Thoughts for the New Year

Gedanken zum neuen Jahr

Oh don't worry, there won't be any New Year's speeches. But at the moment I feel like I have to get some things off my chest that technically only have limited space on Instagram. Now here are the very best wishes for the new year and a few thoughts that are currently affecting me. And of course I'll give you a preview of what's new at Lumikello.

The turn of the year is always very emotional for me. Maybe also self-fulfilling, because I never expect the best on New Year's Eve but rather another emotional catastrophe (the reasons for this are even more private than what I'm already revealing here). This year the abundance of New Year's Eve firecrackers, apparently imported from nearby Denmark, really drove me to the brink of despair. Next were the countless tulips and spring flowers that bloomed on Instagram and a look at the breakfast bowls with fresh strawberries on social media didn't make the mood any better. The thing is: everyone can really do whatever they want - I can't wait to bring the first tulips into the house. And I just ordered a coat from a non-sustainable label last week because I've been looking for so long and haven't found it for two years - I'll definitely wear it again for another 10 years. Nobody is perfect. And it's important to find small joys in everyday life, even if they aren't always politically correct. The only measure is ourselves.

And yet, as an “influencer,” I feel a responsibility and, if possible, I don’t celebrate the peppers that I buy in the winter on Instagram because at least one child doesn’t eat vegetables otherwise and they can easily be mixed into tomato sauce because peppers are not exactly environmentally friendly in winter - just like roses, tulips and daffodils. I think we are actually “influencers” and the bigger the account, the more influence we have. The question is, how do we deal with our ability to influence purchasing decisions, choice of colors, health, behavior? Especially now, when climate protection is the most important thing. And yet the fact is that there are still many reasons why one does something one way or another and one cannot always justify them. It is important to be aware of processes.

This was one of the reasons I continued on Instagram at a point where I wanted to retreat into my private life (that was two years ago when we moved here up north). Our way of showing how we furnish ourselves (not always sustainably but at least thoughtfully), how we use colors, how we eat winter vegetables, how we give old furniture new life. We can't manage a really sustainable lifestyle either (our horses alone are pretty good CO2 killers) but we try hard every day. And that's what moves us and what makes us think positively (even if that's really, really difficult for me at the moment). Look at ourselves. Or as my husband says, “sweeping our own door.” And we'll share that with you. In our imperfections and always with a pinch of humor. And what I would also like to do is change perspectives. The move to the country has changed a lot for me and many connections may not be clear to some people, for example why it is worth taking a closer look at products or buying seasonally and regionally or not.

But: I'm a very sensitive person and sometimes "Focus on Happy" doesn't come off so easily anymore. What started on New Year's Eve turned into a longer - I'll put it this way - very thoughtful phase, to say the least, which I'm still in. The only thing that will help me is to get back to work. And defining this work and thinking about how I can make a difference with this work is what I want to focus on this year.

For the Lumikello products this means:

  • Process more old textiles that would otherwise end up on a mountain of rubbish in the Atacama Desert (you can find more information here) . We've given a second life to tons of T-shirts and fitted sheets in the past. We want to do that more often again.
  • Develop new products that are created in small factories and contribute to the survival of the label.

For the Instagram feed Lumikello this means:

Actually nothing new: when it comes to collaborations, I will only continue to support companies and products that I am 100 percent convinced of. I actually wish I could do less of that. But I also allow myself to support and use things that are not 100% sustainable because they bring me and you joy.

Maybe I would like to show you a little more country life. Where our food comes from, what it means to care for animals and how great it is to live with what grows on your doorstep. I will think about this and discuss one thing or another.

But I'm not sure how the feed will develop yet. More interior also means showing more of our home and just today a photo of our kitchen ended up in a magazine without me knowing it and even better agreeing to it, which makes me very very upset and very uncomfortable. I really ask for your understanding, because it doesn't feel the same good every day to let someone into your house.

And then there was this new idea (I'll say in advance: E-mobility is not a solution but a step on the way to a more sustainable future, the only solution is to strengthen public transport): My husband has been an enthusiastic electric car driver for years , has gained a lot of experience and an incredible amount of know-how. He is also someone who, despite admittedly wearing white and blue glasses, has a good overview of current models and developments. Our first electric car arrived seven years ago and the petrol junkie said goodbye to one or two combustion engines that were in our garage at the time. He is always shocked by one-sided reporting, false chains of argument and ignorance of those who should/could financially support a change in thinking. And since my husband is basically someone who doesn't look at it, or I should put it this way: who doesn't let himself be "pulled down" by what others do or say but is surprised at what others do or say, he also says here - in the end we can only make a difference if we don't point the finger or issue (political) bans but rather show what can be. Our idea is to also give this topic space on the Lumikello feed. And so I will have a little question time with Mr. Lumikello every now and then. On the one hand, this will be done via a question ticker and, on the other hand, my husband will offer individual advice by telephone. Please send him an email if you are interested and understand that it may not be completely free. But he would tell you more about this in a free initial consultation.

I would like to make a difference in my small way. I have to do this otherwise social media is just making me too tired at the moment. Of course, Instagram is essential for the survival of the Lumikello brand. At the moment I'm so tired that I would like to throw in the towel. Maybe that has something to do with new algorithms - I don't exempt myself from that, but more with the feeling that I've already shown everything and that I'm constantly repeating myself. The fact is that “success” on Instagram depends on this repetition. And to be honest, I have already used certain camera settings to "trigger" the algorithm - there are actually ways and means. But in the end it's not what I want. However, I never get tired of thinking up new products and showing you them. This really gives me great joy, but it is also associated with a lot of doubts and fears - more on that later.

But that's definitely a great theme for the "Café Lumikello" I'm planning. A Zoom conference where we can exchange ideas about this and that. I hope that a lot of people will be there. We'll just start with an open question and answer session and see what develops from it. We want to do this on Zoom to create a safe space and also to not give all power to Zuckerberg's media empire. “Café Lumikello” will start on January 21st at 7 p.m. You can now contact me by email; then I will send you the participation link . Oh well: WE are Barbara, who you know better as “Near the Water”, and I. And I hope that my husband will find some time too. You are definitely welcome to join in - but not everyone can do it at the same time, as many people have already expressed interest in taking part. That's why there will be question stickers beforehand and of course you can also ask questions during the conference. I'm definitely really looking forward to it.

Well, that was good. Now I can focus on the positive again. I know it's a little stressful for me sometimes (maybe not on Instagram but definitely in real life) but that's just who I am and I can't be any different on social media. And it's also the case that I sometimes consciously make life difficult for myself with my products and Lumikello; that's the way it is. My husband says: that's very important and right and that's why Lumikello "works". And it hurts me incredibly when I'm accused of being dishonest and incapable of criticism - an influencer who rakes in money without looking left and right, as happened recently. Or my products are copied under my name and sold off for an apple and an egg.

And now - finally, dear ones - what actually comes next

during this week:

  • Chair cushions in different colors that you can pre-order. If you have any other color requests, just let us know
  • Individual production of small and large pillows from your old T-shirts and our yarn

next week:

  • new mini pillows
  • some big pillows and big baskets in great colors

end of January

  • Carpets also new and old materials (yesss!!!! finally again)

And anything else?

  • on January 21st 7:00 p.m.: Opening of Café Lumikello
  • E-mobility advice from Mr. Lumikello

So, and now again:

A healthy, inspired, happy New Year to you. Thank you for being there and thank you for accompanying me on my journey.