Hi! I am Irene van Nes, 38 years old and live in Bunnik with my dear husband Luc and 3 kids: Bram (10), Robin (7) and Lisa (5). Trained as a graphic designer, I have been working independently since 2011 under the name ireneontwerp where I help clients build their brand and everything that needs to be designed.
As a child I moved countless times and collected many addresses in all corners of the world to send and receive nice mail. My heart still jumps at a special envelope on the doormat, and especially in this digital age, real mail has become even more fun. That's why I started Happy Whatever in 2017, to help people make someone else happy with something beautiful and memorable through the letterbox .
Moved 7 times
As a child I traveled the world. For example, I spent my childhood in Nigeria, Bangladesh and Indonesia, and moved 7 times during my school years. That's saying goodbye to old friends 7 times, and starting over again 7 times. Close relations were maintained through letters. Especially during the lonely periods it was wonderful to come home and find an envelope filled with words and creations especially for you.
My favorite outing
My favorite outing was therefore a trip to the book and office stores. There I could spend hours looking at all the beautiful materials you could use to create. My pocket money was spent on my collection of stickers and erasers and a nice set of stationery with envelopes, or a beautiful set of pens, and then immediately started making something special for a friend/boyfriend/grandmother on the other side of the world. to surprise.
Today, of course, we have email and social media. Making contact is easier and faster, but also more volatile and impersonal. A 'like' or a short app doesn't beat a personal card on the doormat. And certainly not if it is also a present, or something specially made for you. We no longer have to leave the house to make contact, and we count friends by followers. I think if we continue like this we will become more and more lonely and depressed.
Meaningful contact moments
With Happy Whatever I hope to give people a reason to enter into more meaningful interactions with each other to strengthen personal realties. The result is this collection of cards/ letterbox gifts designed as personal keepsakes and mementos of people or moments. I hope my cards will provide you or someone you love with an extra little moment of joy. On less online, and more offline!
Photography by Marieke Duijsters