It must have been almost 15 years ago.

Around that time I was just getting started with ellen:truijen. My collection only existed of 4 different bags, a keyring and a little wallet. Me & my trolley –containing that collection– were exploring the Netherlands for selling points: independent A-listed boutiques were high on my wishlist. So off I went to Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, to seek and explore.

The first time I walked into Zolamanola it was still situated at the Mariaplaats. My plan was to just ask if owner Cris could have a look at my bags, but while I was walking around I realized I could only leave one first impression and my collection was not ready for that yet. Silently I tiptoed out of the store, my trolley right behind me (it kinda silently rolled out the store…) and took the train back to Maastricht.

A few months later, I travelled to Utrecht again, accompanied by my loyal trolley and some fresh confidence. This time, I actually did ask Cris if he would have a look at the collection. To my relief, he liked it a lot, but unfortunately at that time, the shop was already totally packed with other beautiful brands and bags. For the second time, I took the train back, but one step closer to my goal.

After a month or two I called Cris hoping he had some space left now, he laughed and told me I was testing his common sense! We made an appointment and luckily, the first order for Zolamanola was a fact. I am truly proud that Zolamanola and ellen:truijen made such a good match.

Big love for Cris and Thea (in fact they are a couple: Cris used to run both Zolamanola and Cris Men, a couple of years ago Thea took over Zolamanola and Cris still leads Cris Men), and really flattered that I was asked to design a one-of-a-kind bag with secret message for one of the employees, clebrating her 10th year of being a Zola and going on maternity leave as well.

So if you are in Utrecht, don’t forget to take a look at this beautiful pearl at the Springweg. Selling some of my favorite brands like Pommandère, Acne Studios, Isabel Marant Etoile, Vanessa Bruno, Humanoid, HopeAPC, Wouters & Hendrix, Moma, Chie Mihara and more… or visit Zolamanola on facebook

images of the store by Zolamanola