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Lotte v.d. Berg-Mühlenbruch TEACHER

Muses

At JapanTKY, we are not only inspired by the latest fashion trends and city trips. We also take inspiration from the people who wear our clothes. Ultimately, we design our clothes for them. Therefore, we would like you to meet some of our muses.

Lotte van den Berg-Mühlenbruch (31), teacher at the Nicolaas School in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Photography: Rik Balder / Studio Redlab

Lotte lives in Maasland, a village close to Rotterdam, with her husband Arie and their 1.5 year old daughter Philou.

After the Higher General Secondary Education, Lotte had no idea what she wanted to become or study. "A friend was going to do the postgraduate teacher training, that is what I chose at the time. It felt safe." Since graduating, Lotte has worked at the same primary school in Rotterdam West almost continuously. There she mainly teaches the oldest children.

"After the birth of our daughter Philou, I started working fewer hours. I still teach 3 days a week and I also follow a training to become a children's coach. I hope that I can contribute to the development of children in an even better way. I know from my own experience from the past, how important it is for children that there are adults who listen attentively and who can give you a helping hand outside the home situation".

"Right now, of course, we're all in a very strange, new and unprecedented situation. This Corona crisis demands an enormous load of flexibility & creativity from all of us and certainly in education. We are doing everything we can as a school to maintain the connection with our students and their parents. From lending laptops to families who need them now, to writing blogs for the children with the necessary positivity on a daily basis. Everything we do, we do with the greatest care and a lot of love. We try to convey to the children and their parents that we are really going to get out of this together, that we have to be resilient and trust ourselves and each other".

"Safety first, so we keep the necessary distance, so that soon we'll be even closer together."

"My workdays suddenly look very different. I spend part of my time at the school working, taking care of children who cannot stay at home because their parents or carers have a vital job. I also work from home. I'm busy making instruction videos or devising challenges in which as many pupils as possible take part and through which they secretly learn. Furthermore, I talk to all my pupils in person on a weekly basis via phone calls, I answer questions from the children via the chat function of the online software and I write postcards to all the children".

Photography: Rik Balder / Studio Redlab

"Sports is important to me, so that's what I'm trying to do in these times. I've been playing volleyball for a long time, but I quit because I felt too much pressure to perform. Running turned out to suit me better. Because I took part in a running contest with work and this went surprisingly well and smoothly without any serious preparation, my new love and outlet came about by chance".

'When I was 25, after a low point in my life, I decided I wanted to run a marathon.'

"With my partner Arie next to me, I dared to take this leap in the deep end. Actually it was the first time in my life that I really decided on something I wanted to do myself. In 2013 I ran my first marathon in Berlin and in 2015 I ran the marathon in Rotterdam. After the first half it turned out that I was doing all right and I had a great time. From that moment on I started to enjoy this race to the fullest; sometimes I even walked a bit, I watched the spectators, saw a lot of acquaintances and I enjoyed my hometown. Because of this I set a time that was 'only' 5 minutes faster than my first marathon, but oh how I enjoyed it and took it all in! I am proud that I finished both marathons within 4 hours! Because of a ruptured ankle ligament and my pregnancy, the time I spent running was cut back. Normally I work out in the gym every week, of course that's not possible right now, but I try to keep in shape at home".

Photography: Rik Balder / Studio Redlab

Who's your Muse/role model?

"I have several sources of inspiration, but I will mention Geraldine Kemper. Geraldine is not guided by what others expect of her, she just does what she likes. That inspires me."

What does clothing mean to you?

"I'm quite insecure and often feel anxious to make myself heard. When I dress nicely, I feel more confident. When choosing clothes, I tend to follow my feelings more and dare to be more outspoken and attach less importance to what others think.

New clothes can sometimes give a huge boost when I'm a little less comfortable. I think every woman recognizes that: a moment like that when you don't feel great and you believe you will feel better when you buy new clothes or shoes. 😊

Clothing from JapanTKY shows who you are and sometimes just a little bit more. The clothing is very comfortable and of a beautiful quality. You can mix and match it endlessly, so you can wear it in any situation."