Going into this trip, one of the things I absolutely HAD to do was visit the Miffy Store. I'm not sure where I first saw Miffy, but I'd bet it was on Flickr. And then when I wrote about Jane Foster's daughter's room on Ohdeedoh, I saw lots of Miffy things sprinkled throughout the room and my interest was piqued! I had to know more about this little moustached bunny (although it's her nose, but all I can see is moustache. Which is ironic because she's a girl. Which I also didn't realize til after I wrote this post. Ha.)
Miffy was created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna in 1955. Miffy was originally a boy, but (per Wikipedia) since he wanted to draw a dress instead of trousers, he decided to make her a girl. ; ) Miffy's Dutch name is "Nijntje". And speaking of 'stashes.. check out his! Pretty impressive. If you'd like to read more about Dick, check out this utterly charming interview with him. If you ever visit Utrecht, Netherlands, you should visit the Dick Bruna Museum - it looks pretty amazing. We didn't make it over to Utrecht on this visit (it's a day trip from Amsterdam) but next time it will be a must.
We planned on visiting the shop the morning of our big bike ride out to the country. It was a bit of a walk from our hotel, so we knew riding our bikes would get us there faster. Once we got there, I have to admit I was so, so excited. Here's the outside of the shop...
The shop is in the sweetest part of town. I was worried it was going to be a touristy area since Miffy is so well-known, but it was in this sleepy, quaint little area with an authenticly local feel. Just PERFECT. The woman working the shop was super sweet and encouraged us to take photos (yes!). There were some Japanese tourists already there when we arrived and they were taking photos of each other in front of the shop holding two fingers crossed under their noses just like Miffy.
The cutest thing ever.
Can I just say how much I love Japanese tourists? They embrace being a tourist with ALL of their being and heart. Puts the biggest smile on my face. I love how much they appreciate things and it was obvious Miffy was near and dear to their hearts. I think most tourists go out of their way to NOT look like a tourist, don't you think? Afraid they will look silly with maps in hand and confused (lost?) looks on their faces. I know I tend to be that way. "Blend in! Don't look lost!" But the Japanese? Whatever. They could care less what anyone thinks. They live for it. I appreciate that so much.
The shop was insanely adorable of course. It was another instance of "how can I choose what I want to buy when I want to buy EVERYTHING!". But I surprised myself again by only purchasing some little cups (will take pics soon), some postcards to hang in my studio and a little Miffy keychain. Yes, a keychain. How very tourist of me! I also bought one of the infamous Miffy boardbooks (the books are truly divine, but a bit more pricey) at one of the flea markets for a Euro. Glad I snatched that up before visiting the store.
I think if I had very small Littles in my home, I'd love to deck out a toddler's or baby's room in Miffy. The wooden table and chairs kind of stole my heart. But I tried to be practical and not buy things that wouldn't be used and took photos instead. I would LOVE to have access to Miffy things to buy for baby gifts. Alas, you can't find Miffy in the States.
I love that they've preserved the very 70's color palette and didn't make everything pink and purple and blecky colors. This little teaset was something I really, really wanted but it just wasn't practical to bring back on a plane. I think one day I will have this though. As a collector of various odds and ends, I would love to have these stacked up in a hutch or on a shelf, just for me to admire. And then maybe if I have a granddaughter she can play with them. ; )
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the Miffy shop in Amsterdam and maybe fell in love with little Nijntje herself. ; )
See more posts about our trip to the Netherlands and Belgium here.