My name is Annabelle van Dijk, a creative from Amsterdam who’s currently based in Berlin.
In my youth I was always surrounded by creativity, with my parents as an inspiration. I grew up in a showroom displaying brands like Napapijri, Paul Smith and French Connection. With my bachelor’s in Interior, Fashion, Media and Food Styling, I started working for my parents agency. Which is where I found my love for visual merchandising.
My first experience as a visual merchandiser was for French Connection. I maintained brand standards for the French Connection shop-in-shop’s at multiple locations of luxury department store ‘de Bijenkorf’. This meant traveling to different cities throughout the Netherlands. I’d also travel to London twice a year to merchandise the store in Covent Garden together with the visual team. During those visits we’d create guidelines for all stores worldwide.
Aiming to develop myself more, I started working as visual merchandiser for Uniqlo. Being part of the team that opened the first flagship store in Amsterdam. I’d provide solutions to store specific visual and merchandising challenges using brand standards and corporate visual guidelines to maintain brand integrity. Adapting corporate visual direction based on the store need and inventory levels and drive sales through strategic merchandise placement and compelling displays.
After Uniqlo I looked for a less corporate environment, which brought me to ARKET. As flagship store it was expected from us to be inspiring and follow guidelines less strictly. I was the responsible visual for menswear, but worked closely with visual team to create an inspirational shopping experience on the woman’s, children’s and the home department.
What I’ve actually been doing:
- Creating and styling in-store merchandise displays using both current and future seasonal fashion trends.
- Working according to visual guidelines to increase sales and provide shopping ease.
- Maintaining brand standards by working on product placement, product showcasing and presenting mannequins with seasonal and inspirational outfits.
- Working on layout planning to display current collection, as well as new initials, in the best possible way. – Work closely with department managers discussing layout planning and product presentation.
- Educate sales staff about the ongoing collection and instruct them on visual guidelines.
In July 2020 I decided to move to Berlin to start a new chapter in my life. I started working for TPSY, a canned wine start-up. As Customer Happiness Manager I was in charge of creating and managing the dialogue with B2B and B2C audiences alike. In a B2B setting, I acquired new customers to sell TPSY. On the B2C side, I shaped the brand image by managing and optimising Social Media channels, including community management and content creation.
When I’m not working I love to surround myself in nature. To escape city life I spend most of my time outdoors with my Arabic horse. He was an untrained and wild stallion, who was uncontrollable. I’ve tamed him and taught him everything from scratch.