What path has your career taken?
I studied hotel management and finished when I was 21. After I graduated, I got very sick and wasn’t able to work for 3-4 years. After recovering, I continued working in retail which had always been my side job next to my studies. I became a store manager for a fashion brand but soon discovered it wasn't the right path for me.
I wanted to find a job that made my heart flutter. One that would nurture my curiosity for other cultures, my creativity, in which I could take care of others and to be able to contribute to a better world. In short, I took a course to become a masseuse, started a blog about my travels
and became a Sidekick at Zoku Amsterdam. Later on I started KnittbyBritt
, a small brand by which I sell my hand knitted scarves (currently started the exciting adventure of becoming a sustainable brand). So it's been quite a journey but today I'm able to say; all boxes are ticked.
What is your relationship with Zoku Amsterdam, and what are your thoughts?
I've been working as a Sidekick at Zoku Amsterdam
for two years. I fell head over heels in love with the company when I started. When you know Zoku, you will recognize that there is some kind of magic to it. It's so much more than a hotel; the message behind the concept is key for me: Not just offering beds and bathrooms but creating a space that feels like a true home. Where people don't feel lonely or isolated but rather feel genuinely connected and cared for. Since Zoku hosts many Long-Stay Residents, we have the privilege to really get to know our Residents. I just love to hear about their life stories, secret family recipes and the things that make them happy in life. Through that I've built many special friendships with people from all corners of the world.
Next to that, Zoku is also one of the few companies in the hospitality industry, in my opinion, where as an employee you can be yourself.
What’s your current/newly discovered go-to product, service or app you would recommend to others?
Deep Relax by House of Deeprelax
is a Yoga Nidra app. A company founded by Eliane Bernhard, one of Zoku’s former WorkZoku Members
. Her (Dutch) Yoga Nidra meditations are a dream. Through her soothing words and voice she transports you to the most beautiful and calming places on earth. Instant relaxation promised. She offers a free month of subscription (with the code FREELAX ;)) now to help us to stay calm through these uncertain times.
Which book/product have you gifted the most, and why?
I'm a bit of an interior styling junky. I recently discovered that many second-hand treasures can be bought via Instagram. I've really started to enjoy the hunt to find the cutest ones that genuinely suit a friend's interior. A few of my favorite shops are @tierlantijntjes
What is one piece of advice or tip in your field of work that you want to give to people?
Keep people's cultures in mind. I've read most of the book ' The Culture Map ' by Erin Meyer
and it made me understand people, their choices and behavior more. Cut people some slack and if the person in front of you is a bit aloof, be willing to be the one that starts breaking the ice. I don't say it's always easy but it's a chance to learn, experience and maybe even built a relationship. A dear friend of mine shared the poem ' Human Family ' by Maya Angelou
with me recently and it reminded me once more that we are all so much more alike than we are unalike.