We are for the passionate, the creatives, The risktakers and the rebels. Meet some of Buddha to Buddha’s closest friends.
Davina Michelle participated in the Dutch TV program Idols in 2016. Later she starts her own YouTube channel. Her cover of ‘What About Us’ was seen by world star P!Nk and went viral. In the TV program ‘Best Singers’ (2018), Davina Michelle sings the song "Duurt te Lang" by Glen Faria. The song becomes a hit and remains at number 1 for 11 weeks. Davina then receives awards for ‘Most Successful Singer Ever in the Top 40’, ‘Highest New entry in the Top 2000’, ‘Talent of the Year’, ‘Hit of the Year’, and ‘Music Moment of the Year’ and topped off with an Edison Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ and a performance in the supporting act of P!nk.
La Fuente, real name Job Smeltzer, received his first Buddha to Buddha bracelet after he passed his HAVO exam. A reminder in silver that he carries with him forever. A tradition was born and at every memorable moment in his life a Buddha to Buddha piece was added.
Just like everyone else in this world, the jewellery from Buddha to Buddha is unique, each with its own story. As La Fuente says: “When I hear and see my Buddha to Buddha jewellery, it is a moment for me to reflect on all the beautiful things that are happening in my life and what I have experienced so far. Beautiful moments, but also sad moments. Behind every unique bracelet or ring is a story with which I embrace life and the people in it. In Buddha to Buddha I have found a worthy partner. The story behind this brand gives me inspiration every day to be the best version of myself. Everything comes to an end, but memories always remain”.
Playing leading roles in hit-series such as “Voetbalvrouwen”, “Spangas” and “Vechtershart 1 & 2” Dutch actrice Kimberley Klaver is no stranger to the spotlights. Besides her work on several television shows, she founded her own company, SET Academy, an organisation that facilitates workshops in various fields within the media.
Being stuck in the same place for too long doesn’t work for Kimberley; “Change means renewing, learning and growing for me. Change is exciting because it can turn your life upside down. There is so much to learn and there are so many phases in life that you can experience... and that’s what life is all about.”
Until she was 25, Kimberley was searching for her identity. “I was very insecure about who I was and what my purpose was in life.” Looking back at that time, Kimberley wishes she would have trusted her intuition more. However, if she could do it all over again she would not change a thing. “If I had done everything right and had never made a bad decision, I would not have learned as much as I have now. I believe that you gain from every experience. As long as that is the case, it will all be okay in the end. You should never strive for perfection, strive for a better version of yourself.”
Today, Kimberley has reached the point to where she is proud of the woman she’s become. She is currently working on a brand new tv show and is also planning on writing a book about love, which will be based on true stories.
Former Belgian basketball player, Pieter Loridon, exchanged his basketball for tealeaves, maintaining a healthy lifestyle after a remarkable career of 15 years as a professional ball player.
Pieter’s biggest achievement is not the two top scorer titles, or 12 seasons as one of Belgium’s top athletes as you’d expect. He is most proud of the fact that he has maintained most of his friendships for over 30 years. Luckily, he received a lot of support from home during his career; “My dad advised me to do what I love most. He told me to work hard in the dark to be able to shine bright in the light.”
Today, the star player focusses on entrepreneurship. He founded two businesses, Maona & Mint Concept and Café Couture, in which he can execute his passion for quality, health and lifestyle. Pieter has no regrets in life, he believes that without mistakes, he wouldn’t have made it this far. “Embrace every challenge life throws at you and be grateful for what you’ve got.”
Loridon played a total of twelve seasons at Racing Basket Antwerp, Ghent, Okapi Aalst and Antwerp Giants and 55 games for the national team, Belgian Lions. He made his debut in 1992 and became top scorer twice, in 1998 and in 2001.
You thought famous bloggers and vloggers arrange everything by themselves? Think again! Boss lady Tamara Couperus is the steady force behind many social influencers in the Netherlands, such as Anna Nooshin and Lizzy van der Light, to name a few.
She has a knack for sourcing talent, that’s for sure! Tamara describes herself as ambitious, open-minded and positive. Her biggest motivation for running her business? “Competition! Change plays a big role in this industry. I work in online marketing and sales, so it is very important for me to stay ahead of trends. It’s hard work but I love it, it keeps me focussed.”
Tamara gets a lot of support from her friends and family. “My dear mother is very proud and always supports me in everything. Yet she always wants to warn me in a very subtle way, haha, but that's just what mothers do, I think.”
Though her career revolves around social media, Tamara prefers to keep her private life away from the spotlight. She shares a home with her boyfriend in Haarlem. “I am very grateful for the people I have around me, who are very stable and down to earth, which I think is very important to continue growing.”
Dutch football manager and former international player, Ruud Gullit, is surprisingly down to earth for a man of his calibre. “A day without laughter, is a day wasted”, is a quote he lives by. Ruud is widely recognized as one of the best Dutch football players ever and was part of the so-called 'golden generation' which became European champion in 1988. Positive energy and patience is what has always fuelled him. Now, two decades after his legendary football career came to an end, he spends most of his time coaching and training young talent.
Besides his remarkable career as a football player, Ruud actively fought against racism. He dedicate the prize he won for “best player in Europe” in 1987, to South African leader and activist, Nelson Mandela, in honour of his lifelong fight for equality.
Despite his achievements, he is most proud of the person he has become through life experiences. “If things do not go the way you planned, it just wasn’t meant to be. There is no such thing as coincidence. Mistakes shape our identity and the idea is to learn from them and do better next time.” The best advice he would give his 18 year old self? “Listen to your intuition, it’s always right.”
At the beginning of this year, Ruud founded the FIFA 18 e-sports team "Team Gullit", which is represented at EA Sports's international electronic sports events, with hopes of finding the next superstar.
NOCHTLI PERALTA ALVAREZ
Few people change careers at a young age and turn out as successful as Instagram sensation Nochtli Peralta Alvarez. The 26 year old former police officer turned fitness guru, gave up a steady career for social media. Despite little support from her surroundings at first, she gained a stunning 1.1 million followers and 70.000 subscribers in nearly 2,5 years, sharing content about her inspiring lifestyle.
Change, to Nochtli, means progression and facing new challenges. “I could’ve refused the opportunity to change my career, simply because new things are scary.”
"When I first started off as a police officer I would’ve never imagined the place I am in now. It took a lot of dedication, hard work and an occasional tear.” Even after earning titles like Body Engineers & Womens Best Athlete, the half Mexican/half Dutch beauty still sees obtaining her police diploma as her biggest achievement to date. It moulded her into the proud entrepreneur she is today.
Her family and the massive support she gets from her followers is the force behind her success “I want to be able to help out wherever I can. The more I have, the more I can give away. Their happiness brings me joy.”
MARIT ILJA WEDDE - POHL
Marit Ilja Weddepohl, owner of Skins Cosmetics Ibiza knows the best things in life are free, citing the best gift she’s ever received as her son, Storm Roman — as well as the privilege to lead a good life. She’s spending her festive season a little non-traditionally, “I’m going on an adventure to Mexico and Costa Rica!”
It’s the non-material things that make giving fun for Marit. The huge-hearted entrepreneur says the best gift she’s ever given is love and shelter to all the stray animals she looks after with loved ones.
Creativity is something you’re born with. From advertising director at Hugo Boss to freelance creative today, German fashion stylist, art-director, producer and designer, Oliver Rauh, is a man of many talents. With a client list including Hermes, Mercedes Benz and Condé Nast Germany, to name a few, he is taking over the industry by storm.
“Change means challenge, positive thinking, openness, curiosity and believing in yourself. In this industry, you have to be innovative to maintain your position.”
“We, as human beings are all different, we all have our own individuality. Being able to highlight someone’s individuality, is what makes you stand out from the crowd. Fashion changes rapidly, which means I have to be able to adapt constantly. To stay successful, I change the clothes, without changing my style.”
The one thing he doesn’t change is his positive energy, especially within his team. “Different people have different knowledge and everyone brings something new and exciting to the table. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, it’s how we keep growing and a way of social reflection.”
Events guru, Eric Keijer, is Sensation’s General Manager — a job that takes him all over the world. So, it’s no surprise this jetsetter is spending the holidays travelling — with his family — to Dubai, Australia and Singapore.
Travel is important to Eric, who says the best gifts he’s ever given have been plane tickets. “After their 70th birthdays, I gifted my parents a few holidays to Cuba and South Africa,” he says. “Another ‘gift’ I’m really proud of is the €36,000 I raised for running the New York marathon for dance4life, a charity that educates and empowers young people to protect their health and make informed safe sex choices. I made 150 different bets with friends to finish in a decent time!”
When it comes to gifts he’s been given, though, he says nothing beats his family. “My two beautiful, sweet daughters, Nirvana-June and Jaylinn, are by far the best gift I’ve ever received,” he says.
Self-proclaimed ‘carnivorous adventurer’, Jord Althuizen, author and owner of Smokey Goodness and partner in Antwerp’s Black Smoke restaurant and The Rough Kitchen in Amsterdam and Scheveningen is spending this December doing what he loves the most; closing his business for the season, spending time with his family and writing his third barbecue book.
“It’s a cliché, but my two daughters are the best gift I have received,” he says. “They remind me on a daily basis what’s important in life. There’s nothing more rewarding than spending time with them and witnessing how they’re shaping their world”.
As for the footprint he’d like to leave on the world, Jord says he hopes to encourage a more thoughtful relationship with food. “Everybody seems stuck in a rat race, taking less and less time for cooking and eating food. Let’s not forget the importance of a meal made from thoughtfully sourced ingredients, prepared in a rustic manner and shared with loved ones.”
International model, owner of Social Skills Agency and co-owner of Thank Me Later sun lotion doesn’t believe in boundaries. “My way of thinking is that you should do whatever you want, even if it’s impossible,” she says. This fearless attitude might explain her over-achieving entrepreneurial mindset. Her career takes her all over the world and allows her to ditch the chill of northern Europe over the winter and head to warmer climes. “We’ve spent the winter in Bali for almost ten years,” she says.
But, when it comes to Christmas, Aida is all about the money-can’t-buy moments. “The best gift I’ve ever received is definitely my mum,” she says. “And the best gift I’ve ever given is our first dog, James, to my hubby. I think he found his soulmate there!”
Martin Carvell, Managing Director of DJ Magazine is a romantic. He counts the best gift he ever gave is the engagement ring he presented to his now wife. “I have a friend who is a jewellery designer and, when I was ready to propose, she took me to Hatton Gardens to choose three diamonds (an emerald cut and two tapered baguettes), we designed the ring together and then I kept it in my pocket for about eight months until I could arrange a surprise trip to New York by sending flowers to my now wife’s work telling her to finish work early,” he says. “On our first wedding anniversary, my wife and I both commissioned the same artists, Sally Muir, to paint portraits of our dogs. We both did it independently and she painted them as a pair without either of us knowing, so it was a good surprise when we both opened our matching pictures!”
The globe-trotting MD is gearing up for the magazine’s Best of British awards in mid-December before a chilled out season visiting family.
“The life of a chef is completely different to those who work 9 to 5,” says Soenil Bahadoer, two star chef and owner of De Lindehof restaurant in Nuenen. “We don’t think too much about the upcoming holidays and how we will spend time with family. My family is here in De Lindehof Restaurant.”
For those that know Soenil, this will come as no surprise; for him, the best gift comes from the heart and his passion is delivering creative, delicious meals — with a conscience. “My message for everyone this season would be to please be careful with food. Look after the planet earth, don’t pollute and be kind to Mother Earth, as she is to us. Look after it because I want my children’s children — as well as yours — to enjoy food & life as we enjoy it today."