you told us already you have been here for a bit more than one year. What is your most beloved place in the city?

There’s a second-hand bookshop next to the Bourglinster castle. It’s one of my favorite hidden gems. They still charge books by weight, it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon activity!

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

The food here in Luxembourg is so delicious, it’s really quite hard to choose just one!! Toit pour toi if there’s a nice occasion. But I must tell you a funny story about my favorite restaurant. When I first came to Luxembourg, my fiance had been abroad for over 15 years so he didn’t know many restaurants. So he kept taking me to Brideler Stuff every Sunday. I used to complain every week, it was so dated and the average age of the customers was around 75. But now, when I’ve had a long week and I need to relax, I think to go there. Somehow the combination of the chalet style decor and the traditional Luxembourgish food has become my kind of ‘comfort’ too.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

I like catching up with friends over a few glasses of wine at Barrels.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

I think it pushes you. It’s less developed than London so there’s a lot of opportunity to create many things and to really innovate. There are so many opportunities to explore things that you enjoy and discover new people too. It’s small enough that you can spread the word quickly and big enough that you will have many people interested. In other words, it requires you to step outside of yourself and what you know to go and discover. If you come to Luxembourg and complain that it is boring, I think that says more about you than the country.

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

I must say, I miss decent customer service. That’s something that I would love to see improve over the next few years. We like to connect with people when we buy something from their shop, otherwise I would have stayed at home and shopped online. I hope we can recognize this and do something about it. I love to support local businesses and physical stores but we need them to provide us with the advantage that online retailers can’t, that’s physical customer service.

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

I really enjoyed visiting the lake in the North of the country, in the summer.  It’s a beautiful place to escape to.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Quaint.

You can follow Marina on a regular basis on Radio Ara podcasts.

 

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Jenni’s Corner: Meet the Start-Up Company Blueberry & Pie


 Today Jenni meets Tuire and Wojtek, the creators of brand new children’s book Message in a Bottle.

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Can you tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what are you doing here?

Tuire, 24,  and Wojtek, 39, are the founders of a  book publishing start-up company Blueberry & Pie which creates books with a customized message for children.

Finnish born Tuire, is the CEO and the Illustrator of the company while Polish Wojtek is taking care of the finance even though they both admit being equally involved in the company’s daily operations and developing and executing its business strategy.

The company was founded 1 year ago when Wojtek had made redundant at Skype and Tuire had just finished her studies in in Belgium. They both were looking for something to do and the idea of an own publishing company was born as a result of combining their skills, passion and interest towards illustration and entrepreneurship. Creating books had been on their mind already for some time and once the opportunity came, they didn’t hesitate to grip it.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your book project?

Blueberry & Pie’s first book Message in a Bottle was launched on 26th of August, 2016 and it is a story of Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper bird Kiki who finds a message in the bottle and decides to deliver it to the intended person. She can only see the first name of the person in the beginning of her trip but on her way from Hawaii to the final destination she discovers parts of the message once it is fully revealed in the last page of the book. The adventure takes Kiki from the tropical Hawaii to cold North America all the way to sunny South America until she makes her way to Europe. During her journey she discovers local animals who help her to reach her goal: “ The story isn’t only educational from the geographical point of view but also teaches kids that everything is possible with the help of others”, Tuire summarizes. The animals that Kiki meets have been selected with the help of biologists in order to provide a realistic picture of their habitat. “I hate when polar bears are placed on South Pole or penguins in the North Pole” she adds referring to false presentation of many animals’ geographical home in some children’s books or cartoons.

The idea with the personalized message is that each person ordering the book writes the final message by themselves and thus making it very unique and fitting to the occasion no matter if it is a birthday, Christmas or a get-well present. This is possible because the books are printed only on demand and hence the buyer can really customize the message he or she wants to communicate to the child.  It could simply be a greeting from an uncle but also a special memory from last summer written down by the grandparents.

Why people in Luxembourg should be attracted by your project?

Luxembourg is full of expats and other international people who are constantly looking for unique presents for the birthday of their friends’ kids, baby showers or baptisms. Children living in Luxembourg also learn English already from very early age so this could be also one way to enhance their learning process.

What have been the biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was just to get started. Neither Tuire nor Wojtek had any idea how to start a business and how much work it would require. They didn’t know anything about publishing nor had any contacts in the field, which made the beginning even harder: “ Publishing industry is a very closed field and without contacts or proven reputation, nobody takes you seriously” Tuire elaborates referring to the process of finding the right people to work with.

“We were also struggling to find the exact storyline that we were satisfied with” Vojtech adds.

Both agree that the most rewarding thing is just to see the book becoming true and see that the hard work has paid off.

What are your future plans?

“We want to make a series of books where Kiki goes on adventure in different continents. For example, a story where the journey starts from Australia and takes a round in Asia before finishing in Europe. In this way, a family with several kids could have same book with different stories” the business partners explain.

This is, however, a long-term goal and at the moment all focus and effort is being directed to make the first story available.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

It has been 4 years since Tuire first came to Luxembourg as an au pair and 7 years since Wojtek began his work at Skype.

What is your favorite place in the city?

Tuire and her inner child like the park in the city center where you can find the big wooden ship made for kids.  Wojtek in turn prefers the Grund area.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Both of them are big fans of sushi and gladly eat out food that isn’t easy to make at home Kamakura is the favorite sushi restaurant in Wojtek’s opinion while Tuire likes Yamayu Santatsu: “the name that I can never pronounce” she admits.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

As a beer fan, Wojtek enjoys BBC or the Big Beer Company due to their big selection of beer but Tuire rather stays home zipping whiskey and reading Donald Duck cartoons.They both admit not being very big night owls.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

Tuire praises nature, especially Mullerthal region and its endless hiking paths. Wojtek follows the same truck of his colleague and likes the combination of easily accessible nature but also international atmosphere of the country.

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

Tuire finds it hard to connect with Luxembourgish people: “ they have their own interesting culture but it’s really hard to get in to that”. Wojteck points out Luxembourg being rather homogeneous group of people when it comes to professionalism: “Most people are working in banking or financial industry and it would be nice to have more variety”

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

“Berdorf is definitely worth of visiting; it has beautiful cliffs, offers a possibility for climbing and they call it the Little Switzerland” Tuire recommends as a nature loving person.

How would you describe Luxembourg in three adjectives?

Luxembourg is rich, green and international for Tuire.
Wojteck finds it charming, advanced and open.

Message in a bottle is available for purchase on their website https://www.messageinabottlebook.co.uk at the price of 26 EUR.

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Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: The Brunettes

A brand new chapter of our series Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people starts this September. Today we have the pleasure to meet Emilie & Emilie, The Brunettes.

Ready?

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Girls, let’s kick it off: Who are you? What are you doing here?

We are Emilie and Emilie and we are DJing under the name The Brunettes!

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg followers a bit more about The Brunettes?

We are really cool mums because we are DJs! We work in marketing and communication here in Luxembourg. Friend of us challenged us to DJ at a party at the Buvette Rotondes and we agreed. The following day, people kept asking us to be part of their events. This is how we ended playing at the Urban bar on the 23rd of June, at the Jakob’s for MixInLux’s 1st anniversary party, at Hollerich for the Marx and Mama Loves You,…

Wow, that’s impressive! So why do you think The Brunettes are different from other djs on the Luxembourg scene?

We definitely are funnier, real party girls. We like to play upbeat tunes, the ones you can dance to.

Having been to your DJ set I can ensure this is true 🙂 Now, coming back to your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

Emilie 1: I come from Paris and I moved here nearly 6 years ago.

Emilie 2: I am almost a local, I am from Metz and I moved here 5 years ago.

What is your most beloved place in the city?

Emilie 1: I love the Mudam because I am a big fan of their musical choices on Wednesdays and the variety of their exhibitions.

Emilie 2: I really like what is happening in Belval. The university, the new shops and restaurants are turning the place into the most awesome and multicultural environment.

What is your favourite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Emilie 1 and 2: We love Ukulele because we love authentic thai food, cashew nut chicken for Emilie 1 and a good old green curry for Emilie 2.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

Emilie 1: I often hop by the Steiler on Friday evenings: This place is crazy and I think people over there are really interesting. There always are nice people to meet there.

Emilie 2: Definitely the Buvette Rotondes: It is a great place, there is always something cool happening and we always are extremely well welcomed.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

Both Emilies: We feel privileged in Luxembourg for the multicultural life, and being able to meet so many people form different horizons. The cultural life is bustling and dynamic.

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

Both Emilies: It would be quite cool to have more little shops life Leif and Beetles and Bugs or Stitch or Honey Mustard. We’d love to see all the new designers get a chance to really bloom too!

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

Both Emilies: Reims and the whole Champagne area. Take a tour in one of the houses of Champagne. People working there are the most passionate ambassadors of their products!

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Emilie 1: Surprising

Emilie 2: Bustling

Just like us!…

Follow The Brunettes Facebook page in order to be updated on their next DJ sets!

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Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Kristy Thibodeau

It is time for another interview of our series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”, today it is the turn of Kristy Thibodeau, an American masseur and blogger living in Metz.

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Hi Kristy, do you want to introduce yourself to start?

Sure. My name is Kristy Thibodeau and I am originally from Boston, MA USA. I am working in Kirchberg, Luxembourg as an English speaking sports masseur. I have my doctorate in physical therapy, am a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and The Fit Wanderluster blogger.

Sounds interesting! Could you describe us a bit better your work?

I work at LuxChiro and my specialty is sports and deep tissue massage. Comments I’ve heard from clients is that my specialty is difficult to find in Luxembourg. I focus on sports rehabilitation, trigger point and myofascial release, and am certified in the Graston Technique, but can also focus on specific muscular tension release that cause pain or headaches. The massage can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable but I do it with a smile! I have experience working with the fatigued desk-job worker, amateur athletes to professional basketball, football, cyclists, marathon and triathletes.

So I see why – with all these professional workers in Luxembourg – people might be attracted by your work…

My specialty is taught from the States and my experience in sports outpatient orthopaedic rehabilitation gives me a very strong foundation on anatomy and kinetics. I have also run a dozen semi-marathons and 8 full marathons, so I have full understanding on the demands and taxing work that can affect the body with sports training. My hope is also to develop an running injury prevention education course for beginners and intermediate runners in Luxembourg, if there is enough interest.

What do you enjoy mostly about your work?

I love meeting so many people, from so many backgrounds and nationalities and hearing their stories and goals to achieve personal bests from their first 5k to marathon.

Talking about your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

Currently, I’m living in Metz, France and commuting to Luxembourg 3-4 days a week.

What is your most beloved place in the city?

My hope is to move to Luxembourg in the very near future because of the diversity and accessibility to so much culture, options for traveling, outdoor activities, music concerts, etc. The options are endless and comparable to Boston lifestyle.

Nice to hear! And what is your favourite restaurant in Luxembourg?

La Boqueria

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

Hitch or The Tube

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

I love the broad range of professionals with diverse nationalities and the welcoming attitudes of the locals. Also, I’m a big fan of the outdoor music festivals and exploring the forests and countryside to go running.

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

I miss living near the beach and really, really good seafood in the summer (lobster rolls!)

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

I’m biased as I live in Metz, but the city is great for shopping, dining, bars, amazing architecture, beautiful parks and walking/biking paths. Also, Reims, for champagne tastings of course!

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Intriguing.

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Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Anneke & Farrah

For a new chapter of our Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People, today it’s the turn of Anneke Hudson and Farrah Gillani, founders of City Savvy Luxembourg.

Credit: Pippa Herbert
Credit: Pippa Herbert

Anneke, Farrah, you are welcome to start this interview introducing yourselves!

In a previous life, Anneke worked as a lawyer in financial services. Half English, half Dutch, born in Kenya and raised on several continents, it’s the multicultural side of Luxembourg that appeals to her. 7 years and 2 children later, Farrah walked into her life with a fun new proposal and City Savvy Luxembourg was born.

Farrah came to Luxembourg from London in 2013 with a 7-year stint in sunny Stockholm in between. Combining a degree from Cambridge University in English Literature with marketing and sales experience at a top FMCG firm, Farrah was delighted to fuse her passion for writing and service together in what is now City Savvy Luxembourg.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about City
Savvy Luxembourg?

City Savvy is the online magazine for English-speakers in the Grand Duchy! We seek to inform, entertain and simplify the lives of Anglophones living in, moving to or visiting Luxembourg. We try to combine the style of a glossy, the substance of a journal and the eye of an event planner. People seem to like it!

Every Thursday we have our ‘What’s On’ for both those with or without kids; we have a weekly giveaway and feature inspiring people in the Duchy. We also boast have some hilarious expat columns, restaurant and bar suggestions, and of course a big family section. So if you’re looking for where to do yoga, how the Luxembourgish school system works or have a giggle over expat life, we’re there for you!

Why should people in Luxembourg be attracted by your magazine?

A study commissioned by the EC in 2012 claimed over 200,000 English speakers  in Luxembourg, although English is not one of the three official languages. Despite this, there are relatively few resources providing relevant and up-­to-­date information for Anglophones here and it is challenging for these people to connect to the services, the places and products they require. City Savvy is their meeting point.

What are the best three things about City Savvy Luxembourg and what do you enjoy about working there?

We love meeting new people and Luxembourg is a melting pot of talent and diversity. There are contributors who have their own specialty, be it comedy or research; and then there are the ‘Extraordinary Expats’ and ‘Celebs in the City’ that we feature in the magazine itself. And of course we love working with each other!

We also love helping people, which sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Our happiest moments are when we receive positive feedback from our readership about a service we’ve alerted them to or made them laugh out loud. We publish counselling articles by a qualified therapist, which are tailored specifically to solve expat problems and the response is phenomenal.

Our privilege is to showcase Luxembourg. There are so many wonderful things about living in the world’s only Grand Duchy: the amazing food, the fun festivals, the child-friendly living. Some of the world’s most talented people live here; others visit via the Philharmonie, Grand Theatre and Rockhal. It has all the benefits of a small community and world-class city combined.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

Anneke has been in Luxembourg for just over 8 years; Farrah only 3. We’re staying.

What is your most beloved place in the city?

Anneke loves to walk through the Petrusse Valley. It’s a great place to take visitors, walking down from the Golden Lady (after taking in the view) towards the Grund. There is lots to see and do on the way, and a drink on the small terrace at Scotts Pub is a perfect end.

Farrah has a soft spot for Vianden – it’s got the most romantic castle, an open-air swimming pool, a cable-car with views over the valley and of course, the nut festival!

What is your favourite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Anneke’s favourite restaurant for a takeaway is Restaurant Tandoori in Beggen, and for a special treat it has to be Ma Longue Sourit in Moutfort.

Farrah’s introduction to fabulous Portuguese food started at Lisboa II, in Bonnevoie. She’s also partial to Le Sud, when the wallet allows.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

On a sunny evening Anneke loves to sit outside at Go Ten, having a glass of rose and watching the world go by. Farrah loves Clausen as it offers so many options for a cocktail under the fairy lights.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

Since having children Anneke appreciates the slower pace of life here; the long lunches, the better working hours, the many events and festivals which are always served with plenty of cremant.

The opportunity to see so many theatre shows from London, Paris and even New York is what appeals to Farrah. For a tiny country, Luxembourg definitely punches above its weight!

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?

Anneke was living in London before she moved to Luxembourg, and being a city girl at heart, she really misses having everything on her doorstep and all that London has to offer. London is a world class city and it’s hard to compete with! And of course, good ole British humour.

Farrah misses good public transport. Coming from London and Stockholm she never needed a car and it’s been a really bad move, health-wise, to have to rely on it so much here. It would take her husband an hour to get to work if he relied on the buses; it takes 8 minutes by car!

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

Being half Dutch Anneke loves visiting the Netherlands, and Maastricht is one of her favourite cities near Luxembourg. It’s fun, young and beautiful .. and just under 200km away!

The Moselle Valley is just beautiful; even more so when you’ve had a bottle of wine from the nearest vineyard.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Cultured.

IMG_0233 A&F gate1 credit Pippa Herbert IMG_0220

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Gianni & Brie, Petopia

Good Morning and welcome at Barefoot in Luxembourg for a new episode of our series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”, thank you for joining.

Let’s kick it off: Who are you? Can you introduce you briefly? What are you doing here?
We are Gianni, Italian, and Brie, American. We both moved to Luxembourg for work in the same month and met exactly 1 year later by chance in the street. In September 2015 we started Petopia, a web platform for people with pets in the Luxembourg region.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about your Petopia project?
Petopia
s a new website with the goal of providing a one-stop-shop for everything in the Luxembourg region related to having healthy, happy, pets and people. Our listings mainly focus on companies in the Luxembourg region, however we have started branching out to the neighbouring countries, France, Belgium, and Germany. Our website features information on businesses with solid reputations whose services we have personally experienced, or which were highly recommended by associates. We conduct individual meetings with the companies listed so that we can learn more about the founders, employees, and any additional details regarding services they provide.

Why people in Luxembourg should be attracted by your project?
It opens pet owner and businesses to new experience and opportunities. We aim to build a reference for all the animal owners in Luxembourg where they can find services, news, information, new ideas and answer to their questions. Often you have a pet, but, you are not fully aware of all the activities, services and opportunities dedicated to them.

What are the best three things about your project and what do you enjoy about working on it?
It gives us the possibility to meet passionate, interesting and motivated people during their activities with animals. It is so enriching. We discover new things everyday. It gives us the feeling of creating something that can help people in getting the most out of their experiences with their animals and also helps small businesses with promoting their quality services. This project, in its entirety, is a reward for us.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, how long have you been living in Luxembourg?
We have both been living in Luxembourg for 4 years.

What is your most beloved place in the city?
Our favourite place in the city is The Chocolate House. There is nothing better than a hot cup of speculoos flavoured hot chocolate on a cold winter day.

What is your favourite restaurant in Luxembourg?
Our favourite place to get the best ice cream ever is Bargello. The ice cream is homemade, fresh, and simply fantastic.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
Home. We love watching Netflix on our couch with our German Shepard, McKayla, and cat, Zoe.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?
We are always impressed with the amount of diversity in the city and the positive influence it brings to the society.

What do you miss here and you would like to change or improve?
Since Gianni grew up in Italy, he mostly misses being close to the seaside. If we could change anything about Luxembourg, it would be the weather and proximity to the sea.

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?
Strasbourg, in France is one of our favourite places. We love going there any time of year, but especially in the winter during the Christmas market.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?
Welcoming

Discover more about Gianni & Brie’s Petopia project on its website: petopia

 

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Federica

I am terribly late with my blogging schedule – I know and I am sorry! I was really not able to stay behind my blog in the last period due to several different issues I might talk a bit  in the future posts and I apology for that. I hope things are going better in the next weeks and I can make it up the ton of posts I have saved in draft or still to edit. In the meanwhile, find another chapter of our series Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people that was recorded few months ago. We will meet Federica, who was already in charge of few guest blogger’s posts at the beginning of Barefoot in Luxembourg adventure.

Hello Federica and welcome to Barefoot in Luxembourg for our readers’ favorite series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”. We are glad of having you here today.

My pleasure.

Let’s start talking about you, can you tell us quickly about your background?

I arrived in Luxembourg almost 3 years ago working for a European project, I was supposed to stay only 3 months.. and at the end I am still here working, for another European institution!  I think Luxembourg has really a great potential and I love the international side of this tiny country. For this reason, combined with a boring routine, me and two others friends, Matteo and Alessandro, started in 2014 to organize events. That is how Aperinetwork was born. In the beginning, we were just a bunch of friends with a common view: building a network of young professionals and expats mixed with best clubs in town, music, aperitivo Italian style (that means free food buffet) and cool sponsors. I have to admit, it was not easy in the beginning because the concept of free food during an afterwork s not so common in Luxembourg, but we have the chance to work with some professional partners as WhiteHouse by Kader, Hitch and Jakob’s House where the service is on top. We also have to thank our main sponsor, who believed in us since the beginning: Bernard-Massard who contributes to the “sparkling” side of our events.

What do you enjoy mostly about your Aperinetwork adventure?

I am really happy on how Aperinetwork is growing, many other people joined us also in other cities: Turin and Barcelona. We are developing a kind of brand to share in other cities (Dubai and Paris coming soon). I love the idea of the project and for me it’s the social part like meeting new people, organizing the event and make it glamorous. Hope to do more and to continue to improve.

Which one has been so far the best Aperinetwork event?

The last event at White House by Kader was great, the Back to the Future party and of course always the next one.. Be ready for our Christmas party at Jakob’s House on December 9th!


What are Aperinetwork plans for the future?

As I already told you, organizing here in Luxembourg also in new location and with new concepts, as we did for the brunch at the golf club of Junglinster once and spreading the idea of the brand in other cities, building a wider network (check our website www.aperinetwork.com and the Linkedin page)

Let’s move back to your Luxembourg life, you said you have been living here for 3 years now.

Yes, time is flying!

What is your most beloved place in the city?

The Kikuoka country club, best place to relax surrounded by nature.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

Le Sud, I really like that place. For sushi I like Aka in the city centre, you must try the “plateau special” there. I also love the small restaurants like the Greek Ambrosia and Aal Veinen in Vianden.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

I like Steiler, Palais and De Gudde Wellen where I usually go with my housemates.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

Great chance to land your perfect job, a lot of young professionals but also some nice places lost in the countryside where you can relax. I love horse riding and this is an amazing place to do it.

What would you change or improve?

More events, more new restaurants, more shops are always welcome. I would like to see all the shops open at least until 19.30 everyday.

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

I really like the Castles in Luxembourg, Vianden is one my favorite but I suggest also the “Chateau de La Grange” in France.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

International

If you want to meet Federica, join Aperinetwork Christmas Party tonight December 9th at Jakob’s House.  Barefoot in Luxembourg will be also there!

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people: Linda & David

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!

If you want to learn more about Linda and David and about their business and their projects, follow Kinlake and Orla Collective pages and meet them at next events at Ready.

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people: Damien

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people series is back. Today it’s the turn of Damien, a young entrepreneur who launched a new fashion store, specifically designed for Luxembourg market.

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Good Morning Damien and welcome at Barefoot in Luxembourg for a new episode of our series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people”, thank you for joining.

Let’s kick it off: Who are you? Can you introduce you briefly?

Hi Corie! My name is Damien, I come from a lovely and sunny town in the south west of France named Saint Jean-de-Luz. I live in Luxembourg for two years and I really enjoy the life here, sharing my time between my work at ShowStyle, my friends, travels or simply discovering beautiful places in the Grand Duchy.

Can you tell Barefoot in Luxembourg readers a bit more about the Show Style project?

ShowStyle genesis stemmed from a frustration… We are in the heart of Europe, connected to the world and every day we are attracted by new trends. But, when you live in Luxembourg, it is not so easy to find the article that fits perfect for you. The shopping offer is really small with some of the biggest groups that sell the same product all around the world and even online you have to pay a lot in shipping. So we decided to build our own site, with designers we like and match with our lifestyle, young, international, looking for quality and originality. The other important point was to ship for free and directly at your home. Today, we work with 50 designers coming mainly from Luxembourg, France and Belgium and we are always looking for new cool and talented brands.

Why people should buy on Show Style instead of in a boutique, a high-street shop or the usual online channels?

As I said before, you won’t find any products we have in Luxembourg and if you want to buy it in another site, you will pay for the shipping. That is a first point. Afterwards, most of the people are used to buy in H&M, Zara, Mango etc and I think ShowStyle is a very good complement. When you want a total look that is not only from “mainstream” channels, you can easily find original articles on ShowStyle that will give you a real plus and make your style different. More than just clothes, shoes or accessories, we promote designers that offer qualitative collections and share their identity, lifestyle and values through their creations.


What are the best three things about Show Style and what do you enjoy about working there?

The first one is the challenge, starting from scratch in a conservative market such as Luxembourg and reach its ambition. The second one is the relation we build with designers. Behind every designer present on ShowStyle, there is a team of young enthusiastic, talented and innovative people. It is really interesting to listen each stories and experiences they have. The third one is to see our clients wearing our products. As our designers are exclusive, it is real pleasure to see some clients in the streets feeling well with their products.

These three points make that I enjoy my work in ShowStyle, it is an adventure made on meetings, stories and passion.

Coming back to your Luxembourg background, you said how long have you been living in Luxembourg?

2 amazing years.

What is your most beloved place in the city?

The Konrad, just to spend some time in a peaceful place when it is cold outside or just having a walk in the Grund.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?

More than a restaurant, I would talk about the bakery Beatriz in Bonnevoie. I just love it. For cheese and wine I really like La Cave à Fromages. That’s not restaurant but I like them 😉

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?

Mmm, that is a very good question! It is really hard to highlight one spot when during a night I can change 10 times of place. I like all of them!

What do you like about Luxembourg life?

I like the friendly and international atmosphere and living in a capital that seems to be a small village.

What would you change or improve?

An airport with cheapest flights.

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?

Not so far, I recommend a daily bike trip in the north of the country, closed to Haute Sûre Lake. It is very pleasant to discover these amazing landscape and feel cut off of the world just after some km. But in this period, I recommend to go to the Christmas market of Strasbourg that is also very nice. With friends or family, it is always a great time.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?

Cosmopolitan.

Check out ShowStyle website and Facebook page for having more information about Damien project and being the first to learn about discounts and event. Moreover, on Thursday 19th November, ShowStyle will sponsor the incredible Beaujolais after-work at Jakob’s House by MixInLux and you can meet and chat with Damien there!

Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Nathalie

The Wednesday’ series of “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people” today has one of the youngest protagonist, Nathalie, a stunning and sweet blogger who is studying to be a make-up artist. I spent with her couple of hours last week end and, together with the interview, she gave me some extremely useful tips about my make-up.
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Hello Nathalie, and welcome to Barefoot in Luxembourg. Do you want to quickly introduce yourself?
My name is Nathalie, I am 20 years old now and I live in Luxembourg with my parents and my brother in Bettembourg. I go to the gymnasium in Esch-sur-Alzette and afterwards I would like to study to become a professional make-up artist.

So, make-up is your passion and you have a very nice blog about it. How long ago did you start blogging?
That’s not too long ago, it is like eight months now. Before I actually wasn’t quite sure to share my make-up works because I was insecure about the things I did and I was kind of scared of people reaction. Then I talked with some friends and they just told me: go ahead and do it.. and so, here I am.

What do you like most about make-up and blogging about make-up?
I love make-up myself and other people as it makes me feel really good and blogging is just a way to share it and it is amazing how happy I feel when I give people advices.
At the moment I am preparing my portfolio for applying at professional make-up school, therefore blogging is also a way to do it on a daily basis and to have some feedbacks about my work.

That’s great. Moving now to your life, what do you like about being in Luxembourg?
Luxembourg is so cozy. When you travel to other countries, like even Germany, I feel like it is more stressful. Here I have the impression everybody knows everybody basically, so it is like a “big family“, while in other countries you just feel a stranger.

And you have a favorite place in Luxembourg?
I really love the MUDAM museum and the Drai Eechelen museum park, it is just so pretty there, where modern and old are melted together in a unique space.

What about going out: what is your favorite restaurant?
I really like sushi and I think the best sushi place in Luxembourg is Bamboo Garden – Neo Tokyo, in Hollerich area. It is not looking that good from the outside, but I can ensure you the sushi is delicious there.

And for nightlife?
I used to like M Club pretty much in the past but lately I find I am getting too old for this place, I prefer now to go to café, I really like Frenchie.

If you have to find an adjective to describe Luxembourg, what would it be?
I would say cozy.

Below you can find some pictures of her make-up works during Halloween week-end.
Follow Nathalie blog and her FB page here: she has great projects coming – including working with an important photographer – definitely a blogger to keep an eye on.

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