Anne-Maayke – Interview

We discovered the work of Anne-Maayke true Instagram-, she made an amazing carrer switch from doctor to Designer. Below you will find a nice interview of this amazing mama.

Can you please tell us who you are and why you choose to be a designer instead of a doctor? When did you start Studio Starling?

Hi there! My name is Anne Maayke and I live with my husband and two boys (almost 2 and 4 years old) in Utrecht. I went to medical school because I had this goal of working and living in Africa. During my studies, I travelled through big parts of southern Africa and I worked in hospitals in Namibia, South Africa and Ghana. By the time I finished my medical degree, I travelled so much that I felt like settling down, live the stable life for a while. Therefore, I started working as a General Practitioner in The Netherlands and became pregnant of my first son. After a few years, I realized the profession of medical doctor by itself was not quite fulfilling for me. It was time for a change!

How did you come up with the idea of making baby rattle toys as a in an Amsterdammertje or in a Tower style?

After making the decision to quit my job as a medical doctor, I came up with a name, logo and website for Studio Starling within a few weeks. I was full of energy and ready to rumble! We live only a kilometre away from the Domtoren in Utrecht. And one day, the idea for a Domtoren rattle just popped up in my mind, as it goes with new ideas! After launching the Domtoren rattle, I extended the collection with more towers. I especially love the Amsterdammertjes, they are so typical Amsterdam and yet they are so simple and cuddly. It was a joy to create a rattle with this iconic image.

Can you tell us about the products you use in addition to organic cotton?

We believe that a baby gift should be made sustainable and organic. Therefore, we design and make all products ourselves. We design all graphics from scratch and print them on 100% organic cotton. We use ecological responsible ink for that. We make all products by ourselfes, my sewing machine is my biggest friend. Sometimes, in busy weeks, my mom (who used to be a sewing teacher!) helps me out, for which I am very grateful.

Why the name Studio Starling?

My last name is Spreeuwers (an old and slightly weird name going back to the 14th century), and a “spreeuw” in English is Starling (you know, the small black birds with little spots). Also, I love the sound of alliteration…

What are all the different items you offer?

We offer rattle toys, musical boxes and baby bath towels. We are planning to add more lovely items to the collection soon…

Where can we buy all these lovely baby toys?

Online at our website, we gift-wrap all items, and send it to you (or directly to the person you want to give it to, with your personal message). Also, we have many selling points throughout the country, please check our website for “verkooppunten”. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to hear about new items and sale.

If I understand correctly, you can create on demand? You know I am French, what about creating the most beautiful tower… the Eiffel Tower?

Yes, we love custom orders! Please send us an email with your wishes, Hahaha when we launch the Eiffel Tower rattle, would you mind doing the communication for us in French? 😉

Can you tell us what makes you happy?

The process of creating something new, simply fills my heart with joy. And I just love those sunny mornings in the forest close to our house, thermos flask of homemade coffee, the boys are playing with sticks and getting dirty, catching up with my husband, enjoying life as it comes seems so simple then.