Annual Christmas Letter

6 minute read

Dear E&O Friend,


As this year comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to write to you to thank you for your support in 2023.




Every end of year I look back with astonishment as to what we have achieved in such a short time with such a small team. Summarizing the highlights: moved into the new Nest with E&O, launched a gender neutral collab with Tom Eerebout, did a bridal collab with The Ivory Club and grew our business. Meanwhile the world has been in a state of war, inflation and environmental crisis and we can’t help but carry a that negativity and worry with us in our day to day lives. It makes me immensely proud that in such circumstances we as a team and a business continue to keep a cool head and focus on our mission: uplifting moments of gifting and celebration. Because we feel our customers more than ever need extra warmth and moments of gratitude for what is going well.


We share quite a bit on Instagram about our business & some behind the scenes and find it important to show who we are. Now at the end of the year is a moment to go a little bit deeper and share with you as a friend of the house what has been going on behind the scenes of our beautiful Nest.


Let’s dig in.

Moving Year

When Sylvie and I started our partnership in July 2020 we had a dream. If you know me, you know I need a dream to create reality. So, we visualized what the ultimate retail experience by Elliot & Ostrich would look like. “Above the ground, light, African inspired, minimal displays” were some of the criteria. We briefed Oystr Studio to translate that into an interior and opened the “test Nest 1.0”. We thought “5 years down the line it would be great if we could start thinking about the dream 2.0”. That would have been sensible.

Yet. In November 2021 (I am counting for you… that is indeed 1 year and 4 months down the line) my partner Ward heart emoji sent me some pictures of a random loft which was for sale: “seen this one already?”. I took a quick look and thought “mmh yummy” but also “classify asap as not in scope”. But the pictures stuck, and I secretly went back to look at them repeatedly. I knew this was a rare find in Antwerp and I was drawn to this place for reasons I cannot exactly explain. I made an appointment to go and have a look “as an inspiration”.


You know when you go and look at that stunning pair of shoes you can’t afford and then start looking for ways to afford them?
Smiling broadly.


I returned to the office and told Sylvie about the gem I had spotted. Her reaction was:
“NO WAY. NOT NOW.” (she had just returned from pregnancy leave)
But I caught myself and Ward visualizing the space. Imagining what The Nest could look like. Creating a new board on Instagram “dream Nest”.


When I feel something is right, it starts leading a life of its own in my head. The project gained momentum when Ward started building the business case. Until then I convinced myself it was simply fun to play around with a dream. But Ward inspired me to believe it could be done. Together we created a first rough design and a financial plan which could work.


Witnessing our progress Sylvie decided to get the accountant on board. I think because she was convinced, he would give us a solid “NO”. Unfortunately for her and to our surprise he was rather supportive about the idea. Then Sylvie came up with the idea to make an “offer which would never be accepted” … The rest is history. We moved in past summer after 1,5 years of renovations. The Nest 2.0 is the result of our dream in 2020. It is the proof that manifestation works. Aided by action, discipline, and perseverance. Oystr perfectly translated our vision into this space, and it is a joy to walk in to work here every single day. It is even more satisfying to see how we are offering you, our customer, a moment of peace and gratitude.

Best Team

At this point I would also like to express a sincere thank you to our partners Ward and Lawrence  for allowing us to dream and supporting us in making it happen. And most of all to Sylvie and Liese. A dream is nothing without a solid action plan and meticulous execution. If I permit myself to do a little introspection, I am sometimes like a toddler who wants to go on big drop water slides really badly. It looks super cool, and I can totally see myself super-womaning down with pride. I will do a-ny-thing to GET ON THAT SLIDE. Until I am at the top looking down and freeze.


That is where Sylvie comes in. I sometimes compare her to a top military commander. If war would break out (and I apologize for making this comparison at this moment in time) I want to be on her team. She is truly fearless in times of challenge. When we are at the top of the slide Sylvie will – even if she initially did not see the point of getting on the slide in the first place – slip on her kaki master commander coat and calmly place the matching hat on her head. She will take a deep breath, gather the troops and define a step-by-step plan for how exactly we will get down that slide without breaking any arms and legs. If we get stuck, she will look for solutions and tackle them bravely. One by one reassuring us that “for every problem there is a solution”.


Our third teammate Liese will amid our enthusiastic brainstorms keep the overview and challenge us on feasibility. She was not for nothing recruited as our “Donna” (ref. Suits). She makes sure there are lists and boxes get ticked. She holds us and our partners accountable for commitments made. And she does all of that without once raising her voice. Liese genuinely never seems to get overwhelmed by life. A class act. Both of them. Very proud to have them on board.

Being comfortable with discomfort

At the beginning of the year, we met Tom Eerebout. We ran into each other at an event and got chatting about jewellery. For those who don’t know, he is a successful stylist who is responsible for the styling of Lady Gaga, Rita Ora and the likes.


He immediately inspired us. Not because of his success because he was at that time not very well-known in Belgium. We were inspired by his personality and by the discussions we had with him. We noticed that in our showroom, although there was interest, men were held back to buy jewellery for themselves. We decided together with Tom we would put out a bold message: that as of now jewellery is genderless. We created a customized Lion which reflected Tom’s story and identity, a matching earring and 2 spin-off chic signet rings. We celebrated the launch with a fantastic event directed by my talented sister Emily who runs Madeline Styling – the creative personal event styling company. I was as proud of her as I was of us for setting a scene which inspired true connection and authentic conversation among a vibrant and creative audience.

A little anecdote which makes me giggle. Tom explicitly wanted low seating and so it went. I cannot say everyone was happy with this choice and I can admit it was not super comfortable. Especially not if you selected your tightest bottom and highest heels as your fit for the night. But then one might wonder: “is that really a problem?”. Or is the problem that we are too used to being comfortable and take it for granted. Having to squeeze for one night reminds you that you don’t have to squeeze all other nights. Just a thought considering the bigger picture we are all in at the moment.

Spread good fortune

I would like to summarize this letter with a recap of my learnings this year and an invitation to you.


Dare to dream. I love the Christmas holiday period. Or more so the week after the madness. The first week of January is my time of the year to dream about the coming year(s). I visualize what I would do if there were no limitations. Sylvie does the same and we bring those dreams together. If you don’t dare to dream you will never live the dream.


Focus on the next best step in realizing that dream. Some dreams – the best ones – seem too big at first sight, but the next best little step usually is pretty feasible. If you feel blocked, take a breath, and calm down. You got this.


Take care of yourself first. If you do not look after yourself, you cannot be good for the people around you and you are not in shape to build your (business) dreams.


And last but not least: be positive and spread positivity. We all need this more than ever right now. It is in this spirit that we were inspired to design a LIMITED EDITION Xmas 2023 collector’s capsule charm collection called Gifts of Fortune: two cute little charms to be gifted to yourself or someone you love as a boost of positivity. When you spread fortune, you attract fortune.


This charm collection will only be for sale at E&O between 1/12/2023 and 1/02/2024.

To amplify this wave of positivity, we collaborated with a local ceramic artist An Van den Abbeele and created a hand-made ceramic fortune cookie ornament. With every gift purchased between December 1st and the end of the year – first come first serve – you will receive a cookie ornament. To adorn your Xmas tree or to be gifted to a loved one. Each ornament comes with a colorful ribbon and a personalizable note. Find the piece of paper inside the cookie, write a wish of fortune, and wait for it to be uncovered.

We can’t wait to see you at the Nest in the coming weeks.


Have a fabulous end of year. May 2024 be full of good fortune for all.


Lotsa love,

cute and meaningful


The Fortune Cookie Ya Kuki is the first in our series of personalizable charms.


What belongs to you will find you. Wear Ya Kuki to attract positivity and good fortune. Faith attracts inspiration which attracts fortune. You are not in control of your destiny, you are in control of your journey.


Gift this charm to spread Good Fortune to the wearer. Personalise by selecting the chain and the details to fit the receiver.

engraved sweet reminder


The Fortune Note Ya Tagi is the second in our series of personalizable charms.


What belongs to you will find you. Wear Ya Tagi to attract positivity and good fortune. Faith attracts inspiration which attracts fortune. You are not in control of your destiny, you are in control of your journey.


Personalize your tag with an empowering engraving. Personalize by engrave a personal uplifting message, by selecting the chain and the details to fit the receiver.

fun and valuable


The Maasai necklace Collection has as a purpose to inspire symbolic gifting.


Each necklace is hand-made of natural gemstones and finished with 18K gold details.


Each gemstone of the Masai Collection has it’s proper healing property inspired by the environment where it was grown. Each necklace is meant to be gifted & cherished to offer a healing intention in your or someone else’s life. Layer different E&O Masai coloured necklaces for an uplifting look.

classy and cool


The Lauren pearl pendant is delicate yet full of character.


Each baroque pearl comes in a unique irregular shape and shade ranging from ivory white to peach and silver blue. The pearl can be customised by selecting a personal clasp and a matching chain.


Can be combined with a classic timeless chain or an edgy chain for some punch. The clasp can be personalised with several colour options.