And then suddenly you’re back in your own spot in the office, my shoes kicked off and Pip is under my desk. A cup of steaming tea next to me and a fine playlist of Simon and Garfunkel on spotify.

A laundry list of emails waiting to be responded to, 101 notes on my desk with figuring things out and 56 missed calls. The frenzy and delusion of the day awaits me again. I am back home in my beloved fabryk. For a moment it could be stolen from me, I am so eager to reminisce about the VT Wonen & Design fair. Just letting the milestone we have reached sink in. Never am I stressed before an event, we have a script we make adjustments left and right and it’s bang on. But now, Holland’s biggest home fair, with big established brands. With booths built by professional booth builders, who use aerial platforms and a team of carpenters to scaffold the booths. And there we are, Fabryk Design, a small label from Donkerbroek, Friesland, which has only been around for 3 years.

Yes, it took me sleepless nights, took a lot out of me both physically and emotionally. October living month is the busiest month of the year for us, also the months of November and December to come are the months when we will peak and have to pull out all the stops.

I let my mind go back to early September, the Showup trade show in Haarlemmermeer, the kickoff to the living season. From that time on, we are continuously on ON. There is hardly any time for friends and family, it is getting up and going to bed with Fabryk in your head. The workshop season is bursting forth with a record number of registrations this year. Everything runs on a tight schedule and I have hired additional staff.

Fabryk Design is on the rise, we design, produce and ship with our fabryk family like it’s a charm. And it is, everyone who works with us has the same goal in mind. Delivering a beautiful and honest product to individuals and stores. I get asked for interviews and we collaborated on a commercial for Rabobank.

We are asked to help think about very cool projects, organize events, and we also run Fabryk Werkt! Our daycare program for young people with a distance to the labor market is starting to take off and the idea of reintegration projects is taking shape. By now 4 young people are working through various pathways and we have contracts with various municipalities.

You may understand that I often work with two hats on. On the one hand run in Fabryk Design and on the other hand Fabryk Works! The combination is wonderful, on the one hand we are commercial and need to make rock solid money. The other side of our work is that we are committed to a vulnerable target group that in this way also gets a feel for the business world, but without the pressure on your shoulders that you may experience in a regular work environment.

I advocate balancing your work and personal life, not for nothing do we work with the Verkikkering in which we train our team and myself to put first what you really care about. In this society, burnout quickly lurks because we have so much to do and expectations are high. ( mostly imposed by ourselves!)

I am great at ignoring signals, sticking my head in the sand and moving on. If necessary, until I collapse. Even though others say to me Esther are you looking out for yourself? Nice easy talk then I guess. You don’t have a business to run with responsibilities and obligations such as staff, premises and everything else. It is also my pride that gets in my way at that moment, I wanted this, then I will fix it too. After all, it is my dream that I am fulfilling, so how tired?

You may already feel it coming, with running two businesses managing a family and the rat race of the past year, you’re going to get a once-over. When you find that your family runs the same way as your business, when your children ask when you will be home for an afternoon and you haven’t had quality time with your husband in ages. Then something is going wrong somewhere.

“Happiness Works” was the name of the training the Verkikkering conducted with us at the Fabryk. Your work, in my case my life’s work, because that’s how I see Fabryk Design, only works if I also take care of myself. When I have time and attention for my family and keep the fire burning in the relationship with my husband. During the weekend of the VT wonen & design fair, the two of us went to Amsterdam. Crossed the fair together, had a nice dinner and went into Amsterdam. Taking a moment to unload, forge new plans and find a mode to shape our hectic existence so that we can sustain it.

We all agree on one thing, Fabryk Design is far from outgrown, we are full of future plans! And to go back to the fair for a moment, how incredibly proud I am. What did we buff together, in a time frame of only 3 weeks, team fabryk put together an exhibition stand. So there we were, standing among the big brands at the largest home furnishing fair in the Netherlands! Our booth was full of visitors all week and what cool and inspiring people we met.


Together with Lacq we had a wonderful week, enthusiastically together with our toppers I got to tell the story of Fabryk Design and give demos with Lacq’s beautiful waxes. You can now find these on our website as well. Lacq Decowax

What about me? I will continue to reminisce, and also take a little better care of myself!

Love Esther