After sitting down today with MOMIQ's co-founder and furniture designer Lidewij in’t Veld, I left feeling inspired by her company. I am so glad I got the chance to talk more with Lidewij after spotting her unique chair at the opening of Yolo. Everything about this company tells a story, from the name, MOMIQ which means cotton in the Uzbek language, the type of fabric, Suzani (which means “from the needle” in Farsi), which is a traditional fabric and, more importantly, each chair they design carries its own very personal story.
Sisters Lidewij in’t Veld and Rosemarijn van Velzen both left corporate careers to join forces and pursue this endeavor after Veld had the inspiration to breath new life into beautiful antique chairs she had seen on her travels while living in Prague. Veld had been to a type of village bazaar set up in the desert in Dubai and bazaars in Istanbul, where they found beautiful vibrantly colored traditional antique fabrics from many cultures. She thought these would work perfectly in combination with new fabric on old European antique chairs, would preserve the story of both the fabric and the chair and come together to create a beautiful work of art. Lidewij was continually picking her sister’s brain on design and fabric combinations and after talking with each other, it just made sense to step out on a limb and go into business with each other.
Each chair is refurbished and when recovered, the sisters consult with the Honorary Consul of the Kyrgz, Marianne Tuerlings, to get a history on the symbolism woven into the fabric as well as its history. Marianne has a unique knowledge of textiles from the Old Silk Road. They also work with Nicole Verkade-Schraven, who worked for 20 years as an auctioneer at Christie’s, to identify the time period and authenticity of the antique chairs the sisters buy. The sisters also work with a specialist to assess the viability of the fabric that is to be used as upholstery. When the chairs are complete, they are sold with a complete history, explaining the backgrounds behind the fabric and the chair, giving the new owner a revitalized piece of art that is not only a true conversation piece but also a living piece of history.
As of now, some of their pieces available for sale are on display in various shops in Amsterdam, including a shop called Archipelago. But for those of you who are local, you can check out the ‘Merry Mandika’ chair at Yolo in Djursholm. This particular chair is a nursing chair from the middle of the 19th century (1850-1875) and is upholstered with fabric Mohawk from Lorca. The back is covered with a Suzani from Uzbekistan. Lidewij has explained that, “Suzanis are embroidered pieces of cloth made in the region of Central Asia. They are an important part of a girl’s dowry and are also used for decorative purposes in Central Asian households.”
Merry Mandika chair:
Lidewij moved to Danderyd earlier this year and now plans on selling her chairs through retailers in Sweden, starting in the Stockholm area. You can buy all pieces from the collections on MOMIQ's website (and retailers in Amsterdam).