Margriet Akkerman - Design Icons and VNTG
Where does your passion for design come from?
I was interested in interior decoration before I discovered ‘design’ and had at some point planned to become an interior designer. But when I met my now-husband Pieter Akkerman, I also met his Mother Wieke who runs her store Vervlogen Jaren, which specialises in quality Mid-century furniture and lighting – particularly Dutch and Scandinavian designs. We went along with Wieke when she participated in vintage trade shows in Brussels, Düsseldorf, Berlin and Ghent. Through her, we got to know more about 20th Century design and got really enthusiastic about it.
You started your first website RetroStart in 2008, where did the idea come from?
From visiting all these trade shows, we noticed that there were so many great dealers and such an interesting design history, but that there was no overview, no starting point. So we decided to make it ourselves: a directory with links to all dealers. In the early days it was a free listing, so all dealers could be included. We were students and there was no need to make money off the website. This gave us the possibility to focus on development of the website and get to know the dealers.