Meet Edward (42), the “ed” in Maed for mini. Together with his other half Maerle, they are raising two children: Valentijn (7) and Phileine (4), and a brand: Maed for mini. A brand they started together in 2014 in order to fill a gap they found while searching for good quality children’s clothing thats both comfortable to wear and nice to look at.
“Even though we started the brand together, I soon found out I had less affinity with it than Maerle, so she took over the most part, designing the clothes and all. I’m in the office every Tuesday to help with technical problems and to work on the website. Next to that I freelance, doing graphic design.”, he answers when I ask him what a typical week looks like for him.
Phileine crawls onto his lap, caressing a stuffed rabbit with her cheek, curious about the whole event of her father being interviewed. “On Thursdays and Fridays I’m with the kids, and I feel really lucky to be able to do that as a freelancer. Not a lot of fathers have that flexibility.”, he continues.
When out for work, Edward carries a backpack by Fjällraven he has been using for over 3 years. “I’m very loyal when it comes to brands, if I like something I will hold onto it for a long time.”, he says, placing the bag on his now empty lap. Phileine, or Phil in short, lost interest and went upstairs to play by herself. It always contains his laptop, chargers and drawing utensils. “That’s it.”, he chuckles while I wait for the rest of his answer. “That’s all I need.”
The bag he brings when he goes out and about with the kids is on the chair next to him. “There are scarfs in it, one for Phil and one for Valentijn, and before we leave I fill it with some snacks and drinks.”, he explains after putting the bag, a navy blue shopper by Susan Bijl, on the dining-table we are sitting at.
Edward and Maerle’s kids recently switched schools from public to Waldorf-education, drawn by its soft and children-driven approach to teaching. “I dress them up warm and go to the playground no matter the weather, something I learned from their school.”, Ed says, pointing to the scarfs. Growing up on the second floor in the midst of the city, Edward was used to playing indoors most of the time. “For that very reason I think it’s important for them to run around outside as much as possible.”
Like any typical urban father he rides the kids to school in a cargo bike thats parkes in front of the door. “But Valentijn just got a great bike for his birthday so he can ride himself, next to me, with Phil on the seat on my citybike.”, he says quickly, highlighting he is not just a typical Amsterdam parent.
Located in a quiet street just minutes from the rumble and bumble of the Vondelpark and the shopping area in Amsterdam-West, they live in a light two-story house with Valentijn, Phil and two cats: Sjaakie and Muis. (translated: Mouse) “We moved in three months ago, after having lived in a street where we encountered a lot of nuisance from tourists, so this street is a revelation. The other day there was sweeping truck and our neighbour came out because of the noise, while for us, that noise was nothing.”
Edward and Maerle both grew up in Rotterdam, where they will also be opening their first Maed for Mini brandstore along the famous Pannekoekstraat on February 1st 2020. Will they be moving back “home”?, I ask him. “We really like to stay in Amsterdam.”, he answers. “Rotterdam is a great city. Going there feels like vacation and we like it that way.” Amsterdam, the city where Valentijn, Phil and Maed for mini where born is our home now.