It's crazy enough to have one baby at a time, but gloobles founder Stephanie van Rappard is having two. Well, one real baby & one book baby. With only a few days left before she brings her second child into the world, Stephanie has brought our incredible book, AMSTERDAM the gloobles guide, to life. But with real babies at the forefront of the mind as much as literary ones, Stephanie has been popping into our very favourite children's shop, Archive Store, more than ever. This gorgeous shop is rife with beautiful, unique & sustainable pieces for little ones. You name it, they have it (& in a more beautiful version than you could have dreamed of). We sat down with founders Martine & Anna to find out what goes on behind the scenes.
gloobles: Alright, let's start at the beginning. How did the two of you meet?
Martine & Anna: We shared a few friends who all knew each other from Martine's studies at Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Anna joined the club, and since that summer, we became really good friends. Now we are not only sharing the same group of friends but also the same dreams & ambitions.
gloobles: Thank goodness you guys fell into the same crew! Tell us the journey of opening Archive Store.
M&A: We both shared the same ambition of owning a beautiful shop, sometime in the future when we were old… But a perfect place in Amsterdam was for rent & it got us thinking. Why wait? Why not start living our dream now? We did it & luckily never regretted it. We started small, without a plan, but our enthusiastic drive & intuition always lead us in the right direction. We worked day & night but always with a lot of pleasure. If you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. The store is our 3rd baby, & we give it all our love. After 2 years, we moved to our current location, an exciting next step.
gloobles: Definitely an exciting step. We love the space. What was the reason behind teh move? Is the neighbourhood special to you?
M&A: The idea to move initially arose because we had to leave our fantastic little spot in the Jordaan. So, we went looking for a new place. A family member sent this location as she lives just around the corner & was expecting a baby. “Easy,” she thought. “A baby store just around the corner.” ;-) We went for a look: way too big, way too old BUT love at first sight… So we did it. Again… We believed in our concept, so we believed in this place. A new dream came true! Our current building is much larger & lighter. It has enough space for all the big furniture items we are focusing on at the moment - beds, wardrobes, dressers… Also, this place is more convenient for customers who come by car. Everyone knows it can be quite challenging to park in Amsterdam, but that’s no problem here. We love the Utrechtsestraat, which is located just around the corner. More local resellers, small unique boutiques, some fashion stores, a few restaurants, the best coffee, books, beautiful flowers - you can find it all here. Plus, with two schools located just around the corner, it's an easy place to pop in for our customers. We also have enough space for our office at the back of the store in this building.
gloobles: That's incredible that you guys just bit the bullet & took a chance. We need to learn to be more like you! What inspires you?
M&A: Mostly our daily life with our family. With a love for interior, we are always looking for beautiful things to make our house a magical place. With the arrival of the kids, we were missing cool things. Bed linens like your own without teddy bears & polka dots, wall decorations, lights…. really hard to find. So we searched for products around the world, found them & collected them all under one roof at Archive Store. Secondly, Paris. We go there two or three times a year. The atmosphere, the shops, the brands, the art… we just love every part of it.
gloobles: Is there anything better than a trip to Paris? We always find ourselves inspired when we return. There's just something about that city! Can you tell us a bit more about the name of your shop? What does it mean?
M&A: Archive Store; Home of the little gatherer. Our store is an archive dedicated to gatherers of all ages longing for a novel selection of items. Lose track of time while exploring the refined & unique collection, & perhaps you will even feel like a child again.
gloobles: Love that. We certainly get that childlike sense of wonder when we comb through all the treasures at Archive Store. What are you looking for when you’re choosing new products to add to the shop?
M&A: We do love small, unique brands. All the brands we sell have a beautiful story to tell. Good quality, honestly-made, fair for producer & consumer. We only have products we both really love & would like to use or have ourselves. No mass productions, no seasonal items & no discounts. A lot of brands we stock are exclusively sold at Archive Store, as we love to do our own thing. If you can buy it in every children's store, we don't want to sell it. Of course some brands we can share with others as long as everyone creates their own style & uniqueness.
gloobles: That's what's so special about Archive Store. It feels like no other children's shop we know. Can you describe your typical customer?
M&A: Usually, our customers are either pregnant or they already have children, they're between the ages of 25 & 45 & mostly women, though men do like to come here as well. Our biggest compliment has been when a few men have said, “Normally I stay in the car when my wife visits a baby store, but for this one, I join with pleasure.” A lot of grandparents also stop by for a timeless present. The fact is they all love timeless & beautiful products for their kids & their houses. We welcome a lot of customers from Amsterdam but also from the rest of The Netherlands. Our online store is open 24/7 worldwide ;-)
gloobles: Where else do you like to shop in Amsterdam?
gloobles: Such lovely spots. Ok, we just have one more question. Where do you see Archive Store in ten years?
M&A: In 10 years… In 10 years, Archive Store at Frederiksplein will be a very well known store for kids & grownups who are looking for beautiful items to make their home a magical place. The store will be fully stocked with amazing brands we love. Our own brand will have expanded with new products & more collaborations with other brands we admire. Oh, & maybe… a pop up shop in Paris ;-)