June 28, 2011

simple, colorful, and happy, i had to have lenneke’s line of bright, tassel jewelry, made by lennebelle, for the BIG THINGS SHOP! lenneke is a sweetheart with an equally lovely sense of style who is always excited and supportive of BIG THINGS. after she saw the images we shot of her jewelry for the BIG THINGS SHOP, she was inspired to update her lookbook (and i was flattered that she wanted to use my ideas!). shop her jewelry in the BIG THINGS SHOP; check out her blog, a little hamster, for more bits of beauty; and her online shop for more styles!

Name: Lenneke Kooijman

Age: 31

Hometown: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Where are you right now? How’d you get there? I was just in my workspace working on some orders for a new shop in Groningen and online orders.

Since I was young I wanted to be an interior architect. Life took me to studying French in the south of France to hotel management school and to art school studying interior architecture and styling. Now, after my last ‘official’ job, I found the love of my life. It was actually serendipity that made me start my own jewelry label, Made by lennebelle. I found cute silver charms, made tassels from cotton thread I always loved at my neighbourhood knitstore and it continued from then on…

Where are you going? People all around me are making big, big, big decisions, buying houses, getting married, having babies. We would love that too some day but for now we’d love to travel some more, enjoy each other. We are both searching a way to do the things we love on a daily basis.

What will you be doing when you get there? For me that would be making jewelry, styling, designing and illustrating. And maybe, hopefully one day my own shop/café. A year ago I worked on a concept store with a friend. It just was not the time and place to start, so maybe one day….Check out the little booklet about the shop!

Who/what/where was the inspiration that lead you in this direction? The strong desire to make something unique and of my own and an antique market, a knit store around the corner, travels, friends.

How are you feeling? Are you excited? Nervous? Terrified? Thrilled? I am feeling I am going in the right direction. That makes me feel comfortable. It also makes me impatient to know what’s next and driven to work harder to get to the stage where I am confident about what I am doing and how I live my life. And I am excited about Anthropologie, who will be selling a Made by lennebelle necklace this autumn in stores and online!

What kind of expectations do you have? Pfff, many. But in the end I just want to be with my love, my friends & family, healthy and enjoying life. I have got these picture perfect images how that would look like but actually I am living part of that already…lucky me!!

For my Made by lennebelle line, I would love to grow it into a professional and mature brand with points of sales all over the world. At this moment I really would like to work with gold vermeil, I think it will look great with the colorful tassels.

Are you scared of anything? Yes, failing and losing.

What’s the worst thing that could happen? The best? The above. The best, traveling more, developing my skills, staying original and getting confident in the things I do.

What are you taking with you/leaving behind? I am taking with me the lessons I have learned. Getting older means knowing better what you want and who you want to be.

What did your friends say when you told them? They like what I do. They support me.



archi x me
chicago in technicolor


  1. Marie @etincellestudio on July 11, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Yeah, Len I am so happy to read this interview and woot! I didn’t know about Anthropologie. I think Rebecca is totally right… you are on something BIG… you totally rock girl :D

  2. Lenneke’s Minishop Confetti! | BIG THINGS on June 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    [...] lovely friend Lenneke of Made by Lennebelle recently opened her own minishop in Rotterdam featuring her jewelry and other work by friends and [...]

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