Nice to meet you! I'm Sylvie.
Where am I from? Well, I have a Belgian name, a Belgian father, a South African mother, and was raised in the United States. As a teenager I moved to the UK for two years, and then to Dubai for five years, and then back to the United States for a year. After graduating from high school, I decided to pave my own path, and I ended up landing in the Netherlands. Now you might understand why it’s hard for me to answer the question “So, where are you from?” I think my most recent answer I’ve decided on is “I’m from everywhere!”
What do I do? I’m a strategic product designer based in the Netherlands. I have a BEng in Industrial Design Engineering, and a MSc in Industrial Design with a specialization in design leadership and entrepreneurship. I’m a jack of all trades, which can be both a blessing and a curse, but mostly a blessing. I love immersing myself in all facets of the design process, but some of my favourites are: implementation of design methodologies, user and market research, designing user experiences, product styling and branding, design writing and communication, stakeholder engagement, and business model innovation. I am always eager to continue to develop my skills, and feel most at home in an environment where this is promoted. I’m a very people-oriented person, and I love working in a dynamic team and collaborating with end-users and stakeholders to translate a company’s strategy and market opportunities into a strong product or service portfolio.
Over the last two years I took on the huge challenge of building a startup called Hugsy from the ground up, which has been a massive learning experience for me both on a professional and personal level. Acting as both founder and creative director in the business, I managed a team of five people, managed and delegated startup activities, took charge of the higher level vision and strategy for the company, allocated resources and capital, guided fundraising activities, led the creative direction and vision of the company, and led product development and creative activities. One of the coolest parts of this experience, was creating a product from scratch, and taking it from concept phase through to implementation and realization in the market. I learned how to navigate challenges, how to manage multiple projects and a team, and truly had to develop an agile approach and constantly think on my feet. Next to this, I’ve worked on various projects ranging from working on digitally fabricated prosthetics for third world countries at Fablab Amsterdam, to a camping box for small vehicles for a design agency called Discoh in Spain, to user research for people living with dementia at a care home in North Carolina, to envisioning future scenarios for banking with ING Bank. I wasn’t lying when I said I’m a jack of all trades!
When I am not designing you can find me traveling the world, eating delicious things (I am a major foodie!), or curled up in the couch watching a great movie or series on Netflix.
If you’d like to work together, I’d love to meet with you! You can contact me below on email, or LinkedIn.
Some snapshots of my experiences over the last few years.