Banana Hub: a special edition with Nanja Wierda and BananArty©
Talking with Nanja Wierda about art, bananas and all things Barcelona
One sunny day in Barcelona, not so long ago, the Hubbub Labs team went fruit shopping. Dan wanted kiwis, George wanted oranges – and neither would budge an inch. Just as the argument threatened to get heated, a small, community-minded banana ran between them and screamed:
Dan, a classic #millennial, immediately stamped on the cursed fruit and reached for his Instagram. It turns out BananArty is a thing – and a pretty cool one at that. We sat with the creative founder Nanja Wierda and found out all about it.
Here’s what happened next.
Hello…who are you?
My name is Nanja, but Señorita Banana will also do! I was born 28 years ago in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After many years abroad I found my happy home here in Spain.
I graduated in International Business & Tourism and my personality is quite a multi-passionate one. I love creating things and am continuously amazed by the little things in life.
And what do you do?
My happy Banana Business is called: BananArty and you can find it on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bananarty.
It’s a combination of art, apparel & creative marketing. The website has recently been launched and soon the shop will be filled with amazing products like art prints, t-shirts, and bags.
You can find it here: http://www.bananarty.com.
140 character pitch:
BananArty© provides you with happy, impermanent Banana Artworks & Unconventional Apparel. Laugh, and the world will laugh back at you!
Down to business
We love bananas. Bananas are fun. But why bananas?
They’re a delicious fruit with the perfect skin to draw on. Besides their ‘’smiling’’ shape, did you know the colour yellow also represents energy, communication, creativity, and happiness? They couldn’t be more suitable!
BananArty has so much personality. How can other brands follow your lead and develop their own voices?
Go out in the world. Be inspired. Find a way to tell a story that means something to you.
I am using humor and art to raise awareness for things that I think matter. Find a way to connect with people via your product or service. I hope to bring a smile to your face via my bananas ;-) Happiness is better when shared!
We totally agree! So how important is using humour in marketing, in your opinion?
Humor in marketing tends to improve brand recognition, but not necessarily influence sales. With humor you need variety to avoid becoming boring.
My buzzing brain is constantly inspired by things, people and places, so I don’t seem to be running out of new ideas quickly. I’m currently collaborating with a company delivering fresh fruit at offices and also some other creative businesses. Humour and happiness are definitely two keywords that we use to connect with our audience.
What are the challenges setting up an art, marketing & apparel business like this?
The main thing: just do it! Make a proper business plan for your startup, but make sure you don’t lose your enthusiasm when you find out about others with similar businesses. Just be you!
Surround yourself with people who support you. Take small steps and ask for help when you need it. I think every entrepreneur can relate to this.
Then go local. I am exploring local business opportunities whilst keeping sustainability in mind making products.
You’re a travelling banana artist. What made you choose Barcelona?
I’ve lived in five countries over the last ten years. I was looking for a place to call home, but back in Europe instead of overseas. Now I am closer to my family. Spain has it all for me: lots of beautiful nature, a buzzing city life, great weather, amazing gastronomy, and lovely people!
How long have you been here and what surprised you most about the city?
I have been in Barcelona for 2.5 years now. For me, the fact that there is so much amazing nature in the surrounding areas has been the best discovery.
Besides the food, culture, and art in this vibrant city, I spend most of my free time hiking, sailing and visiting wine areas!
Where can you get the best banana split in Barcelona?
Personally, I prefer banana bread or banana pancakes – and homemade is the best! I would be more than happy to organise a banana brunch in casa de Nanja for you in 2019.
That sounds amazing!
Finally, should Eric Bana change his name to Eric Banana?
Absolutely! wouldn’t that be the best last name ever? I guess I should turn Nanja into Bananja then, or shall I just stick with Señorita Plátano?
Find Nanja and BananArty online
Stop Trying to Blend In: Just be you!
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