It actually is a post about a wonderful day with Stephan & Christophe but their new flatmates, at that time – two kittens, played the main role that day. Lilli & John, Lilli is a soft and shy little Lady, while John seems more confident and naughty, till … Lilli tells him off.
I called Stephan, because i was around to visit him and Christophe for a coffee, that was around midday, i don’t know what happened but when i left it was almost midnight. It was just so nice. We had coffee, talked about business and cats, at one point i started making pictures and we talked more … than Stephan started making Lunch, Christophe joined us for some more talking, a neighbour ringed because an elderly Lady in the house didn’t answer the bell.
Everybody got quite worried, than the relief she obviously fell a few days ago and was in hospital, nothing serious but to make sure she is alright. but now the neighbour stayed as well and we opened a bottle of red wine had dinner together talked even more and at one point more neighbours joined the party.
Stephan and Christophe amazing flat is the result from two joined small flats and a lot of creativity and taste.
No unnecessary trends accessoires, the huge phantastic kitchen is not a showing off project, but obviously a well used area of the flat. Lot’s of cook book’s, cooking tools and ingredients show that these two guys know how to live good live.
The big living room has areas for relaxing, watching TV and reading lot’s of books and a big table. Since the cats arrived the sofas are covered in fabric so they can jump around and no one has to worry too much. Colourfull feathers everywear are not a sign from a carnival but the beloved toys of the cats.
Meet my friend Stephan, one of the best strategists I know, if you ever get the possibility to read my thesis he, or better his strategic knowledge, is mentioned at least five times.
What is your profession: I am a Consultant ( Systemic Branding)
Where are you from?
I’m from Bavaria, actually from Starnberg, where I grew up between swimming in the lovely lake, skiing in the Alps, and the Oktoberfest, of course…
What is your relationship to berlin?
Berlin is my home and heaven. Where else in continental Europe can you find such a superb blend of high culture and street art, of parks and lakes, of a first class creative industry and a common sense that life has more to offer than marking a career?
If you had to describe your own style, how would you do it?
Quite average – on the one hand focused, structured and ambitious, on the other relaxed, curious and always open for a detour. Literally!
Do you think brands have still a value in times where everything get’s more and more free, cheap and replaceable?
A tremendous value. Brands are not about price, they are about relations and about time. A relation that grew over years is priceless, unique and cannot be replaced. If it breaks, it’s gone and will never be the same, even if you try hardly to mend it. Actually, I believe that authenticity is key to establish a lasting relationship. AEG, Rowenta oder Dual have been sold ages ago to international holdings – but their brand heritage and credibility are still alive in our heads and hearts (and therefore we tend to trust their new products even if they are not “Made in Germany” any longer). Or take the legendary Suhrkamp publishing house: it was a shock for a lot of intellectual people reading about their financial problems – if they’d really disappear from the market, the lost relationship would leave a huge emotional gap.
What does brand process mean to you and how do we know a brand performs good?
Brand processes describe a crucial prerequisite to success: without them no company is able to deliver on the brand’s promise. Why? Because processes describe, what has to happen when and who is in charge to create a compelling experience you interact with a brand at a specific touchpoint. When you browse a website. When you visit a store. When you open the package. When you use the product or service. When you talk to a call center agent, and so on. If a brand performs good, the customer experience is consistent and coherent.
What does home mean to you?
Closing the door, caressing the cats and starting to cook.
Where would you like to travel if money and time wouldn’t be a boundary?
That’s an easy one: I’d go again south pacific. Best diving sites ever!
If I would buy you a bunch of flowers which would make you happy?
Tulips. They are just perfect.
Chill and relax – how do you do that best?
Closing the door, caressing the cats and starting to cook.
White or red wine? dark or whole milk? cookies or bisquits?
Red wine and champagne. And never ever soya milk or tofu something.
If a friend visits you in Berlin in April where would you bring him / her?
Depending on the weather: Café am Neuen See or Komische Oper.
I first met Christophe when I visited Stephan, and immediately loved him! He is french he loves good food, good wine, and a good laugh. So my kind of person.
Your profession: Communication manager of a theater in Paris
Where are you from?
Home is where the heart is? where is home for you and what makes a home a home ?
Yes home is where the heart is. In French we say “à la Maison”, but we have another word in French which is “foyer”, the center of the fireplace. Home for me is the place of warmth, intimacy, affection, love, protection and recovery. Today my main home is in Berlin but at different levels, I think that everybody has several homes… my intimate home is in Berlin, but I have also the feeling to be at home in Normandy, my family’s region. I feel at home in Paris where I lived for twenty five years. By the language, I feel at home in France – by my ancestors, I feel paradoxically at home in England. Culturally, I feel at home in Europe…
What make a home a home?
Materially, I would say, access to water, energy and a good heating for the winter! I talk specifically about this as a base because I know that these three points are not available for everybody: in Europe, the estimation about people without home is around for million people.
If you had to serve a French friend a German dish, which would you choose?
A delicious recipe – „Hühnerfrikassee mit Spargel“
How do cats change the way you live?
I will not say that cats change the way I live .. Of course we have the responsibility to take care about them and i’ts just a little more difficult if you want to travel. But we have a very friendly community in our building and we are helpful each other… After these points, it’s so cool to have Lili and Mr John in our life, all this beauty every day; its’ so amazing to build a affective and emotional relation with animals. It makes you more connected everyday with nature of life, something simple and obvious.
Could you imagine living in a campervan as a nomad?
Yes, I could imagine it… As an artist in the first part of my professional life, I moved all the time and I felt myself as a nomad. I think, with a campervan, I would enjoy to be nearer of nature and feel this freedom’s sensation it could give you…
Which place in the flat is the one you would call your favorite and why?
The bedroom which is on the backyard side… it is so quiet…and there is a beautiful tree and because we are at the third floor, at this level, through the windows, we have the feeling to be in the middle of the branches and foliage. You can follow the seasons… j’adore !!!
What is in your opinion the most obvious difference between Germans and French?
Germans drink more beer than French and French more wine!!! Seriously ? I don’t want to make generalities, but with my little experience with Germany and the problem of language, I can talk only about my first feelings! At the end, we are the same: same society, same way of life, nearly same culture… For the character, I find that Germans are more respectful each other. They still respect the rules to live together decided by the society more than French people. For example in the debates, each one can express himself without to be interrupted. In France, very quickly, this is the schoolyard. French people like the quarrel. Finally, maybe that’s why German society is more efficient in the art of compromise and in this period of big and fast changes, this could be a resource for the future. Vice versa, this quality makes Germans a little more “cold”, less spontaneous than French people; they hide more or they don’t want to give their feelings. It’s more difficult for Germans to share emotions and to be intimately close with friends. Maybe this is one of the reasons why Germany is the country number one in Europe regarding the number of singles! I have the feeling that French peoples are more preoccupied about love. But any case, everywhere, mother is precious…
Books – eReader or Paper?
Music – Debussy or Hozier or Helene Fischer
Hozier and Debussy
If i’d catch you singing, where would that be and what?
I like pop songs and I like to follow the news… in this moment, if you‘d catch me not singing but humming, it could be a tune from “Zazie” (Les contraires) or “Clueso” (Lass den Kopf nicht hängen, Unter Strom), or the bands “Brigitte” (J’sais pas, Oh Charlie chéri) or “Alb” (Hypoballad)…
Your favorite place in berlin ?
Thank you guys, for a great day and your phantastic answers!