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Gründer-Stories: Janina Krinke von Bon Voyage Interieur

Founder stories: Janina Krinke from Bon Voyage Interior

Until a few months ago, Janina Krinke was mainly busy with the living magazine "Couch", i.e. with the selection, staging and description of interior trends and objects that make the home more beautiful. Or livelier. Or more colorful - or just not. Something for every taste, of course. Initially "only" on the side, however, she built up a second exciting mainstay on Hamburger Lehmweg: her own living world called Bon Voyage Interior. Furniture and decorative items with an emphatically French flair, lovingly selected and laid out, matching T-shirts and more, some even with their own designs.

Then a real luxury problem: Janina Krinke's founding idea met with so much love from the neighborhood and the media right from the start that the day job in the publishing house and the evening organisation, reordering, billing and planning just became too exhausting. After all, independence should also be fun. With a heavy heart she said goodbye to the "couch" in order to devote herself entirely to her baby Bon Voyage from now on. Allude spoke to the self-made woman from Hamburg about her first steps and her passion for a stylish life.

Where does your passion for elegant, innovative interiors come from, which you pursue as an editor at Couch and now in your business Bon Voyage Interiors? Was the living gene instilled in you because your mother or father placed great value on it or...?
My mother ran her own furniture store for 20 years. I used to take her to fairs and help out in the shop when I was a teenager, so my enthusiasm for this world started early. She also redesigned our house very often, which also rubbed off on me. The best thing: Today she sometimes works in my shop so that I can go on vacation and gather new strength and inspiration. She already has her own regular customers...

How would you describe your own style?
Mediterranean, French-elegant, retro-affine, eclectic - and with a soft spot for boho chic.

Finding desirable objects, introducing them to readers and making them shine in photo productions is one thing. And difficult enough. When was the moment when you felt the urge to switch sides?
As I said: I was born with a certain inclination. Through my work in and for various editorial offices, I then got to know so many unique brands, very few of which could be bought in Hamburg. I usually shopped while on vacation, for example I went to my favorite shops in Paris. The wish that one day you will have a shop where you can find everything you love has been in the back of my mind for a long time.

A few years ago we did a portrait of the French interior designer Sarah Lavoine for the magazine “Flair” – and I knew then that you really wanted to sell your collection one day. Her style suits me, her feeling for colors is amazing. In the period that followed, Lavoine became more and more popular and I was pressed for time. Two years ago I flew to Paris and secured the collection exclusively for Hamburg. And that's how it all started...

From dream to shop counter: take us step by step on the way to your Bon Voyage interior.

For years I've collected inspirations in a folder and always kept a list of brands on my phone. If I discovered something nice at trade fairs, Instagram or on vacation, it was also noted immediately. Gradually I wrote to all these companies and asked if they would work with me. When I "won" Sarah Lavoine to do it, I needed capital right away, so I wrote a business plan and talked to banks.

It took a whole year to find the perfect location – and a coincidence. I've always liked this shop on Lehmweg and had often toyed with the idea of ​​renting it. Then a friend sent me the information via Facebook that they were looking for a new tenant. Promptly signed the contract, requested credit, rushed to the Maison & Objet fair in Paris and ordered lots of my favorite things... And then renovated and set up my shop in eight weeks!

Your offer has a distinctly French touch. What do you associate with France, what fascinates you about the country and its style?

I spent many wonderful holidays there, as a child and also later. I like the way of life, the food, the language. It all started with the advanced French course at high school. The French simply have the best style - wonderfully effortless, to the point and simply chic.

First, you juggled an editing job and your business at the same time. How difficult was the decision to put everything on one card – your store – for you?

After a year of double work, both together became too much for me, I had the feeling that I couldn't really do justice to any task anymore. I've also noticed that Bon Voyage is just right for me, that I'm absorbed in it and that I want to expand this business further. It's a great change after 18 years in the editorial office, although I'll definitely be staying with the media here and there on a free basis.

What style rules should everyone follow in their own four walls?

Not sticking to style rules, but staying true to your own taste would be my number one. And just don't blindly follow the latest trends or let an interior designer give you the total look. Rather feel what suits you and bring in a lot of personality.

Which three products in your range are you particularly fond of?

A "Croisette" armchair by Honoré, the "Bianca" table lamp and the "Grace" mirror – both by Sarah Lavoine.

What are your plans for Bon Voyage interiors in 2018?

Our website is currently being redesigned, a small online shop is being set up and I would also like to implement beautiful furnishing concepts. My dream would be to set up a small hotel and open hotel boutiques. An area with room for improvement that I will be putting out my feelers to this year.

As a northerner, you are familiar with bad weather and cool temperatures. Which piece from the Allude Collection is your favourite?

The striped turtleneck sweater (see picture) because it's cosily warm and the striped design makes it look so wonderfully French.


Photos: Bon Voyage interior