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the story of Esmee & Paula

Esmee designs the collections at A Beautiful Story. She is very close with her mother Paula.

Esmee: "I really owe my interest in needlework to her. We approach things the same way."

Paula: "Now that Esmee is a bit older, I notice that we are alike in many ways. I recognise her hospitality. And we are both go-getters. We like to try new things. If there’s something on her mind, I just want to be there for her. I always imparted to her that you don't achieve anything if you don't work for it. But everything in proportion. Esmee is quite a perfectionist. Not a bad habit in itself. But we did talk about it as it takes up far too much of her time. Now that she is older, she can deal with it much better. She knows what she can and cannot do. That is so lovely to watch."

Esmee: "Yes, I did learn that in recent years: the biggest pitfall in working together with someone is expecting them to work just like you. It is precisely the opposite. If we all do things our own way, we strengthen each other. My mother gave me a lot of space. Everything I needed, I had at home. At my school, classmates could drive each other crazy, but my mother put it all into perspective. Everything I do and achieve; I owe it to my childhood. Without my mother, I would never have discovered my talent. When I was little, my mother had the luxury of not having to work. This gave her time to teach handicrafts at school. And we continued that at home."

Paula: "We still sympathise with what Esmee is doing. We recently went to Nepal to meet the artisans A Beautiful Story work with. We rarely travel and certainly not that far. Taking such a faraway trip was special in every way. It humbles you. You feel so welcome there. And what they give us feels disproportionate because we have everything here. 20 years ago, I suffered a brain haemorrhage. I came out of that very well, but I have been less creative ever since. Yet, I do enjoy life more now. In a way, I’ve become more flexible. You have to enjoy life whenever you can. And don’t have too many wishes all at once. Every year, Esmee gives me the best birthday present there is: her time. We take a daytrip, just the two of us. I hope to share a lot more with Esmee."