My name is Birgitt Olislagers and I am a 26 year old entrepreneur from Maastricht. When I was 18 years old I left Maastricht, thinking I had outgrown my hometown. Hungry for excitement, I moved to Amsterdam to study at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Now 8 years later I’m ready to move back, realising that I have been missing my friendly and tranquil city for quite some time.
Amsterdam Fashion Institute
During my studies at AMFI I discovered that I have a passion for textile, illustration and art. I started a small design brand called Olislagers, which gave me the opportunity to combine my passion, creativity and love for nature and translate this to interior products with a focus on illustrations.
Hidden Beauty of Nature
Nature has become my biggest inspiration, but that relationship has needed some time to develop. When I was younger I wasn’t interested in nature at all, plants were these horrible demanding things and I even killed a cactus at one point. Now nature has become this wonderful thing in my life that gives me instant gratification. When I walk through the forest, nature keeps surprising me with hidden beauty, waiting to be found by whoever wants to take the time to appreciate it. It’s the ideal place to clear your head and let the surroundings take over.
To me Maastricht is a city with perfect balance between city and nature, tranquillity and sociability. I love the diverseness within the city with its stately historic buildings, imposing industrial remains and beautiful green spaces. Even though I have lived there most of my life, I am still making new discoveries. When I wander through the city and stay off the beaten path, I find surprising elements I never knew were there. Not so long ago I discovered the beautiful wall paintings resembling the old Sphinx ceramic patterns. To me it felt like discovering a treasure.
Cultural Freezone Landbouwbelang
One of my favourite places in Maastricht is Landbouwbelang. It’s a big old industrial building by the waterside that is inhabited by artists, located very close to the city centre. But it feels like another world. When you get the chance, it’s really worth walking all the way round the building to the waterside.
The huge building and its industrial steel constructions, together with the graffiti- and art objects, create this grungy underground feel that is quite unique within the city of Maastricht.
The Beauty of Maastricht
I won’t bore you with all my favourite places, I have many (one, two or sometimes even three for every different mood). The beauty of Maastricht is that it has a lot to offer without screaming for attention. When you get to know the city, it can offer you whatever you need at whatever time.