How an Amsterdam sociology graduate quit her office job, went traveling and got inspired to create a company who would take on the most isolated people of society. This is the story of how a young entrepreneur created a career by helping others. Presenting LuckyLeaves.
After completing a master in sociology with a specialization in integration and migration, Julianne, did as many other graduates and took the first 9-5 job that came about. She worked two years in a software company which sucked her soul dry, she felt displaced, and she knew she needed to get out. Julianne decided to quit her job and go traveling. This is where the magic started.
For half a year, Julianne went exploring through India, Nepal and Sri Lanka when she realized her calling was to help others, she especially wanted to help the lower end of society. She only needed to figure out how to approach it. She didn’t have any funds nor practical education in the matter. However, she was determined to create something that would help others.
Shortly after her return to Amsterdam, Julianne applied for a traineeship at Street Corner Work, an organization who works with people who has on different levels lost connection with society. These are people who do not seek help themselves. Her assignment at Street Corner Work was to produce a firm that could get people reconnected with society by creating a company who could provide them with a workplace. Julianne created LuckyLeaves.
What is LuckyLeaves?
In essence, LuckyLeaves are plants and recycled wine bottles put together and turned into elegant interior artifacts. Handmade and stylish, created with finesse and careful concentration. LuckyLeaves are objects that will for sure provide the finest and warmest touches to any room. This is decorative interior designed smartly, beautifully, socially and consciously.
How it all started
Ever since Julianne was a little girl, she’s loved working with plants. Her grandmother’s garden was her paradise. As she was mapping out possible future plans, Julianne thought that creating a company that revolved around flowers or plants would be a smart move as her grandmother, a true plant guru, could teach everything she needed to know. In fact, today, Julianne’s 97-year-old grandmother plays a major role in LuckyLeaves. She makes LuckyLeaves’ stunning hangers by hand, from recycled T-shirts. When Julianne started experimenting with plants for LuckyLeaves, she started in her grandmother’s basement.
Though the project started in October 2016, the company of LuckyLeaves was not officially created until January 2017. This was when Julianne partnered up with colleague and friend Betina, and turned the project into an official company. Together they got in touch with another social organization who immediately saw the beauty in their work. Rainbow Group, wanted to assist in putting their project into production. The Rainbow Group is an organization who commits themselves to helping homeless people, people with addiction problems, people with mental health issues or financial problems, or newly arrived refugees living in isolated conditions. This was exactly the people that Julianne and Betina also had an aspiration to help. Thus, it was a perfect fit.
Julianne and Betina collect empty wine bottles from local bars and bring them to the Buurtwerkplats in Sloterplas. This is where the jobs are created. The people at work, take part in every step of the sensitive production. They cut the bottles with a glass cutter, create a bumper of glue to make the glass more stable, add crayon to give it a stunning colour coat and let it dry. A piece of cloth with a string is then put into the bottle, and placed next to the root of the plant. This makes the root take exactly the amount of water it needs.
An outcome of perfection
On top of the gorgeous look of these pots, the social work behind it, and the recycled material, LuckyLeaves provides such a brilliantly simple solution to keep your plants alive. By letting the plant choose the amount of water it needs, you won’t dry them out, and you will not drown them.
Where can you get one?
Today LuckyLeaves are sold in beautiful concept and plant stores around Amsterdam. You can, for example, find their products in the popular Balkonie Boutique shop on Jan Evertsrenstraat, and you can also see them in other stores driven by social work, such as Winkel & Kaarsenmakerij Colors on Bilderdijkstraat. LuckyLeaves are about 15 euros each, and I can honestly not think of a better excuse to go plant shopping. Support a good cause and brighten your house beautifully. Check out the wonderfulness of LuckyLeaves here.