May your days be merry and bright!

We are back with our second instalment of interviews and further suggestions of where to buy different and unique gifts during this festive season. As in the previous post, we strived to find local businesses who have either just launched onto the market, or have been around for a while.

As previously mentioned, we were not supposed to feature interviews, this came about organically when our editor was speaking to various local companies and became inspired by their stories and how their businesses came about.

This is Angie Hickson’s story

Angie is a British artist and expat based in The Hague. Using The Hague as her muse, Angie creates gorgeous and ever lasting memories of The Hague and its surroundings. Angie also offers a “bespoke” service, incorporating your own wishes and ideas, making a blank canvas come alive. Prices typically range from 200-600 euros. Angie’s art has been exhibited in the UK, in galleries and at art events. To find out more about Angie, her beautiful art work and services on offer, see here.

Why did you end up living in The Netherlands?

My husband and I were living in Asia when a work opportunity came up for my husband here in The Hague, 7 years and 2 children later and we are well settled into life here.

What do you enjoy most about living in The Netherlands?

It has to be the cycling! It’s great being able to do the school run by bike and my kids really enjoy it too! I have always loved The Netherlands and since moving here we have enjoyed the nature as well as the beautiful Dutch cities. The architecture is fantastic and it makes me feel very inspired to paint! Since having children in The Netherlands, I really appreciate the country for how child friendly it is. We live in The Hague and enjoy both the city and the beautiful greenery that is found throughout the city.

Are there any difficulties with living in The Netherlands?

The Netherlands has been a great place to make our home, especially as parents. Any difficulties we experience is usually to do with being an expat, such as not having family near-by and language difficulties, but I find that the expat community is large in The Hague, which has given us lots of support and friendship.

How did your business come about?

After graduating textile design at university, I set up a small business creating bespoke textile products. I realised that my favourite part of the business was painting the designs. The business stopped once we moved to The Netherlands but I continued my love of painting. The art that I created received a really good response and I got commissions to make bespoke paintings. Over the last year along with ordered work, I have created a series of paintings based on areas of The Hague.

What does your company offer?

By working with the customer I offer personalised, bespoke paintings. The customer sends me images or ideas of what they would like and I begin the process of painting the desired art work for them. I love being able to add personal details to the image that I know the customer will cherish. I am currently creating a painting of a person’s childhood home adding personal details, such as a tree house and the family cat! I send updated images throughout the process to ensure the result is perfect. Past projects have also included wall murals, for example children’s bedrooms. If a customer has an idea, I try my best to create the art for them.

What are the favourite aspects of your art?

I really enjoy creating detail in my paintings, I love intricate patterns and incorporate these in my work. My style of painting and drawing is varied and I love using black illustrations to add definition to my work.

What are your favourite memories/traditions that make your Christmas special?

I love Christmas Eve, and the anticipation of a wonderful Christmas day. Since having children we have made some lovely traditions, the most recent one being elf on a shelf! I enjoy making Christmas crafts with the children for the Christmas tree and for their grandparents. The winter here makes it an ideal time for hibernating, eating festive food, and enjoy being at home.

More unique & individual gift ideas

We love a local company with a story behind them! Purchase products from this business born in Scheveningen, and you’ll be sponsoring the Orangutan Rescue Foundation. What is not to love about that? Check out FLMGO’s website here. The surfer chicks and dudes in your life will thank you!

FLMGO currently have a €10 discount on their sweaters via their website, using the code FLMGO XMAS.

If you’re looking for gifts for the home, check out a new idea on bed linen, bath robes and even cleaning articles! All the products are hypo-allergenic and durable! Optidee gives you an overview of what is on offer. If you are local to The Hague, delivery will be personal and to your door! The contact person in The Hague is ~ Sandra Guerrouche-van Koppen Tel: 06-57835858. Get in touch with Sandra for further information.

Let’s see if these 2 words will grab your attention ~ personalised shoes!

Yes personalised hand painted shoes are available, and they are swoon worthy! Although Shadan Design is based elsewhere in The Netherlands, we had to feature their products because of the personalised service & individual products. Contact the designer and they will try their best to accommodate you. They truly tick our “different” and “unique” boxes! Shadan Design’s website can be found here.

Our last instalment of interviews and gift suggestions will be published soon! Watch this space!

All details were correct at time of going to press. No responsibility can be held for any omissions or errors contained herein. The companies that appear in this article were interviewed by our editor Claudia Adams. They & their adverts appear in this article for free. All art featured supplied by and other companies featured. Our full disclaimer can be found here.

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