We had the good fortune of connecting with Giulia Dunes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Giulia, what is the most important factor behind your success?
First of all, to answer that question we should define what success is. For us it isn’t about money on the bankaccount, a widely known brand name or only working with the biggest names in the industry. Success means freedom. Freedom to create and collaborate, freedom to dream and image without any boundaries, freedom to be and become who you want too be, fail and succeed. Strangely enough it is also one of the factors that seem to be at stake once your company is doing well and you are ought to be in control over so many different things. As we move forward with our company ‘Range’ we are always in search of the right balance. Always trying to remind ourselves to be free and make conscious choices.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was only 7 years old when I got accepted to the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam. Years of training, hard work and a limited social life made me a disciplined and strong minded young girl. As I continued my studies in dance, I switched from a purely classical style towards contemporary dance. This is where I found my freedom and real creative spirit. I began experimenting with the use of text in my own choreography and I always wanted to make sure I was telling a story one way or another. As the years went bye my interest for other art forms kept on growing and eventually left me with confusion about whether I wanted to be a dancer at all. I booked a ticket to New York and went on an “inspirational journey” with myself. I was drained, overworked and frankly not in touch anymore with what I really wanted. New York brought me new energy, it opened my eyes, it woke me up. After years of assuming I knew what I wanted to do with my life I suddenly saw the bigger picture, the endless opportunities. Working with text and creating a dialogue with someone was already something I had started discovering at the dance academy so I dug in a little more and auditioned for some acting schools. It was a huge eye opener that I was accepted to all of them. A new path began. After graduating I worked in New York for a while and then decided to move back to Amsterdam to be a little closer to family again. It was though cookie to swallow. Although being close to family was amazing, I felt the spirit of the people didn’t fit me anymore and doors to cool jobs weren’t exactly opening. It took time and patience to get somewhere but I never gave up trusting the process, even if it would bring me somewhere I didn’t expect to end up. I am a storyteller, and I have the freedom to do so in whatever way shape or form. That in itself is a great lesson. Allowing myself to take on different shapes and roles in life. I am more than a job title. Thats when I met Laurens. A young man with the same mindset and drive, yet with a completely different background. A talented architect with a great curiosity for, well literally everything. We grew closer together and felt like we could form a powerful storytelling duo so we founded Range. At first people didn’t understand our concept, but we quickly learned that uniting our unique skillsets & perspectives allows us to create unexpected solutions that transcends fields and industries. We are a creative studio that adds value by connecting broad experience and knowledge to real world challenges and imaginative futures. Whether designing for a client or working on self-initiated concepts, we transform rigorous research into innovative, thoughtful, and powerful ways to engage key audiences. There I was, co-founder of a design studio, At times I might have felt like I was acting my way through it but as our confidence grew Range rooted itself more and more. As we speak we are working on a variety of projects, from product design, to architecture to art direction and we are busy making a new website soon to be online. If you would have told me all those years ago I would be an allround storyteller working as an actress as well as a designer I would have laughed. Still I would have been curious to see if it would reveal itself to be true. Thats the key, stay open, adapt and see where it takes you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
You are in for a treat when you visit Amsterdam! It is such a thrilling city full of fun things. I would say, try to stay at a hotel, air b&b or hostel near the city center, With its one of a kind architecture, it really makes for the best Amsterdam experience. Get up early and start with a nice coffee in one of the cute cafes in the nine streets, You really can’t go wring there since it is latterly 9 streets underneath each other full of the best restaurants and cafes. A couple of my favourites are Koffie at “the Koffiesalon” the have the best coffee and if you are done they are in the same building as Danish design brand “Hay” which is always fun to browsing. For the best Lebanese food, go to “The Lebanese Sajeria” and if you want a sandwich with the best dutch cheeses go to ” Tromp”. Evening drinks are great at the Italian “Cecconi;s” and for a really great dinner consider “Balthazars Kitchen” or “Jacobz”. Omg can I write a book about this, so little time so much to say! Our musea are also quite breathtaking. The Rijks is a real must but if you want to explore a little more of the north side of Amsterdam, maybe vist the Eye Filmmuseum. You can take a small pont from CS for free and I will take you to the up and coming part of Amsterdam. The museum is gorgeous but you will also find yourself sitting by the water with a nice beer. If the dutch weather allows I would highly recommend renting a boat and explore Amsterdam from the water. There are renting places on every corner and luckily you don’t have to be the best captain on the planet to survive the canals, Bring a nice picknick basket with all dutch goods from cheese to small pancakes and I can assure you there won’t be a better way to explore the city, Feel free to email me!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Ohh my, there are countless people, organisations, books etc that helped me along my journey and it just keeps growing. I am super aware that I have been blessed with all sorts of support in my life, beginning with my dear family and friends. Honestly, I wouldn’t be were I am right now if it weren’t for them. I had a long and demanding educational path and the support I receive means the world to me. Additionally my university’s, along with its amazing teachers, professors and friends have helped me sculpt the human I am today. There is just no beginning or end to the shoutout list, but I like to remind myself never to recognise and thank those who cross my paths.
Photography jewelry project: Myrthe Giesbers