Meet Ineke Otte! She is a unique contemporary jewelry designer whose work I noticed in the Iris Apfel documentary. Let's meet the lady that enchanted Iris Apfel and many others with her imaginative jewelry designs!
Ineke lives in Zeeland, a wonderful province in the Netherlands. A handful of islands, beaches, and peninsulas, extremely flat and surrounded by the sea. This part of the Netherlands is famous for the Delta Works, built after the North Sea Floods of 1953, a. astonishing project that put this country on top of the world map of water management. In the summertime, both the Dutch and the Germans love to spend countless hours on the wide white beaches and visit the picturesque towns nearby. Eat clams and drink a nice cold beer at the many restaurants with lively terraces.
The people of this area are very down to earth and no-nonsense. It doesn't sound much like fertile ground for the artistic, right? Wrong! Let's meet: Ineke Otte!
Esther: Hi Ineke, so what can you tell me about yourself?
Ineke: I was born in Zeeland and have always lived here. All my life, I have been creating things. I believe that you developed my inner artist. Creativity is inside you, and for me, it's an undeniable part of my life.
Esther: Did you experience difficulties in becoming the artist you are today?
Ineke: Well, becoming a known artist or designer takes time. Making art is like a thread through my life. The difficult moments are those where you struggle with your finances. Simply said: when you lack the money to create your new work. It's about pushing through, and in those moments, I make smaller art. In the end, though, it takes a lot of perseverance, energy, and work to expand your company as an artist.
Esther: Who are your clients, Ineke?
Ineke: Most of my clients are slightly older, dare to think out of the box, and show themselves with pride and confidence. My jewelry makes them feel happy; they stand out as people, and my jewelry emphasizes that. The famous fashion Icon Iris Apfel from New York, wears my jewelry regularly. But also, our queen Maxima owns a few of my jewelry pieces. As does Paola Navone (the famous Italian designer). The MOMA museum in San Francisco has my jewelry in their collection, as do some Dutch museums.
Esther: What is your vision in your work?
Ineke: I have used different materials all my life for my jewelry collection and in my art collections. I am fascinated by new materials and using new techniques. The power of my company? I think it's that I have a very clear and defined style. It's recognizable; my work is recognizable.
Esther: Do you have some dreams to make come true?
Ineke: It would be wonderful if I could make more people worldwide happy with my designs. I would love to see them really enjoying it! How lovely would it be to be an exhibitioner on one of the top shows in the world, like in Milan or New York!
Esther: Where can people find you and your work Ineke?
Ineke: First I would like to tell you about my webshop: people will be amazed by the availability of a very wide selection of jewelry and art, different styles, different materials. I would love to invite everyone to come and take a look at my website: www.inekeotte.com.
Esther: Can they visit you?
Ineke: Oh yes! We have an open studio for a couple of weekends every year. If you are in the neighborhood, just give me a call, and we can arrange for a visit to the studio.
First of all, it's this tiny colorful woman, who seems to not be about many words, but instead shows her inner creativity throughout her very wide range of art and jewelry. I just enjoyed myself so much going through her collections. If you check out her website, make sure you take a look at her art pieces too.
I find her approach refreshing, affordable, whimsical, and so interesting. Truth is, should I meet a woman wearing something of her collection, I would be immediately intrigued. The jewelry requires an art-loving heart, but I can just as easily imagine how people would only wear the flower or animal they love or give it to someone who they know it means a lot to.
I love her fantasy. She enchants me. I go through the websites of jewelry companies at a very fast pace. I look at collections, yes, but also check out if the site gives me a seamless experience. If it is coherent if there is a story and the visuals meet the story. It needs to feel intuitive.I look at how captivating the site's design is and how easy it is for me to navigate. How customer-minded is the site? (Surprisingly so: rarely it is)
However, I 'forgot' all that on Ineke's site. I just went through pages and pages of joyful jewelry. I noticed the smile on my face. Would I wear it? Oh yes. Most certainly so. Not all of it, but personally, I loved the goldfish jewelry, the Dutch porcelain necklaces, and the 3d printed rabbit very much. And I enjoyed just everything else. So much to pick from! There truly is something for everyone. You might find the goldfish ring over the top but love the flower ring. You might not like flowers and animals but love abstract design. It's all there!
If you love informal, joyful, artistic jewelry, then check Ineke Otte out. I promise you; it's worth your time!