Artistry and precision is what sisters Anne en Meis de Jongh bring together in Jonghlabel. With their combined degrees in industrial design, civil engineering and fine arts, the two decided to set out on their own after a flunking a few jobs. Meis: ‘Knowing I was working in the wrong career only strengthened my belief in starting our own business. We officially launched Jonghlabel in 2010.’
The de Jongh sisters became a design team at a very young age. Meis: ‘All I remember from my childhood is making things.’ Encouraged by their hands-on and incredibly creative mom, Meis and Anne were always designing, creating and building. ‘LEGO was a family favorite. The cities and houses we built together were quite amazing.’ Meis also remembers a very pink Barbie house: ‘at some point we agreed that pink was out of fashion and that the interior was terribly outdated. My mom gave us some paint, brushes, a fretsaw and a stack of wood and we got to work. The whole house got a new look, including new furniture.’ Even as kids, the sisters thought in big projects: ‘everything we made was in three-dimensional and often big, like our home made mini grocery store and large cardboard cutouts for 3D models.’
The sisters always got along well and became even closer when they studied in the same city, living two blocks apart. Anne and Meis attended the Technical University in Delft and each went their own direction for a while. But now that they combined their talents they are a triple threat, as they call it in showbiz: the Jonghlabel team is creative, industrial and technical, which gives them an edge in the world of design.
‘We love working together. When we disagree, we are comfortable enough to speak our minds and when we are on the same page, we merely need to exchange a glance to know what the other person is thinking.’ Ideas for new products often sprout from a fascination with an old trade or craft. This fascination often has to do with the technical aspect of the craft. How exactly is the artifact made? What is the production process like? Are there craftsmen out there who still use these original techniques? Meis: ‘and when we find someone who does, we study his or her work. Once we understand the process from start to finish, we find ways to add new techniques and our own designs.’