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Geopark Villa rising in Innri-Njarðvík

Andrea Maack is an artist and perfume designer who was fascinated by Reykjanes when she moved back home in 2015 after a long stay in Italy. Colorful geothermal areas mixed with dark and cold nature are an inspiration in her brand Andrea Maak, but also in the design of her dream house Geopark Villa. She says it is remarkable itself that Reykjanes is recognized as a Geopark and that it is just allowed to build houses so close to unique geosites. "My foreign friends see how amazing this is, but Icelanders are gradually seeing it too".

The online shop which opened a year ago has started out well but Andrea Maack has been trying new methods to reach the client. “ A lot of the best sellers have been out of stock for a month. The wait has been tough for many but people understand the time it takes to make top-quality products. A lot of deep-rooted manufacturing companies that we work with from Italy and France, closed in the pandemic. The old perfume market did not believe in going online, but my plan was always to sell my perfume in stores and to have my own online store where people can try at home and get to know the product at ease. This will become like instruction with the clients, the perfume is different on the skin and sometimes it just takes time to find the one and only.” Says Andrea.

Photo: @benjaminhardman

The perfume was always supposed to be part of the artwork

Andrea is originally an artist with a lot of experience from the fashion industry in London and did to expect to be an owner of a perfume company. “First I was just mixing and playing around and got in touch with smaller manufacturers who all were excited to try something new. I came with unisex perfumes which were a bit ahead of their time and the original idea was to connect abstract art with scent. I started out with art exhibitions here at home and in Europe where people would come in and get perfume samples, who were part of the artwork. Things began to roll when Spark the design gallery asked me to put up an exhibition which was a perfume shop in downtown Reykjavik. The Frenc Vouge wrote about this project, then I realized that I wanted to go all in. The outcome was the brand Andrea Maack which is still going after all these years."

Photo: @benjaminhardman

Reykjanes Geopark as a marketing tool

“After we moved home, we were thinking about our next step. I quickly saw the opportunities to utilize this unique nature that we have here in Reykjanes. We have also photographed a lot of content from here that we use in our marketing. This area is so appealing and unique, therefore we wanted to do something different and in our spirit. It is remarkable itself that Reykjanes is recognized as a Geopark and that it is just allowed to build houses so close to unique Geosites. For example, Reykjanes is the favorite footage for many talented photographers, they know what they have. My foreign friends see how amazing this is, but Icelanders are gradually seeing it too.”

The dream house Geopark Villa

Because of the demand for visits and goods promotions at the rising perfume brand, Andrea Maack, the artist followed the dream to build a home/ facility from the ground up. “ Long ago, I had designed this house in my head and the lifestyle around it. Five years later Geopark was suddenly rising. We are now working with Italian designers who take care of the furniture, flooring, and more. We have broadly designed the whole house from a distance during the pandemic. There will be a space with a studio where we can welcome those who are interested, but in the drawings, we also have a home for the family which will off course be marked out from the studio. I also had in mind that people could stay here longer if they wanted where we would have a guest room and a hot top outside. Nature is once again key because the view over the sea is terrific and in the wintertime, people could even see the northern lights.”

Photo: @benjaminhardman

What is your favorite place in Reykjanes?

"I am fascinated by Those dark and cold areas such as Brimketill, and also everything around Reykjanes Lighthouse like Valahnúkur and Karlinn."

What is it that you are most proud of?

"We are incredibly proud to be an Icelandic company that has been in business for this long. We have managed to do what we wanted and make it work. People often want things to happen fast but sometimes it just doesn´t work that way. My goal has always been to make a brand that withstands the test of time and that doesn´t happen overnight.”

Photo: @benjaminhardman

What advice do you give those who are taking their first steps in establishing their own company?

“First of all, have passion for what you are doing. If you want something bad enough, then it is best to throw yourself off the deep end. I do not have any secret formula or secret connection - I just take up the phone, it is never good to think too much about what other people think. You need to have enough self-confidence and not be afraid to connect with other people, otherwise, no one is going to knock at your door. It also helped a lot to write down my goals and all my ideas that I got, it is so precious to be able to read that wish list later and see how far I have come.”

How does the future look like for Andrea Maack?

“Now we need to pause a little bit to decide which direction we want to go with the company. To illustrate, there is a lot of demand for guidance, you become the artist again where people want consultation and get to know the product. I want to make experience in Geopark Villa and even begin manufacture here in Iceland. That way the process is a lot more visible."

Video: @benjaminhardman                                                                                                                             

For more follow: @geopark_villa



Gunnhildur Björg Baldursdóttir