Merel Krielaart is co-founder of World Family Ibiza, an independent clothing store with her family and their global adventures at its heart. Here, we talk to Merel about life in Ibiza, creative fulfillment, and connecting to nature.
We’re so inspired by your family’s story of love and adventure, which all began here in Ibiza. Do you see this as a place that sparks love?
Yes, I do see this as a place of love and great inspiration. I always feel that we are in a different reality here in Ibiza, which we create ourselves. The common “rules” from the outside world don’t work here. All foreign people who live here have made a choice at one point in life to come here and leave everything behind, in order to live a free life, the way they feel it, and so did we. We trust in life completely and live according to our heart and not our mind, trusting in whatever comes our way.
You source your materials from artisans you’ve connected with on your travels around the world. How have these relationships informed your craft?
My husband Alok and I have the same passion for handcraft from all over the world. We find it so amazing how it’s all connected – you can find similar things in one place in the world and on a completely different continent. Embroideries, silverwork, symbols, paintings. It is because people take their inspiration from nature. I love mixing cultures in my designs and bringing them together.
There are six children in your family. What role does each of them play in the World Family Ibiza brand?
Carlota and Goldie are our oldest daughters – they are in charge of the company. Asher is a chef, Rama a bar manager, Gaya is a DJ, and Karuna, the youngest, works with us in the shop. We’re about to open a restaurant and the shop will be in the restaurant. So we will have all our children working together, including Gaya, who is in charge of live music.
You recently quoted “Family is where life begins and love never ends” – how do you all stay connected with each other?
We are constantly connected because we live and work together. I don’t know if our bond became so strong because when the children were small, we lived in a teepee, and later a truck, and we have travelled a lot, but we are just inseparable. On our mountain, each one of us has created our own living area, so we live as a community, together, but apart.
We hear you’re a family of musicians as well as artisans. What role does music play in fuelling your creativity?
Music and creation play a big role in our lives, there is no beginning and no end. With that, I mean everything we do flows over into each other – rituals, music, discussions, laugh attacks, cleaning, working, family reunions. Music and joy are food for the soul for us.
Someone told us you host a weekly party called Namaste at Las Dalias. Are we invited?
25 years ago, we decided to create a place where we could dance, meet wonderful people, bring our kids and share music from ourselves and others. It’s been an amazing journey throughout the years, a journey of colors, growth, being connected to artists all over the world, bringing our party to other countries, seeing children grow up and come to Namaste as adults now. The decoration is beautiful, the music so good, but the best thing for me is the people. They are from all ages, tastes and walks of life, but when they are at Namaste, they all melt together as one big heart. And yes…you are most definitely invited!
What are you doing when you feel most in your flow?
When I am most in my flow I create. I create anything that comes under my hands, from textiles and wool to paint, wood, metal, stones, it doesn’t matter, as long as I can create something. It gives me energy and happiness and the feeling that my day has been worthwhile.
What do you do to connect to nature?
We live in nature so it’s very easy to connect. I just step out of the house and I am surrounded by plants and trees. Since I was a kid, I had my own technique to look at something in nature and then look deeper, focus on one point, a leaf, a flower, a bird, a bee, whatever, and feel the miracle of it. Even rays of light can bring me into a state of gratefulness.
Who are the women you are inspired by?
Inspiring women for me… Josephine Baker – what a strong and emancipated woman for her time. Adopting so many children on her own and meanwhile being an artist. La Abuela Margarita, a Mexican medicine woman who recently passed away, she had such a beautiful, simple but no-nonsense approach, focusing on the important things in life. And my mom, who also very recently passed away – she showed me so much about life, nature, and what it means to be grateful, to appreciate the apparently small things in life.
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