Our Story: The Beginning of Hygge Life
How did Hygge Life come to be? It all started with this big blue camper... well, actually it all started in Vail, Colorado.
Koen and I met and fell in love in this charming ski town and a year later we moved our lives to Amsterdam, Koen's hometown. The Dutch use the word, gezellig, for which there is no direct English translation and is used to describe the coziness and comfort of an ambience, a person or a moment. Very similar to the Danish hygge. Life in the Netherlands was my first encounter with the Northern European way of slowing down, being present and genuinely enjoying every day moments. As you walk the narrow streets of Holland, the brown cafes are dimly lit, the decor is charming yet down to earth and the people are real. I was hooked.
In 2013, I traveled to Copenhagen with a dear friend in search of Danish design and inspiration. There were candles everywhere - in windows, cafes and on every table; nooks with comfy pillows, timeless chairs, plenty of good food and wine and happy people. This is where I found hygge. First I felt hygge without knowing that the word existed and then I discovered the word hygge, which sent sparks flying. It was as if I had found my life match, thus Hygge Life began.
I became obsessed with hygge spaces and the moments & good feelings these spaces provide for people. In Denmark, something as simple as a coffee or tea mug can make you smile. Things are made and spaces are designed thoughtfully yet simply and with hygge in mind.
In the summer of 2014, Koen & I bought an old 1971 Opel Blitz camper van, painted it blue, put our Hygge Life logo on the side and travelled Europe. We brought along a traditional poffertjes (Dutch mini pancake) cast-iron grill and made our way through France, Spain and Switzerland, selling poffertjes, Turkish textiles and other treats. This was our first Hygge Life venture. We were seeking & creating hygge with pancakes, textiles and our happy blue bus.
After this life-changing Hygge Bus tour, we continued to travel around Europe and discover people and things that inspired us and provoked hygge in our lives. Hyggelife.com, what was already a blog, became an online store filled with the products that spoke to us. Things that we felt created hygge spaces, including textiles, sheepskins, candles and European vintage.
In 2016, we moved back to the U.S. to my home town of Denver, Colorado. This is where we wanted to share this Danish concept that we had adopted into our lives. Since then our online shop has grown incredibly, we have reached 20k+ followers on Instagram, we were featured in The New York Times and we're hosting the third of a series of Hygge Dinners! Not to mention that Hygge is currently one of the hottest trends of the year. We never imagined that we would be where we are now. We are excited, thankful, hopeful and dreaming of where & what hygge will bring next. We do have some ideas... our hygge wedding in July and then maybe a Hygge Lodge, Cafe & Shop in the Rocky mountains. Stay tuned! The Hygge Life continues...