Having moved cities frequently as a child, Amsterdam is the place that Margot van der Krogt calls now home. As she says “I have found comfort in a city that embraces imperfections in every sense” and apart from documenting her fascination for Amsterdam on Instagram, she shares through The Makers the stories of Amsterdam’s creative entrepreneuers and makers, who make this city “the exciting and exhilarating place it is today”
“Being an interviewer taught me that listening to others is sometimes way more interesting than talking about yourself.” As I sit down to write this piece, I can’t help but think of this quote by Sven Bonke, founder of The Talks. As a copywriter/editor, I am a storyteller by profession, and about six months ago, I launched The Makers Amsterdam, an online platform to share the stories of Amsterdam’s creative entrepreneuers and makers. My story is intertwined with that of the city of Amsterdam, a city I consider a force to be reckoned with. A city with a vivacious spirit and a voice to be heard. That’s where I find myself, observing, listening, eager to disclose the stories of a city I now know so well.
But first I’ll back track a few years and share a little about myself. My parents are Dutch. As a child I moved cities frequently, settling in Washington D.C., The Hague, Manila, Moscow, Jakarta, and most recently Montreal. Growing up, my large family was inextricably close, we embraced our differences and called ourselves, proudly, buitenbeentjes, a Dutch expression meaning one who is neither inside nor outside, familiar or unfamiliar, near or far.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then an architect. In high school, I found fulfillment in literature and writing classes, yet focused on biology and psychology and continued to studied psychology at McGill University in Montreal. I completed my bachelor’s degree after three and a half challenging but wonderful years, and left with minors in marketing and art history. I wasn’t sure where to turn to next, but I realized that writing had always been something that was close to my heart. I then returned to Amsterdam, a city that felt so familiar to me but made me feel like a stranger too, and set out to create a life for myself. Amsterdam is now the city I call home.
It’s been almost three years since I moved here. In that time I completed a master’s degree in communication science at the University of Amsterdam, embraced the field of cultural journalism during an internship at Time Out Amsterdam magazine, helped to set up the online platform and social media channels of the very successful photography fair and festival, Unseen, now entering its third year, and continued to work as English copywriter and editor at an incredibly inspiring creative agency here in Amsterdam, Vandejong.
In those three years I have found comfort in a city that embraces imperfections in every sense – from the crooked facades of its 17th century buildings to the diversity of its residents. I have documented my fascination for the city, finding beauty in every corner, through the visual online diary, Instagram. And most recently, I have embarked on a journey to tell the stories of Amsterdam’s creative entrepreneurs and makers, people who inspire me on a daily basis and whose stories must be shared with Amsterdam and the rest of the world. The graphic designer turned shopkeeper, the businessman turned bicycle fanatic, the TV producer turned food market enthusiast, and the investment banker turned eyewear designer… They make Amsterdam the exciting and exhilarating place it is today.
The city and especially its people continue to surprise and motivate me. They give me the courage to do the things I love and challenge me to continue pushing myself. I guess you could say my story is that of a love story for the city of Amsterdam, an ode to the opportunities that arise and the possibilities it provides.