You may remember us mentioning before that we have a tendency to go slightly shopping mad on our travels… We don’t just return with new products for the Dutchbone collection, but with much more besides. At the end of a long trip our suitcases always bulge with all the souvenirs we’ve picked up: figurines, small mirrors, paintings and jewellery boxes, pendants, bracelets, even prettily packaged sweets.

People call them souvenirs but they’re actually so much more than that. We’d really rather call them ‘inspiring travel memories’. Maybe because that way we don’t have to feel guilty about yet another purchase!

The fun thing about all these items is that they always bring back memories of a certain trip. Grab that key hanger and part of you is back in that colourful street market stall in India. Move that certain figurine around and you remember how it inspired us for that new vase in the collection.

“We prefer to call souvenirs inspiring travel memories”

We often use these keepsakes to style our photo shoot sets for a new collection. But sometimes, things turns out differently than expected. We once ended up adding a product meant as a souvenir to the actual collection. This happened with a candleholder that looked so stunning in the photo that eventually, after many requests, it was included in the collection. The result is candleholder Gem!

Hari Fat and Hari Slim vases found their way to your home in a much similar way. When we bought them they were intended as photography props. It’s something we occasionally do: buy items that our photographers can use to highlight the Dutchbone style. What happened with the Hari vases was that they kept reappearing and people kept inquiring about them, so we had no choice.. Hari is now available to buy.

Souvenirs which made it to the collection, from left to right: Gem candle holder, Hari Slim and Hari Fat vase

It’s not only on our travels that we roam around markets. When we’re wandering around the Netherlands we also have frequent little waits while one of us buys something. Of all our ‘on the road buys’, notebooks are a particular favourite; we simply cannot have too many. When we get back to the studio these notebooks are first used as photography props, but after that we do actually end up using them as well. From notes to sketches to good addresses ? we use them to jot down just about everything. And whenever a notebook fills up we simply take a new one from the shelf… Just the memory alone of where we bought it makes it worth using.

"Of all our ‘on the road buys’, notebooks are a particular favourite; we simply cannot have too many"

We simply cannot have too many travel memories, like notebooks

Nevertheless, physical travel memories and souvenirs are not without their pitfalls. You can often get carried away by the atmosphere of the country you’re visiting. In South Africa that colourful wood-carved giraffe seemed an ultimate styling object, but when we returned we discovered it didn’t really go with anything… Not to worry though, when you put that giraffe with your other souvenirs you still get a very appealing display of travel memories.

Whatever their origin, all these souvenirs have one thing in common: they each have a unique and personal story attached to them.