The Darling – A sugar sweet shopping paradise


Nowadays experiences with friends are more important. They are closer to the heart and less over-marketed. It’s not about rushing but resting. Rather than megastores shops are getting smaller and homely to be intimate with each other. The city becomes our living room where we want to feel at home as well. Feeling home while shopping? Go check out ‘The Darling’ in Amsterdam: a great example of ‘ wonderlust’ and the ‘living room society’.

What is it?

The Darling is a shop where you really don’t know where to start, because it evokes a ‘candy store feeling’. The collection exists of a mix of unique affordable brands, own designs and some vintage stuff. They have clothes, jewelry and other accessories. Apart from that, the store also sells pieces of ‘Things I like Things I love’.

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It has a candy store feeling, because besides shopping, you can experience a delicious coffee, tea pots and fresh juices with cupcakes and macarons to take away or to sit and relax in the store. The Darling created cozy spots where everyone can cozy up. You can sit outside, or inside on the lower and upper floor.

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The Darling also offers different workshops and events like knitting, customizing clothes, making jewelry, pimping cupcakes, living room theatre and open stage. Bookings can be made through their event book on their webpage. The workshops and events are held at the Cupcake Café in the store. Last but not least, they want to inspire people with their daily blog.

You can find this sugar sweet shopping paradise in one of the Nine Streets in Amsterdam at Runstraat 4.

Why is it cool?

It’s cool, because The Darling is a super homely, intimate and less over-marketed place for those who can appreciate rest over rush. It’s a place where you can think about the small things in life and that helps their customers and visitors to improve quality of life. The Darling certainly plays well to the trends ‘ wonderlust’ and ‘living room society’. No doubt you’ll feel yourself at home!

Another reason, why it’s cool is because of the ‘candy store feeling’. Take a cupcake and enjoy shopping or sit and relax in one of the cozy spots.

For shops to have future growth potential, I think they’ll need to create ‘The Darling’ like concepts. We live in a continuous busy world, where a moment of silence and joy is appreciated. Shops should show us their authenticity and craft. If not, I’m afraid online sales will grow even faster, so we might lose many beautiful and tangible stores. Wouldn’t that be a sin?


Offline: On 11-11-14, I went to Amsterdam for this coolhunt and visited the store at Runstraat 4.

Online: After visiting the store in Amsterdam. I looked on the Internet for some extra information about The Darling.

MCHL – A design store full with innovative and experimental 3d-printed products


First 3d-printing products were expensive and maybe a little bit uncommon. But now 3d-printing becomes part of our daily life and you see it more often. Stores that have this kind of products are hot and we all know a little bit of this manufacturing process. In the experience economy we are living in, the story behind the product is becoming more important. Especially for the serendipity seekers, people that discover and explore for new experiences and make room for fortunate accidents. They also focus on process versus product. You can say, that there is an increasing demand and need for authenticity. Now there is a store where you can find experience in the products, it’s called MCHL.

What is it?

MCHL is a brick ‘n mortar shop located in Utrecht at Oudegracht 254. The shop has opened just a couple of months ago and might be one of the first shops in the Netherlands to sell only 3d-printed products.

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You can find products that are one-of-a kind. All the products are made by a 3d-printer and Dutch designer Michiel Cornelissen designs them. Cornelissen is engaged in digital manufacturing, technologies such as 3d-printing that can manufacture complex products without the need for large investments. This is also reflected in his designs in the shop, where he merges special user products with the technology of 3d-printing. In the shop you can find jewelry, interior products and electronic accessories for example. 

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Some special products are One In A Million Bird, Happy Bird, 36 Pencil Bowl en E 5.55. They all have a special story. But the story behind the E 5.55 is charming.

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The E 5.55 is a necklace made of 3d-printing and 111 five-eurocent coins. This idea is designed by the fact that Cornelissen was intrigued by the beauty of some of the things we take for granted, In this example the five-eurocent coins, that are little industrial gems. It’s a project that wants to show us the intricate geometries and flexible behavior that is possible with 3d-printing by holding 111 five-eurocent coins firmly in place to create a gorgeous necklace. You can buy the E 5.55 as a complete necklace with coins, or make it fun by buying it as a DIY (do it yourself) project. This is an unique and special jewel with a beautiful story behind it.

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If you want to know more stories behind the different kinds of products, take a look at or visit the store in Utrecht.

Why is it cool?

It’s cool, because design, production and sales are closely linked now. It also seems like there’s something new to experience in MCHL every week. If you’re looking for a cool present or just something fancy for yourself, you will find some unique products here. Normally design isn’t affordable, but the products from MCHL are.

Besides the experience in the product, serendipity seekers and authenticity, wonderlust is also an important thing you can see in some of the products in the MCHL store. Wonderlust means, see the extraordinary in the ordinary. People that feel connected with wonderlust, want to amaze and wonder, reflect and appreciate, but also want to see the small things in life. The E 5.55 is a good example of appreciating the small things in life.

Behind every kind of product is a story and that’s what makes it so special and why people feel connected with the products. This might be a good reason that the products from Michiel Cornelissen has future growth potential.

In short, it’s not only affordable. It’s also unique, has a story and is innovative and durable.


Offline: I went to Utrecht to search for some coolhunts on 14-11-14. I found this shop walking down the Oudegracht in Utrecht.

Online: After visiting this brick ‘n mortar shop, I looked on the internet for some extra information about MCHL.


Toymail – A global walkie-talkie


If you have kids, you want to stay in touch with them when you’re traveling or at work. You can call, Skype or use any another way to stay connected. But now there is a solution to stay connected to the kids you love in a fun way, the ‘Toymail’.

What is it?

Gauri Nanda and Audry Hill are the makers of Toymail and launched the ‘Mailmen’. They wanted to create a technology for kids that doesn’t put them in front of another screen. A Mailmen is a toy that allow friends and family to send voice messages to kids anytime, from anywhere in the world by using their mobile phone. It’s like a global walkie-talkie.


Toymail is a two-way talk. The Mailmen will make specific sounds to let the kid know he/she has a new Toymail message. If the kid wants, he/she can respond right from their toy and it is possible to save the memories forever. You will receive the reply directly on your phone. You can choose if the Mailmen deliver your messages in their own quirky voice or with your voice untouched.


It’s easy to connect Mailmen to your home Wi-Fi network by using the free app. You can use the Mailman to stay connect with anyone you want, to your kids, parents, grandparents, cousins, friends or neighbors.


Why is it cool?

With the Toymail, the solution to stay connected to loved ones is easy and fun. This might be the coolest toy you have ever seen and could be the next big toy trend.

I think Toymail is cool, because if I see this… I totally want to be a kid again and use this. And if I have children in the future, I would absolutely use this.

When I was a child, my parents were busy with work and traveling. We didn’t had Skype or such things as Toymail to stay connected. Nowadays it’s really easy to stay connected. The great thing about the Mailmen is that you can stay connected in a fun way and save these memories if you want.

In the future things that can make us more connected will be both more practical and fun! There will be a large variety of connected products.

The quality of life people have will increase, the more we are connected with each other.


Goji Smart Lock – Sends picture alerts to your mobile phone


Nowadays we see a development in connected products that take care of us, this is called ‘Internet of caring things’. Today I want to talk about an example of ‘Internet of Caring Things’. There are a lot of smart connected objects that gives you a better view and control of your possessions. Something clever is created, the ‘Goji Smart Lock’.

What is it?

The Goji Smart Lock is a designed smart lock that can give you complete control over who accesses your home and when. You can manage it with your mobile phone and can check who is at the door. The Goji takes pictures of visitors at your door and sends picture alerts to your phone. All lock activity is recorded and logged by the system and can be reviewed with the Goji mobile app. You can send Goji access to anyone, even for a specific date and time. There are no more worries about getting keys back from guests.


From now on you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world with Goji’s Mobile App. Instead of looking for your keys or smart phone in your pocket or purse, the door unlocks automatically when you approach it. For people who are in a hurry, or don’t have a smart phone, you can easy clip-on an electronic fob that includes traditional key backups. If you encounter any problems, Goji has a 24 hour support center to solve it.


Why is it cool?

It’s a new kind of control and I think that’s what makes the Goji Smart Lock so cool. It helps to ensure a good safety and security in a new way. Another reason, is that you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world and decide who has access to your home. So as we can see, you are connected from wherever you want.

Goji is interesting for all of us. In a world where we are very busy, products like Goji will make it a little bit easier for us. An example is that you’ll never have to dig for keys in your purse or your pocket again.

I think the Goji Smart Lock is a unique product that has a lot of future growth potential as well as helping to improve the quality of life. It makes it easier for you and you don’t have to stress about keys anymore. It’s simple and safe. And I think that the future will come with a lot of products that are connected and take care of you, simply by using your phone like Goji.