Milou Neelen: On Life as Hotel Magique Founder

Milou discusses life as the founder of the ever successful Hotel Magique and why she is excited for the future.

For many years we have adored the products of Hotel Magique and their eclectic style whilst maintaining a level of sophistication in their products. Hotel Magique create products that you naturally want in your home and are drawn too. The designs are clean and classic with details that fit any room in the home.

We found the founder of Hotel Magique Milou Neelen, an artist who we admire the work of massively. Milou was super friendly and warm when we approached her for the interview and here is what she had to say about her business baby Hotel Magique…

Hôtel Magique is a favourite of ours, what inspired you to go down the souvenir route for your products?

Thank you! During trips I love to bring back home anything from a hotel gift shop or coffee place that I loved, even if it’s just a mug, every time I use that mug I think of that trip. Hôtel Magique was of course born for starters for the love of hotel visits, so adding souvenirs felt like a fun and logical addition.

Hôtel Magique has now gained a lot of publicity,  how do you use this to make your business grow and share? 

My personal dream is an actual hotel with a dog sanctuary, so every direction we take is with keeping this in mind and staying on brand which from my perspective also includes saying no to certain collaborations or interested wholesalers. Even if they could be interesting financially, if I am personally not in love with a brand who proposes a collaboration or I wouldn’t shop at an interested wholesaler for me that’s a reason to stay no and help the brand grow may be in a slower but long lasting way, with the hotel being the ultimate goal.

What inspired Hôtel Magique firstly and where did the idea for  your new book Pleasure of Leisure come from? Was it a dream to release a book? 

I always wanted to launch my own brand but couldn’t figure out the perfect name until I created a painting for my living room. I wanted it to have a hotel vibe so I started combining the word ‘Hotel’ with other words.

Hôtel Magique felt right, positive, and fun and made me come up with sentences like ‘You are Magique’ and ‘Never underestimate the Power of Magique’. Along with those sentences I got ideas for artworks and started designing the first range of cards and art prints. For the book, I indeed always dreamed of designing a book. Fallen in love with Anna Pihan her dreamy photography that gave me so much inspiration for artworks and having a fun connection I proposed the idea of creating a book together, and luckily she was just as excited. Anna already parked the name The Pleasure of Leisure to use for a personal project but it felt like the perfect fit for our first book together because the name says it all.

What are some of your favourite collaborations and why was it important to work with Anna Pihan and where did the idea come from?

I love each collaboration because I love to combine my own ideas together with that of the other brand or designer and work with new products or materials. Each process is inspiring and different, and I learn so much from every collaboration.

What is next for Hotel Magique and what are some exciting things ahead for you? 

There are always new magique collaborations ahead of which I can not tell anything yet 😉 And new souvenirs for our online souvenir shop, and I can’t wait to get started designing a new book together with Anna Pihan! 

Where can our readers shop Hotel Magique? 

On and with our magique stockists.

Thank you to Milou Neelen for this feature.

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