DIY and Tunify at Atelier Moondust
Atelier Moondust is a fabric store in Brussels where you’re also welcome to attend workshops on making your own clothes and accessories.
Isabelle Durieux set up the business in her own home in November 2017. Shortly after, she moved to a commercial site next to her home and hired extra space. ‘Atelier Moondust responded to various modern desires and trends,’ says Isabelle about this speedy growth.
Atelier Moondust isn’t your average, old-fashioned fabric store. Its modern image attracts a younger crowd. The average customer is in their thirties. In the store at the front of the building, you find all sorts of fabrics, wool, threads and accessories to work with.
And that ‘work’ is what you do at the back of the building. Isabelle organises workshops for children, young people and adults who have been struck with creative inspiration. You learn to sew, knit, make shirts and so forth. ‘The store supports the workshops and vice versa,’ says Isabelle. ‘You go to one place for both your material purchases and your DIY lessons.’
As well as this, Isabelle organises an Apéro Tricot every two weeks. This is best described as an after-work knitting session where you relax with a drink. The free events lure a few dozen enthusiasts to Atelier Moondust. You just have to enrol in advance, bring something to eat or drink and of course, have your knitting with you.
Handicrafts after a day of work
The young clientele flocking to Atelier Moondust are representative of a general trend. A lot of young people with office jobs love to go out in the evenings to do something with their hands, especially if it’s something peaceful and calming like sewing or knitting.
‘There’s also our ethical dimension,’ explains Isabelle. ‘We prefer fabrics that are produced close by, in Europe. And we make the participants of our workshops a lot less dependent on the large chains. A T-shirt you make yourself is one you don’t need to buy from a multinational.’
‘Flexibility also plays a part in our success,’ continues Isabelle. ‘In Belgium, there are already a lot of fashion and clothing courses. But you immediately need to commit yourself for a year or even longer for those. With us, you’re perfectly welcome to follow a single workshop, stay away for months, then come for another. This way, your hobby fits in perfectly with your busy life.’
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After just 1 year, Isabelle conducted a major professionalisation operation. At the time, the space behind her store became available. She expanded, took on an employee, bought a Sonos sound installation and became a Tunify user. ‘I discovered Tunify via Sonos. After a test period, I subscribed to Tunify Blue. Today, I play music from there in the store and during the workshops.’
Music creates atmosphere and encourages relaxation. ‘If there’s no music on, I’m guaranteed to be asked whether I can put something on,’ says Isabelle. ‘And so it should be. At home, I don’t often have music on, but I think it belongs here. We usually combine a few peaceful musical atmospheres from Tunify. Think soul and jazz, mostly. Apart from the Apéro sessions, of course. They’re allowed to be a bit more lively.’
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Do it yourself and do it locally
Isabelle thinks it’s great that Tunify is a Belgian company: ‘I’m happy to support Belgian companies; it fits in with the local philosophy at Atelier Moondust. Plus, there are practical benefits linked to it. With an American company, the invoicing is more complex and often in US dollars, while the admin for Tunify runs very smoothly.’
The Atelier Moondust site includes a web shop, enrolment forms for the workshops and the Apéro Tricot knitting sessions, and loads of extra information. You’ll find it all at ateliermoondust.com.