At SUSAN BIJL, we are always looking for a reason to celebrate. A new collection, a new product, waste reduced, or simply just an anniversary. Well here is one: our Rotterdam flagship store turns 5. It truly deserves a celebration, as it has had a huge positive impact on our brand and company.
SUSAN BIJL started in 2000 and for many years we operated out of an artist workshop in the north of Rotterdam. From that place on the Bloklandstraat we designed and distributed many collections of The New Shopping Bag.
After some years of contemplating about opening our own store, we finally took the plunge and came across Mauritsweg 45a where we could combine office, studio and store. A century ago this beautiful space used to be a butchery – and is said to be the first store in Rotterdam with an electrically lit window – before it turned into a barber shop.
With hardly any budget but the great help of many friends, family and two interns we renovated the store space – recovering the original ceiling and floor – and opened our doors in the summer of 2014. It was a very exciting time and not easy at all, but in the first month already we got so much enthusiastic feedback and met so many kind people in the store!
In the first months or so, Susan and her partner Vincent used to run the store mostly by themselves. Pretty soon former collaborator Milena joined them to take care of the store most of the week. Now 5 years later they work with a team of 8 hardworking, ambitious and talented people in the office and store AND many creative partners.
In those 5 years, the store has been an unstoppable catalyst for growth. As our team grew, so grew our customer base, our market, and our creativity. Therefore we now also offer a much broader product range than we did in the first 14 years of our existence.
Colourful and flexible like a chameleon, our store has morphed through many appearances during these 5 years, smoothly adapting its presentation to current collections or actions. Some of our favorites are the room filling display of the RGB collection, the installation that Bertjan Pot made for our collaboration, and recently the presentation made by our own Laura for the Untitled collection. You might also recall, that during the first years a rather high wall seperated the store from the counter and the office in the back. Maybe not very common, but it created a lot of fun moments. Together with our friend and interior designer Robert van Oosterom we did a complete redesign of the store in 2017, making us look all grown up and professional.
So…yes, it’s unbelievable (to us), but it really has been 5 years since we opened our Flagship Store in Rotterdam. Perfect reason for a party!
Come celebrate with us on Friday June 7th. We’ll launch The New Bum Bag and The New Backpack from the Forever collection that day. The store opens at 10h00 and we’ll have drinks from 17h00 on. For the early birds, we give away a free SUSAN BIJL The New Keychain to the first 50 customers on this Friday the 7th of June.