I won the HEMA Design Contest 2021!

Written by Yvonne

Last August I received a phone call from the HEMA office. At first, I did not know what they would call for. I am a big fan of HEMA and I shop there regularly. Next to that I also applied for an internship there. And then they mentioned that I entered their contest with my designed idea. Still, I did not realize what happened. Probably I sounded so silly on the phone. And then there was the moment that the woman on the other side of the call mentioned that I was nominated to win the HEMA Design Contest. And I was in awe. I couldn’t believe what happened, but this was the moment where my journey started.

In 1,5 months I had to develop my initial idea before presenting it on the final day the 30th of September. I was selected for the idea HeyMe, a digital service that connects attendees of an event through an app. With this app, everyone can share the made pictures with each other. It is not only a way to collect pictures, but also a way to make the memory physical. It supports an easy way of making a photo album of the selected pictures. HeyMe eventually shows a timeline of all the events one has been and with whom those moments were celebrated.

The idea needed to be worked out a bit more and I needed to shape the explanation in such a way that possibly every HEMA customer is able to understand the idea quickly. I defined the customers of HEMA and looked where the idea needed to be shifted and shaped. When the concept was defined better, I was able to create a digital prototype to display during the presentation.

The HEMA Design Contest Finale day

My alarm went super early. I had to go by train to Amsterdam all the way from Eindhoven. At 9 AM I arrived in Amsterdam together with my ‘support team’, we went to the HEMA headquarters. Three of my friends went with me to experience this day together. Our plan was, regardless of the outcome, that this day was going to be amazing.

I had to present as the first of 10 nominees. Presenting is something I like, therefore I did not mind going first. I think that it is always positive to present as one of the first. While I was presenting, my nerves were going down and it felt really good to present my concept. After my presentation, I was able to relax and enjoy the other concept presentations. I was super excited to see all the other ideas and presentations. And I think everyone did really well.

After 10 presentations, the jury had to go into consideration. This took about half an hour and I could feel the nerves going up. Everyone went back to their seats and the jury started the reveal. At first, the price of public votes was revealed. This one went to Susanna Osinga, a TU Delft Industrial Design student, who won with her repacking paper made of fabric.

And then the jury price winner was being revealed…..

AND I WON! The jury was impressed by my interpretation of the challenge (creating a valuable way of celebrating). My digital concept took their attention, and the connection to the HEMA photo service was super valuable for them as well. I still can’t really believe that I won. And the contest almost feels like it was a dream. But it is actually true.

What will happen now?

What does it mean, now that I won the HEMA Design Contest? Actually, it is a dream come true. I am going to work together with HEMA to develop HeyMe into an actual product. This means that in about a year, everyone is able to use the service that I designed. And this is incredible! Working with HEMA is literally something I dreamt of because HEMA is a company that I would see myself working for as well.

I am looking forward to working with HEMA on this product and I am excited about what the result will be! I will keep you updated on the process and the final result. So, follow me for all the updates.

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