Sannehop, a lovely soul from colorful Amsterdam
Have it ever occurred to you that this world is full of wonderful extra-ordinary people? People that never make it to the magazines, but have so much more to share than the ones we usually read about? Some of them are our friends, most of them we pass on the streets and never even get to know their magic.
We've met Sannehop accidentally. First it was a picture. Then the Instagram account. Then we got really used to seeing her lovely aesthetics and adventures everyday. Then there was a message. And a collaboration. And now we have a whole story! On beloved books and flowers. On daily inspirations. Choices. On people that left an important mark in her life. On family. On who is Sannehop, we get to see a little bit everyday, but can only imagine what stands behind the lovely images..
Who stands behind the beautiful yet mysterious life of Sannehop we see on Iinstagram?
I would say I am lots of things: 37 years old, a mother of four, a wife, a sister, a historian and a storyteller. In general I just feel I am a very lucky woman. I understand you might call me mysterious, because I might not be so visible all the time. When I started on IG I was much more open about myself and our daily life. But when my account started growing, I thought I should keep certain things a bit more private. In stead of taking photos of our daily activities, I keep it a bit more abstract. I love creating images that reflect how we feel and give a certain mood, or at least I hope they do that!
How do you manage to find the balance between your creative projects and this size of a family and all the other things I am sure we do not even see you doing?
Haha, nice question! I have to say, keeping the balance is always something on our mind. It is easy to get out of balance and keep running around without feeling we ever have time for the things we want or need to do. My husband and I therefore made the decision years ago that I would stay at home with the children and he would work. He has his own advertising agency and is truly passionate about it. Doing what one loves most, can give so much energy. Therefore I was also able to do what I love most - being with our four children. This gives us a lot of rest during the week, the children don’t have to go to daycare. I absolutely love being this close to the children and it feels like a luxury to be able to do it this way. Although it is not always easy financially, it is definitely worth it. And it gave me the chance to develop myself also. As a historian I loved creating stories, and I still do that but now in a different way. With my photo’s I also try to tell a little story and capture a certain mood.
What drew you towards the creative path of your life?
My father was a very gifted writer and a photographer. He gave me the sense of seeing the little things in life, and how to appreciate them. I developed a certain way of seeing the world. Unfortunately he isn’t with us anymore, but I do think of him almost every day and he is still my biggest inspiration. I love how he was able to see something special in even the smallest things in life, like going to the supermarket. I try to live like that too.
Next to that children also make you see how special normal things are. A beautiful leaf in autumn, the sun shining in our home during spring, the loveliest flowers on our way to school, a beautiful building we pass, a funny note on the street.. These are the things that make our daily life special and we appreciate that. And not having to hurry, is really one of the biggest luxuries. We can wander around on our way home after school if we like.
So I would say my daily life with children, my past and the way I grew up drove me towards the creative path.
Where do you find inspiration for your work and how do you rest when it all becomes too intense?
As I already mentioned, from the little daily things. And next I should also mention books. I absolutely love reading and there are so many inspiring books. People and the conversations we have, are also an inspiration for me. And of course, Amsterdam is a beautiful city that keeps inspiring me every day. I don’t know if we will keep living here, because we are also looking for a bit more freedom for the children. But I will always seek inspiration from the beautiful architecture, the creative people, the loveliest little shops and spots.
When it all becomes a bit too much, I try to stay at home, that’s where I feel most calm. Read a book, talk to my husband, play with the children or meet up with family or friends and talk things trough.
How did you appear on Instagram?
Accidentally I would say. My sister was on it some time already, and I started just to keep being connected to her and some other friends I don’t live close to. But it grew out to something much bigger than that. Instagram is such a wonderful social channel since it allows to ‘meet’ other creative people from around the world, keep in touch and inspire each other.
Do you have a favorite flower? Season of the year? Song? Book? Thinker? Sentence? :)
As probably everyone knows, I love eucalyptus. For the smell, the look, and I especially love when it is big and wild. I equally love gypsophila and field flowers for it’s elegance and the romantic feel.
It might sound like I can’t choose, but I love all the seasons and what they bring. But if I have to choose one it might be the Fall, for the colors of the trees and the smell of fallen leaves, and I love a good knit! But right now I am very much looking for spring and enjoy some more time outside.
I love a lot of writers but my favorite would be the Dutch writer Maarten Biesheuvel, it was my father’s favorite too. Such a unique gifted writer, with lots of imagination and the most special details.
As a thinker I have always adored Shakespeare, because of the precious acts of imagination. Those acts have so many functions; they are aesthetic and existential, but also political and historical. I think his writings have influenced the whole world. I love the quote from Hamlet: ‘There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ Words that are still of great importance.
Write two surprising things about yourself.
I have a big love for the game of chess. When I was young I was in a chess club in my hometown. Even though I don’t play that often nowadays, I still love it and both my sons are learning it.
Another surprise, and this may sound very weird and boring, but I am not such a big traveller. I really love just being at home and in my neighborhood. When I was young, my best friend already had big plans to go to America and lots of other countries (which she did). I admired her adventurous soul, but knew deep down this wasn’t for me.
Of course we go on holidays, and I also really enjoy going to France for instance. But if I didn’t have any children there is a big chance I would just stay in and around Amsterdam and my family..
Is there anyone in the world who's shoes you'd like to walk in for a day?
I find this question rather difficult, I am happy and I wouldn’t want to miss my children (not even for a day!) but if I would have to choose someone I think this would be the French actress Charlotte Rampling. I really love her, she is such a classic beauty. She has the most gracious, intriguing expressions and above all she is the greatest actress. To be in her shoes for one day and feel what it’s like to play in the most interesting and intellectual movies, would be an amazing experience.
What little act of kindness would you most appreciate done to you today?
Those little loving words from my children and my husband, they really make my day. Also seeing the children being kind towards each other and other people makes my heart jump. I really would love them to grow up being loving and caring people with compassion.
Please share a life lesson you've learnt or still learning?
A life lesson I had to learn is to say 'no' more often and to stay close to my feelings and set boundaries. I am a very sensitive person and when I was younger I often found it really difficult to keep my boundaries. I said 'yes', when in my heart I felt a 'no'. If I look back now, I see I have made such a huge development.
A life lesson that I am still learning is to live in the moment. I can be very busy in my head with everything I still ‘need’ to do, and therefore I am missing the focus to embrace the moment. Children luckily often force me to stay in the moment, and that is a good thing. I now try to make lists of things to do, so I can make my head clear and just be.
What are you looking forward to most in the coming days/weeks/months?
We are about to move to another apartment. Right now it's a very hectic time, and I really long for some rest in our new home. Even though saying goodbye to this home, where all my children were born and we made so many memories, will be emotional, I very much look forward to our new place. And to make it a home with each other.
Anything else you'd like to share we haven’t asked? :)
I am very thankful to have met people like you who represent products made in an honest and ethical way and are of the highest quality. Even when one doesn’t have that much money to spend; buy less but buy good things for yourself and your children. Supporting small, ethical businesses is so important. Together we create a world we would like our children to live in and that is their future.
Dear Sanne, thank you so much for opening your door and letting us know a little bit more about yourself and your magic paths. Good luck with the moving! We will be waiting for more daily inspirations through your lens. For all of you who haven't met Sannehop yet, do that here and get to know her a little bit better! :)