Women support women
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, we definitely agree with Andy Williams on this one! Stockings filled with sweets, Christmas music playing in malls, the smell of cinnamon around every corner, and advent calendars – those are our favorites! While many hold little chocolates or tiny gadgets behind their doors, the one we’re about to present is a very special and unique specimen worth having a closer look at.
Last year, artist Aïcha (@aichas__art) – calling herself ‘La fille Tournesol’ – created her first digital advent calendar, presenting artists and entrepreneurs from all around Luxembourg and its neighboring countries. The idea was a real success and is hitting round two, this time girls only! 25 artists, DIY-lovers, hobby creators and business owners will join Aïcha during her December journey and help each other become more visible. “The goal is to make people be seen, it’s about visibility and solidarity. A lot of creatives suffered last year because of the covid pandemic, some even had to close down their businesses. During that time, Instagram has become a sort of online shop that helps many people survive financially, and that’s what we’re taking advantage of”, says the organizer.
With daily posts from the 1st till the 25th December, Aïcha aims to present other entrepreneurs and artists in her feed and pushes the other participants to do the same. “It’s a digital calendar, so each day I will dedicate a post to another person. The post will stay online for 24 hours, during which our followers can share and like them in order to take part in the game and maybe win something nice”, Aïsha explains. The organizer, who was supposed to also be one of the 25 participants, gave her spot to another girl whose creations she immediately fell for. “But that’s okay”, she says, “since everything will be posted on my page, people will also automatically see my art.”
The self-taught artist herself is known for her classical paintings, mixing colors with feminine themes and flowers. Next to her artworks on canvas, she also likes to create custom designs on sneakers and regularly participates in campaigns such as for Pink October, setting a statement for gender equality or raising awareness for breast cancer. With her calendar, she wants to put the spotlight on other girls and support women on their creative journey, so here’s to all the girls that made their dreams come true!
One of them is Nacera Meziadi (@nacera_meziadi), image consultant, personal shopper and founder of the agency Prêt-à-Oser. In her job, the mom-of-three helps her clients to improve their self-confidence and self-respect by teaching them how to create a look that truly valorizes their personality. “It’s not about doing a re-looking, it’s really self-image consulting with the objective of rendering them autonomous”, Nacera explains. The self-declared “fashion psychologist” uses the skills she acquired during her studies at the Ecole Supérieure de Relooking in Paris to find out about the personal goals of her customers, of whom about 95 percent are female, and help them actually reach them.
Her tasks range from colorimetry coaching to determine what colors suit someone best, determination of morphology to address eventual complexes, creating a style guide to define their look, detoxing the wardrobe to eliminate what doesn’t make them look and feel good, coaching them on makeup and hairstyling, being their personal shopper to help with good advice and professional taste and always having an open ear for personal problems and desires. “My work touches all kinds of people and ages with different backgrounds and profiles. Some have lost or gained a lot of weight and no longer know how to dress, some have had a baby and find that their body has changed and they need to adapt to that, some have had breast cancer and lost a breast or their hair and some just think they have no taste when it comes to fashion, it’s very variable but each of them are in need of someone listening to them and being there to guide them”, Nacera says.
What she loves most about her job is the positivity she can spread through it: “It’s like spa, you do someone good and take care of them to make them shine.” To do so, she collaborates with shopping malls such as Galeries Lafayette, Cloche d’Or Shopping Center and soon also Belval Plaza, all while teaching others about image, self-confidence and looks too. The winner of the day Nacera’s insta page will be promoted for the advent calendar can thus look forward to an interesting coaching session with the coach herself.
Another big win will be a DIY-kit from the brand “Les Lovers” creator Elise (@lesloversdeco). The French craftslady spends her days showing other people how to get creative themselves, be it during one of her many workshops for young and old, or via her kits, all centered around her one big love: the art of threads. “I want to make people discover different DIY-techniques at home and find out exactly what they like”, Elise says. The list of projects she creates is long: from macramé to jewellery, from flower decorations to Punch Needle or papier-mâché. And since Les Lovers’ workshops always adapt to the seasons, be sure to also find some real Christmassy stuff between the ideas.
For those that aren’t too keen on creating things themselves, Elise has got some other options ready: “I also sell certain products like cushions or upcycled things. It’s a really nice part of my work, especially since I never know what the result will be.” Once per year – this year from November 2nd until January 9th at Cloche D’Or Shopping Center – Elise opens up a creative Concept Store called Smiles, where everyone can have a look at her creations and get a taste of what DIY is all about. Some 150 projects also figure in her two DIY-books and big Almanac.
While Nacera and Elise both provide their customers with input to afterwards use themselves, Melanie Dumont’s (@melanieandnails) work has a more classical approach: come in and get served. At Melanie and Nails, it’s all about beauty and feeling amazing in your own skin. During last year’s lockdown, the 33-year-old decided to head onto a new path and quit finance to open her own beauty studio. Her specialties: Nail Art and freckles. “My technique is a very special one, it’s the Russian method where the work is done around the nail to allow a clean result with a visual lengthening of the nail”, Melanie says.
Before creating her beautiful designs on her customers’ nails, the artist pushes back the cuticles and poses the nail polish right underneath them, prolonging the growth by seven to twelve days and thus creating a longer look. But at Melanie’s it’s not just about manicure because what makes her studio really special is her work with freckles. With a method called dermopigmentation, which might look similar to tattoos but does only affect the upper skin layers and lasts for about one and a half to three years, customers can get their own natural-looking freckles – even if they weren’t given any by mother nature.
So far, Melanie seems to be the only one in Luxembourg that is offering this service, which makes winning a session with her a real special treat. Talking about treats: how about having your private party decorator who will make every event just the best it could possibly be? With MARP l’Atelier (@marplatelier), Eline has created her own small world of decorations and animations, all ready to be rented out or bought for special occasions. Whether it’s for a birthday party, wedding or just to celebrate friendship or the anniversary of your business, tell Eline your preferred theme and she’ll see to it that everything fits your wildest imaginations.
“What’s so special about MARP l’Atelier is that I produce a lot of things myself. I like to personalize decorations and do things a little different, in order to match my clients’ ideas”, Eline explains. ‘Out of the box’ is what best describes her work, reaching from invitations over decorations and small gadgets to even some pieces of furniture, specially made for you. One of Eline’s signature items are her super cute hot-air balloons – of course in a size that fits the living room. But she also createsrainbow trees, kids’ escape games or items known from the famous series ‘Friends’, really just anything that makes a party really special.
While most items are custom-made for planned events, MARP l’Atelier also has a small stock of things that can be rented or bought. Whatever option you choose, it’s definitely going to be a hit! “I really love events that are a little quirky. Of course I like to create all kinds of decorations for any theme, but the ones that are really special and unique are my favorites because I can go full-out – even more than I do anyways”, Eline adds with a laugh. The winner of her calendar day will either be gifted with a set of balloons in the color they choose, or a rental voucher for event material.
Last but not least, there’s Noe Santoro (@noe.tattooart), a young and upcoming tattoo artist from Luxembourg. While talking about her work, Noe really insists on the fact that it is art, and not just some form of simply putting to skin what her customers have in mind. “Everything I do is handwork, artistic and unique. I never copy anything, but draw every design myself, starting with the idea of my client and developing it in my own personal style, so that it’s really my creation they have on their skin”, Noe says.
The mother-of-two has discovered her passion and fascination for tattoos at a very young age, starting tattooing herself as early as at twelve years old, with a small needle and China ink from the library next door. Four years ago, Noe has then proceeded to doing her art on others and has been an independent artist for two years now. While totally being self-taught, Noe always searches to improve her work and find new ways, recently with a formation in aesthetic and medical micropigmentation. “I took part in classes to learn how to recreate mammary areolas for women who had breast cancer or how to the pigmentation for people that have no eyebrows. Anything in the medical field that helps find their aesthetics again”, she explains.
Coming from an artistic family – Noe’s husband also works as an independent painter – the 22-year-old is used to combining private life with work, all while creating a job out of her hobby. Her specialty in tattoo art are fine line tattoos, minimalistic designs and watercolor, using a lot of soft, pastel tones. In order to ensure that every tattoo is a success, Noe only accepts orders that also fit her style and that she likes, but once you have her as your artist, satisfaction is guaranteed. The lucky winner of her calendar day can use their 500 Euro voucher to get a one-of-a-kind design forever engraved in their skin and if that’s not a good gift to finish the day, we don’t know what is!