Who is Maiden Minne?

I sometimes get the question ‘Who is Maiden Minne? What does it stand for?’... It’s time to share the story!

When I made my first steps in the re-enactment scene, I felt that researching and recreating clothing was an ideal occupation for me: I am, by nature, quite creative and I love to figure things out. So why not do this a lot more then occasionally? Why not make a hobby out of it?

That how it all started. A friend asked me to make her a dress, since she liked the fit so much. Back then, I knew nothing about drafting a pattern, so I was both honored and a little anxious. But it worked out great, and she still wears it with pride. It gave me a sense of accomplishment, to know that I could make someone so happy with a simple thing I created. After a short time, I got more people asking me for a custom made item, so I was able to research more and make more things that would actually be loved and worn! That was 2014...

A year later, it all went pretty fast: I was still studying Architecture and Heritage, so my time to invest in making re-enactment clothing was limited. But I wanted to make it something more then a hobby... Therefor, I designed a label and called it ‘Maiden Minne’. I wanted to incorporate a piece of identity, a bit of personality.

The name ‘Maiden Minne’ didn’t come out of nowhere, ofcourse. I live in the larger region around Lier, a small medieval city, that played an important role throughout history. It has a unique atmosphere: the proximity of water and nature gives the area a calm and peaceful character. In this setting Beatrice of Nazareth lived as a nun from 1236 onwards. She is the first woman to write about mystic love, and until today a copy of the work in Middle Dutch. In ‘Van seven manieren van heiliger minnen’ she described 7 ways ‘love’ can be experienced. I admired this idea and the fact that she was a prominent women in history. As a bonus, her nameday is on the birthday of the one I love most... All the more reasons to refer to her and her valuable work. That how the new, fictive character ‘Maiden Minne’ was born!

When in 2018 I finally graduated, I got the opportunity to make Maiden Minne even something more then a simple ‘hobby’, so I made a small bussiness for it. I want to make it a part of my everyday life, because I love the combination of researching history and using all my creative skills. Today, I want to make more people happy with unique, hand made clothing. I love to see how people shine when they wear a properly fitted and historicaly correct costume, so they can live another life in another era.

I love to be Maiden Minne, with every stitch I make...