Your Interview Marieke van der Helm-Bax
Introduce yourself (name, company, position, country) and tell us how you got into lighting design (including education/qualifications).
I am Marieke van der Helm-Bax, Marketing Manager at Fagerhult in the Netherlands.
I was born in the Netherlands but due to my father's work I got to live in many different countries like France, Switzerland, Spain and China (during the summer months). I'm very fortunate to have had this kind of childhood as I was able to experience different cultures quite at a young age
Tell us about your work – is there a specific type of project you like to work on or an area you specialise in and why?
I started working with light in 2016 when I joined Fagerhult. My background was marketing and communications and my knowledge about light was basic. Soon a whole new world opened to me: the world of lighting.
Until then I never really knew the impact of light on people.Lighting affects us in so many ways.
What I love about my job is to work with people that are passionate about light and to hear them tell me what you can achieve with it. Of course the design of a luminaire matters but I prefer to know more about the effect it has on people: on their biological rhythm, on their moods and productivity.
What project are you most proud of and why?
As a Marketing Manager, I obviously don’t have any lighting projects of my own. But I’m very proud of the projects of my colleagues, mostly when they stand out regarding lighting for people, sustainability and new developments like circularity.
I’m proud to be part of a company that tries to create visual comfort and efficient lighting with the needs of the end-users in mind.
What is the biggest challenge that you have overcome in your career?
My biggest challenge was my favourite learning moment at the same time. Starting at Fagerhult, I was surrounded by many professionals that had been working for years (some decades) in lighting. My backlog in knowledge was big.
But after a visit at our headquarters, the foundation of Fagerhult, in Habo in Sweden, it was like a warm family, teaching me the basics. And still after a couple of years, very pleased to help in any way. The challenge that remains is how to stand out with all these big competitors in the market.
How does light inspire you?
Light inspires me daily as the presence or absence of sun can influence my mood or energy level so much! Knowing that we try to bring this into workplaces as much as we can, encourages me to continue telling our target groups of the importance of good lighting.
What is your message for other Women In Lighting?
I look forward to be part of this group of strong women and to learn from each other: Love what you do and do what you love!
Marieke van der Helm-Bax
Blogger, Event Organiser, Product, Management
“What I love about my job is to work with people that are passionate about light and to hear them tell me what you can achieve with it.”