Amsterdam, specifically KNSM Island, is where it all started. In 2001, I took a gamble on an idea that I could create a personal and creative space filled with things I felt passionate about, and 90 SQUARE METERS was born.
Never content with the products I found in the city, I started importing and stocking my shelves with things that brought me joy. Items that sparked excitement, products that I wanted to wear, and pieces I hoped to share with others. My main focus wasn't to sell things but to share a story and an experience with all those who came through our doors. The connections we made was what made 90 SQM unique.
At first, the location was deemed too far away and inconvenient. Who would come to see it? My friends and family told me to limit my expectations, to prepare for potential disappointment. I knew there was a huge risk — a new approach to the retail ideal with no guarantees, but I continued to push on regardless. I struggled at times, but the idea of giving up was never an option, and not long after we opened our doors things started to fall into place.
We became the first store to house Nike ID in 2002, and from there our reputation as a retailer grew, and we worked with some of the best brands in the world. The risk I took all those years ago, one that focused on fulfillment rather than commercial success, was indeed working, and 90 SQM soon became 290.
Now, some 15 years later, as we celebrate a milestone anniversary at 290 SQM Amsterdam, it is also time to say goodbye and close our doors. I have achieved everything I've wanted to do in the past decade and a half — showcasing artists, launching influential products, and building relationships with brands. But through it all, it is the friendships that we've forged that have left me with the greatest memories.
Our closing is not the end of an era, but rather an evolution of a person and a place. As we say farewell to 290 SQM Amsterdam, we will shift our focus to Istanbul and Zurich locations, where I will continue my journey of finding new stories to tell.
Thank you to those who have been a part of this wild ride. Thank you for helping make my dreams into a reality.