I Love Belgium x Opening Ceremony

This Saturday article is about...ourselves. Yes, shameless self promotion. Before the Summer we were contacted by the people from Opening Ceremony the concept store founded by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon in 2002. Every year OC showcases the spirit and merchandise of a visiting country, transforming each store into a marketplace for exotic souvenirs and international talent.

This year, OC is honoring...Belgium. So you can imagine we were two happy campers when OC reached out to us to blog together with them. To kick-off our OC contributorship we decided to write an introductory post about ourselves for the OC blog readers but we also thought that the I Love Belgium-readers, after three years of blogging, would be interested to find out who we are and why we actually started this blog.

We’re Tom and Stijn (pronounced /stɛin/) and we started I Love Belgium because we wanted to give our quirky little country a creative voice. Our educations led us to Italy, Estonia, the UK, the Netherlands, the USA, and beyond. Everywhere we went, we noticed that Belgium was largely unknown and sometimes even unloved. The clichés that came up were, of course, beer and waffles, and the adjective "boring" was used more than once.
We wanted to break this circle of clichés and establish Belgium as a creative force to be reckoned with. Belgians are very modest (now that’s a cliché that is true). We’re not boastful like our French neighbors—La France c’est magnifique!—or as loud as our Dutch friends—Hup Holland hup! We’re quiet. That's what makes us charming, but it’s also not helping our country's marketing. So we started writing.
Three years and 629 articles ago we never would have imagined that a blog about one little country could have such an impact. But today we get mail from all over the world, from non-Belgians who love Belgium, Belgians living abroad, and from Belgian creatives writing to thank us. Artists we've written about have been contacted by international galleries, a photographer's work ended up in the permanent collection at MOMA, and a jewelry designer received e-mails from buyers all over the world,...
That's why we wanted to thank you, our readers, because you help us to put our little country on the world map. Don't hesitate to reach out to us, Creativity is a global language.

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