Herfsteditie De Zeeparel 2021:

Autumn edition De Zeeparel 2021:

Michèle Vantyghem-Lambrecht() is the creative brain behind 'Creative Designs by Michele'. For this she designs modern high-end carpets. “A carpet is not just a carpet. It's art on your floor.” For this she travels to India and Pakistan twice a year. Michèle is a go-getter. Selecting carpets is one thing, developing your own collection is something completely different. You have to look for the right people, the right production unit and take the time to create your own style. Going for your dream takes hard work. You need a lot of passion and drive for this. Plus you have to dare. I can't sit still. I will continue until the craving is over."
Michèle entered the carpet world by marrying her husband and his 'fashionable flooring company Vantyghem' thirty years ago. “They needed someone to stand in the showroom, so I gave up my job in Brussels. This was difficult in the beginning, from the big city of Brussels to Ichtegem... That took some adjusting. But I soon knew that I would go abroad for the job. In 2009 I went to Pakistan and India for the first time. The choice to choose the carpet world was quickly made. The choice to travel to distant countries was not an easy one, especially as a woman, and especially not in a Muslim country like Pakistan. Many Muslims do not want to do business with women. Many don't even shake hands with a woman. But you get used to this. I follow and respect the customs of the country, and so everything runs smoothly. In the meantime I have built up good friendships there and I still feel safe and protected there. I admire my Pakistani and Indian friends for their great drive and passion. When I visit the production units, I smell the colors of the yarn and the carpets. Something like that makes me very happy. Our knotters in India put their soul into knotting the creations they work on with passion. Wonderful to see.”
How do you combine work and family?
“I strongly believe in the passion, tradition and a dash of romance of a family business. But it is twofold: emotion and 'commerce' meet in the family and that is not self-evident, that famous work-life balance. I try to do everything to the maximum, to be fully involved in my work, and I also try to focus on family life as much as possible. For example, when our daughter went to boarding school, the family drove to the North of France every Sunday for weeks on end. The three of us, take a nice walk, eat in a nice restaurant, hoping not to meet anyone we know... One day of quality time with the family and the rest of the week focusing on work. I am very grateful to my husband Peter for his patience and for the opportunities he gives me to travel to India and Pakistan twice a year. My daughter Daphné will accompany me. She gives me positive tips, takes photos and takes care of our Instagram page.”
A carpet is not just a carpet. It's art on the floor.
What are your ambitions?
“Within ten years I can say that I have achieved some international fame. Seeing my own creations in beautiful, trendy houses abroad. For our everyday collection of carpets, I follow the trends, because these are the carpets that are in demand every day. For my own collection I try to bring out my own style with colorful and bold designs. I try to put my own stamp on that. I dream of people contacting me and begging to buy my creations, that must really give me a kick!”
What does your perfect Sunday look like?
“I am a bad sleeper and therefore an early bird. I usually get up around 7 am. There are no obligations on Sunday: sit outside, have a long aperitif, watch a nice movie, have something to eat... For example in De Vlaamsche Pot; a cozy, typical Bruges restaurant with ancient dishes, super tasty. I also often enjoy Sundays just strolling around in my pajamas and doing nothing. In the evening I feel guilty that it was an off day, but at least on Monday I am fresh and fit.”
Where do you get inspiration?
"In Bruges. Strolling through the small streets, the many restaurants, the beautiful buildings... I don't like museums. I prefer to look at the buildings and people on the street.
In Delhi: Haus Khas. It is a hip and trendy place full of antique dealers, artists, designers, shops and rooftop restaurants. Dilli Haat, an open-air market with homemade handicrafts, is also very nice to stroll around. You may pay a little extra, but listening to the traders' stories is worth their weight in gold.
My dream destination is Honolulu. The further the better actually. I like to go to places where not everyone goes. I like to explore the unknown. The exotic, the warmth, the sea.”
Going for your dream takes hard work.
- Favorite app: Instagram, everyone does their best to take and post beautiful photos.
- Who would you like to meet? Angelina Jolie, because as a UNICEF ambassador she stands up for women in Afghanistan. She visited a refugee camp some time ago and wore a cashmere scarf with embroidery of which I have the same. I've been a big fan ever since.
- Guilty pleasure: I don't feel guilty about anything, just pleasure.
- What do you regret? That I didn't start creating carpets earlier.
- Most romantic moment ever: Going fishing on Father's Day, having a BBQ on the lawn.
- Who would you like to thank? My husband, my daughter, my Pakistani and Indian friends and the carpet knotters in India.