Meet Joke

meet the people

One year ago, Joke decided she wanted to work abroad. She quit her job in Belgium and is currently head of communications at het HEM, a cultural centre near Amsterdam. She had mixed feelings about changing direction. “I left a warm home, close friends and even my familiar baker for a room in a city I didn’t understand yet.” 

Luckily, it soon proved to be worth it. She got the chance to dedicate herself to art. Love for art is in her blood. “My father studied art and has taught painting and drawing classes his entire life.” He, in turn, inherited his creativity from Jokes grandmother. “She was a seamstress producing beautiful creations we still use today. My grandmother encouraged my father to draw and paint - which wasn’t an evident career choice at that time. For decades now, art has been running through our family.”

“I value the way something looks and I’m not convinced of the idea functionality is more important than form. Sometimes, this causes some practical issues. When I moved, I experienced that others care about comfort more. “We need this wall for projections”, is something I heard, for example, while I would choose for a white wall without any function on purpose. Knowing this it isn’t surprising I used to carry a very impractical but beautiful, cubical purse. You could hear my belongings rattling inside."

Lies created a handbag for Joke’s birthday. “It was exactly what I needed at that moment. She combined beauty with sobriety in a flawless way. She constantly challenges both herself and her friends, digging deeper into functionality and appearance. Next, she knows how to connect the things others find important with her own ideas. That’s what makes her work so strong.”

“I’ve been wearing this bag for over three years, and take it with me everywhere. Since I moved to Amsterdam I bike a lot more, so I don’t want to drag a lot of stuff with me. My keys, phone and earplugs are always in my bag, just like expired train tickets, two scrunchies and lipstick. Recently, I even found a needle and some thread in it.” According to Marie Kondo, tidying guru, you should empty your bag every day. Joke clearly doesn’t agree with that. “In any case, I’m still able to find everything back in a glance. I’m not wasting time looking for my stuff anymore - in a way, Lies gave me the gift of time.”

Joke’s wardrobe consists of different elements she brings together in varying ways. Her bag complements every outfit. “I don’t need a new bag, because my Joke matches everything. Sustainable leather is also easy to clean. In my opinion, it looks even better when it’s a bit worn off. The only thing I consider is to buy the same model in another colour… what do you think, Lies?

Joke's predilection for art proves she values the story behind things. That’s exactly what the design mirrors. “It’s not just an object, but a functional handbag customised to my life. And this is exactly how I want to use products: bringing their story.”