So many people ask me where my business name you me berlin comes from or what it means.
I thought I’d tell you the story of how it all came about. It’s a pretty personal one (and a bit length), so if you’re up for it, keep on reading ..
In 2015 I made the big decision to move to Berlin, a city I was absolutely captivated by when I first went there on holidays in 2007 and then again in 2013.
At the end of a European Holiday in 2013, I was on the plane back home and was thinking about heading back to my life in Perth and how I felt about that. Although I had all I wanted there, the stress from my career and the need for something to change in my life had been building up for a while. So thinking further about what I wanted and needed from my life at that point and where I wanted to be in the future, I made the big decision that I would leave my life in Perth and move to Berlin. I gave myself a timeframe of 18months to get it organised and be over there. I was so excited. Berlin was a City that I fell in love with in 2007 and the dream of living in Germany at some point in my life was always something that was on my to-do list.
I was born in Germany, albeit in the South Western part, but emigrated with my family when I was just 18months old so didn’t really experience much of it. Having been back on trips over the years to visit family, I’ve always had a strong connection to the country and had always wanted to experience more of the culture and lifestyle that was so different to Australia.
The idea was that my move was to be indefinite. I was single, had no attachments and I just wanted to live and find work there and not put time constraints around coming back to Australia. Just fully immerse myself in the City and the Berlin and German life.
But… as things inevitably go, about 9 months before I was due to fly out, I met someone. Doh! Bad timing, right? But it was also the most perfect timing as it was just meant to be. It was meant to be that I still go through this journey in Berlin, albeit with my new love staying back in Perth.
Because of this new unexpected development, the trip timeframe had changed from indefinite, one-way ticket kind of thing to being condensed to only about a year or so as unfortunately, it was not an option for my partner to move overseas at that point in time. And we couldn’t imagine being away from each other for much longer.
Anyone who’s done the long-distance relationship thing will tell you it’s hard. And it was. Really hard. And painful. and I’d lie if I said there weren’t a few teary nights missing him very much when I arrived in Berlin and in the months following. That being said, he couldn’t have been more supportive of my trip and understood this was something that I just needed to do, and we made sure to be in touch in some way every day.
So, I stayed in Berlin for around 10mths in total and met some absolutely wonderful new friends, who I’m still in touch with today. Lots of exploration through the city and time to breathe, learn and discover and do things I loved. I painted, drew, walked (a lot!), read, practised yin yoga and ate (such delicious food). For me, it was a time to renew.
Berlin is an absolutely one of a kind City and so many people I’ve spoken to who have been there, get it too. It’s the diversity, acceptance, creativity, juxtaposition, history. Every part of the city is so unique. You can be whomever you want to be in Berlin and that’s ok. There is a great amount of acceptance there.
While I was there, I also discovered some jewellers and creatives that opened my eyes to jewellery making and some new possibilities for myself. It made me think about wanting to do something with jewellery when I came back to Australia, even if it was just trying it out as a matter of interest. There were definitely no plans for a jewellery label at that stage.
So, I should probably get to the point of the name you me berlin and what it all means.
In a nutshell, it revolves around my time in Berlin and this being the starting point for what came to be a new passion and business. So the three words mean the following to me….
Represents all of the people I met and befriended, took inspiration from in Berlin as well as just as importantly, my friends and family in Australia and most vividly, my partner Aaron.
It represents the time we spent apart and together (he came and visited twice while I was in Berlin) and the experiences we went through that were and still are, such a massive part of our story together.
Stuck in the middle of all of the “you’s” and this amazing city Berlin, is me. My experience and connection between it all. It also represents my own self journey and discoveries about myself. It represents allowing myself to get out of my comfort and try new things, be they a little scary or exciting as well as a time for renewing.
Self -explanatory I think :p…. As the relationship and connection, I have with this amazing city and all I saw, experienced and took away, it’s the catalyst for change, new relationships, new experience and the reminder to accept yourself and everyone for exactly who they are and what this can bring to life.
I am truly happy to be back and living in Perth. So many new opportunities have come up since I’ve been back (which has been 3 years now) and having had the time away has made me appreciate all the more that Perth has to offer (as people always say after they travel :p). There are definitely days I miss Berlin, my friendships and the little nooks of the city and parts of my daily life there. It’s a City I will always gravitate towards and I’m so grateful for the experiences it gave me and no doubt, will give me on more future visits. And that, in a (very long) nutshell , is the story behind the name. 🙂
much love, ilka. x