A Few Questions
How did you get started? Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Valerie Sandmann, a.k.a Witlof. My nickname, Witlof, is Dutch for chicory. My father called me that because of my platinum hair. I was born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It remains my home.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been passionate about creating….
I see myself as a visual person…. I went to art school to learn more about the capacity for personal expression. I was interested in many facts of the arts but I chose to major in Architectural Design. In February 2006 I emerged with a BA in interior architecture; designing furniture-objects, interiors, small buildings and everything in between.
As much as I love to create objects and design spaces, I found my interest shifting towards jewelry design. In fact, which I had been making since I was four years old. Creating jewelry gives a tangible result in a relatively short period of time. It becomes an intimate part of someone’s life. I learned the intricacies of crafting gold & silver, and found myself wanting to broaden my perspective, master other techniques. All this sparked my lost passion. I love to assemble, experiment and make colour cocktails. I enjoyed trying out new ways to create the ultimate enduring accessory.
Finding inspiration from fashion and my background in architecture are the essential foundations for my designs. And last but not least, the ever changing and surprising shapes and forms of nature in all it’s beauty.
Three adjectives to describe myself.
Organized chaos, spontaneous, adaptive
What do you enjoy the most about jewelry design?
The instant gratification. Jewelry lights up people in an instant.
What do you not enjoy about jewelry design?
Budget restrictions! Sometimes you need to make unwanted compromises are inevitable in choosing materials due to prices.
Favorite metal/gem that you have ever worked with?
I’m a gold type of girl, but in the beginning I was limited by the high cost of gold.
Through research and trial, I’ve managed to find a way of getting a similar result at much more affordable prices by welding gold filled wire. This is in ways as durable as pure gold but for a smaller price, make it more accessible to my clients.
I appreciate all shades of green.
I love a good guacamole. Isn’t that green?!
What person, living or dead, would you love to create a design for? What would it be?
Marilyn Monroe, an effortless beauty. I would like to make a head piece. I’m obsessed with it.
Speak it into existence, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A globally recognized jewelry line and a cool collaboration. Together I will bejewel the whole world.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting by the sea, sipping something delicious and watching the sunset.
Your zodiac sign?
Libra, love to balance.
What zodiac sign do you get along with the most?
Gemini … I see similarities.
What’s your favorite quote?
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Coco Chanel
Dream vacation you would like to take (or have taken)?
Everything with a beautiful beach together with great friends is fine by me… Oh and also good food, lots of good food.
What’s your theme song?
Freeloaders, “so much love much to give”. Not much with lyrics, but juicy shizl.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Diane von Furstenberg. She had huge successes and huge failures; the only reason she survived is because she did extinctive what is now being taught.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
10pm FriYay in August
Favorite fashion era–20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s?
20s and 30s The style of Art Deco is my fav, influenced by the design of buildings, furniture, fashion, jewelry, and about everything.
It always will be Dirty Dancing, had a cinematic crush on Patrick Swayze. All guys should move like him.
I admire Sofia Coppola’s work. Her vision is define.
Favorite superhero? Why?
Not sure which one, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to teleport and fly yourself?
Last show you binge watched?
Last book you read?
Haha Girlboss, but I didn’t finish it because I started watching the series.
I mostly read psychology books, because I like to read about what makes the human brain and heart tick.
Anything else you want the readers to know about you.
I also love to draw, and as it’s all about the power of the image; I decided to make my own illustrations to present my jewelry.
They say that I inherit my creativity from my grandfather Hans Dukkers, who was one of the first fashion photographers of The Netherlands in the ‘60s. Photography is the inspiration of my illustrations.
A brand is all about communication, visual merchandising, the packaging and logo. The world is completely polluted with too much of everything. To succeed and stand out I think you need to be close to who you are, what you want and how you want it.
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Witlof Creations, handmade and crafted in Amsterdam. Designed for elegant woman. Making unique affordable jewellery. We use fair-trade products. Each product comes with an illustrated drawing with models. This to convey our atmosphere...