The building resilience series Lucas Freire Architecture: Invest your way out of a crisis

At The Library Group, we have been very fortunate to have loyal members, who have stayed with us throughout a very tough 2020 and 2021. We were curious to get our members talking on how they stay motivated this last year. The first of our interviews is with Pedro Lucas Freire, the owner of Lucas Freire Architecture and a member at The Library Ambiorix.


Pedro, tell us a bit about your business

As an architecture practice, we look for the balance between our clients’ needs and dreams and the execution on fine details, creating tasteful environments.
From residential and interior design to commercial design, we believe in harmonious and functional spaces. We work hard and we are here to help whether you want to invest, build the house of your dreams, renovate or redo your retail space. We also take care of administrative dossiers, regularisations, etc. You name it, we do it!


How did you stay motivated during the last years and do you have any advice on building resilience for tough times?

When you do what you love, that’s all the motivation you need. My ongoing hope is that we will keep getting good clients, who value our work, understand the worth of our services and pay us correctly – that’s our motivation right there.
And I can say that in view of the total picture, we are fortunate. This time (during the Covid-19 crisis), I adopted a different attitude. While I saw everyone becoming defensive, I decided to invest: Increase the staff, renew the website, pay for advertisement, move to a bigger office and keep a positive focus.

It gives a good feeling to the team and to new clients to see that business is just as usual.


If you could give us some tips on how to improve the value of a home, what would you recommend that we invest in?

If you own a building/house already, and you have enough garden at the back, it’s always a good investment to extend your living area. That increases the total surface of the house and one day, when you sell it, you can make a big profit.
If you are to buy a building/house, look for something really old/damaged/neglected. That will cost much less and leave you budget for the renovation. It will also give you more freedom to upgrade it the way you want. Almost from scratch.
The plus point of renovating lies also on the 6% VAT, against the 21% of building new.


Pedro, you are an architect and originally from Portugal. What are your thoughts on architecture in Brussels in general?

Brussels is undoubtedly an immensely rich city in terms of Art Nouveau, Belle Epoque, Art Deco and so on. There are magical streets one finds when strolling around Brussels.
In terms of modern days, we talk mostly about big developments, apartment buildings, office towers, etc. Although, here and there very interesting renovations are often found that respect the soul of the building and give it a fresh, contemporary twist.
I’m always happy to meet new clients who, for example, purchase a very old building and want to preserve the strongest features, but get it up-to-date with an increased spatial quality, better materials and combined aesthetic.


To contact Pedro at Lucas Freire Architecture or see their work, please have a look here

Home is where the heart is – meet Sarah, a French interior designer in Brussels

We’ve never spend this much time at home before and it has never been more important that your home is a safe haven, where you feel comfortable, relaxed and safe. So we contacted Sarah Kalman, who is a member at The Library Ixelles, to get inspired.

Sarah, you are an interior designer wish a specialty in older houses with character. What are some of your best tips for getting the most out of your space?

Try taking time to observe and analyze your interior; to consider it as a whole and not to treat it as a succession of distinct elements. It is important to notice the strong details and those that deserve to be valued. Then ask yourself, “What is most important to you to feel good? ” This step back is not always easy when you have your nose in it, that’s why I’m here.

I am very interested in the history of the house so that I can tell it in its layout and continue to tell a (new) story. The material is also very important as well as the way the ornamental elements were treated. In any case, follow your heart, not the latest trends in a magazine. Home is where the heart is. An interior must be timeless and last over time.

Afterwards, there is no magic recipe: each interior is unique as well as these inhabitants – they must be treated with care, uniqueness.


You are from France and has lived in Brussels for eight years now, what do you think of the architecture in Brussels?

After finishing my studies in Paris in interior design, I came to settle in Brussels. I have been living there for eight years now and feel like a local. The architecture here has real potential and deserves to be valued. We all know the Art Nouveau and Art Deco style but the Belgian capital is distinguished by its eclectic style. This is what also makes the city interesting. This multiplicity deserves more attention. Take the time to observe the façades.


What do you find to be the biggest challenges to being a (female) entrepreneur today?

I think we have to juggle between our different roles: Woman, business manager, parent, lover, friend, etc … while being operational on each position. I think this is a pressure that we put on ourselves and that should not be necessary.


You are quite new to the coworking at The Library Ixelles, how do you like working with other entrepreneurs?

I am inspired by their dynamism and the voluntary side of each worker. Everyone wants to prosper but above all to do better every day. It is very motivating to get up in the morning and be surrounded in this way.


Connect with Sarah here:




Feel confident, look amazing, meet Astrid

Astrid is a personal stylist and image consultant who joined The Library Ixelles coworking only 1,5 months before Covid-19 hit us. At a time, when it’s never been more important to have a positive and beautiful look on self-care, we turned to Astrid for inspiration and advice. Read all the way to the end as Astrid has an offer to share with you.

a personal stylist and image consultant is definitely related to how people feel on the inside, what are their own personal experiences, to work on self-confidence and improve their communication skills.

Astrid, you work in the very interesting overlapping field of how we look and how we feel. Why do these two areas go together?

My approach as a personal stylist and image consultant is definitely related to how people feel on the inside, what are their own personal experiences, to work on self-confidence and improve their communication skills. It is not (only) about physical appearance but also about self-care. Our personal image can be influenced by a lot of factors (social standards, education, lack of trust) and my mission is helping people raise their own talents and express better who they are and their own personality through clothing. I create authentic personal style in order for the clients to feel good on the inside and express the better version of themselves on the outside.


You are working on building and developing your business at the moment, what are your plans for the future?

I just moved to Brussels at the beginning of this year to grow my project and develop my network as an entrepreneur. I started my business with private clients and I would like to extend my activities to companies. I have 10 years of experience in the corporate sector and I think image consulting is more important than ever as it guides employees to improve their non-verbal communication skills, express their potential and gain confidence.


As a small business being affected by the Covid-19 crisis, do you have any advice for other small business owners/independents?

I think that everyone is living this crazy period differently depending on the type of personality, but I would suggest of course to self-care (doing the simplest of things that are necessary for our own mental health) but also to use this time as an opportunity to read, to follow online trainings, to create contents in order to feed the mind and improve our expertise. It is what I try to do personally, even if it not easy every day.


You are quite new in coworking at The Library Ixelles. What do you think of working closely with others in a set up like this?

I am definitely not made for loneliness! and I think it is important to connect with other people and simply share inspirational time together or our vision of business. And The Library is the perfect co-working for that, as there is a very warm atmosphere created by the Library team, and even if I am new, I can feel a natural kindness and mutual aid between the members. Can’t wait to come back soon.


Special offer!

There is no better time than right now to update your look, so take Astrid up on her offer of a free styling session to respond to your current need in term of style and communication. She will help you simplify and reorganize your wardrobe and talk about how to create an elegant easy-to-wear look and how to look and feel comfortable for your professional online meetings.


Contact Astrid directly on or by phone 0474 40 46 29.





A New Dawn for Legal Help – Meet Aurore

Most of us only use lawyers when we are in trouble. When in fact, the right lawyer can mean the difference between success and failure for your start-up. That’s why we were so excited, when Aurore joined The Library. Forget about an old-boys club of snobbish lawyers in wigs, Aurore is approachable, competent and friendly and knows absolutely everything there is to know about the start-up scene in Belgium.

Aurore, you are a lawyer specialised in company law and you work with helping entrepreneurs launch their businesses. What are the top three tips you can give to people, who are considering launching a business in Belgium?

First of all, study your market. Who are your competitors? What is your target? Who is your ideal customer? Is your market willing to buy your products / services? This might seem obvious, but very few entrepreneurs ask themselves why they offer their products / services and to whom. My second advice is to build a strong network. No one ever created a successful business on their own. You need strong partnerships whether informal or formal to test your ideas, get them into shape and tell people about them.

Thirdly, I highly recommend designing a strong, honest communication strategy. What is your story? What is your identity? How are you going to reach your customers?

Those three aspects are generally considered by most entrepreneurs to be dull, because they are difficult. Though, they are, in my opinion fundamental to building a strong and successful business – not only in Brussels.

You meet all kinds of entrepreneurs. Do you find that there is a difference in mindset between female and male entrepreneurs?

I generally don’t like gender stereotypes. We often read that women are risk adverse and do not dare as much as men. It’s true that women will anticipate more and look for accompanying structure when men will more often try on their own. I’ve seen plenty of men being totally risk-adverse and plenty of dare devil women but I must say that women are generally more cautious. Men will naturally work their networks via business groups, sport, etc. This has to change.

People are sometimes intimidated to see a lawyer and worried about the cost. But you have a great approach offering easy-to-choose packages for entrepreneurs. What do the packages consist of?

It is true that lawyer’s services are expensive. Legislation is more and more complicated and beyond the fees that you pay, we must continually refresh our knowledges which requires time and energy. The level of responsibility that lawyers take is also a reason for high fees. More and more often, lawyers apply fixed and predetermined rates for specific services. It enables the client to get an overview of the final, total amount. I have created six different services packages that enable a start-up to determine their business model and translate it into a business and financial plan, chose its legal form, have a professional and compliant website, legally binding terms and conditions of sale, apply for the author’s rights taxation and close a shareholders’ agreement. The point for me is to have professional legal services accessible to entrepreneurs. All details can be found on my website:


You’ve recently joined The Library. What is your impression so far of working in a coworking environment?

I like coming to the Library. It feels very much like home, though I can’t take naps as often as I would, if I were working from home 🙂.

It’s also nice to meet new people and to share experiences with Anne-Laure with whom I share an office.

To me, the Library is more than a place for work. It’s somewhere I can fully express my professionalism and put in place new ideas.

You can find Aurore on :




Bring the world closer with World Options

Years ago, Ulrik and Dirk met at a wedding. As it happened, Ulrik, who is Danish, and Dirk, who is Dutch worked for the shipping giants DHL and UPS. They quickly realised that by combining their expertise and entrepreneurial skills, they could offer shipping to an overlooked and ignored group – the smaller companies – and do it at reasonable prices with the added benefit of great customer service.


Dirk and Ulrik, what makes you passionate about shipping and logistics?

Shipping is an important part of the culture in both of our countries, so we are kind of born into it, but helping to facility trade, sharing experience from around the world is fascinating for both of us. You are selling a true service and, even though, we do rely on technology, it is still a business where people make all the difference.

If you ship parcels, packages or larger things like pallets or maybe run an online shop, let us know! As members we would be pleased to offer you our extended service including preferential rates.

What is the strangest thing that you have transported through World Options?

We have been challenged with many different things, probably the biggest was when a customer wanted a “used generator” to be shipped from outside Istanbul to Rotterdam. The challenge: It was in one piece and with a weight of 20 tons. When loading it in Istanbul, it fell of the trailer and in the middle of Ramadan, we needed to find a replacement trailer. This is when you provide customer centricity. We managed to get the shipment out in time for Turkey closing for one week and delivered to the customer in Rotterdam.


You are quite new at The Library and in an industry that would normally be in a more traditional office environment. What draws you to coworking?

We were looking for a place with character and where you easily can connect with people. We felt that The Library was the perfect place for our business and we see that we can easily manage growth within the walls of The Library. In addition to this, we greatly appreciate the service of the team and your customer focus. Our business is all about focussing on our customers and we feel we are in an environment that reflects this.


If you ship parcels, packages or larger items like pallets, or maybe run an online shop, let us know! As Library members, we would be pleased to offer you our extended service including preferential rates. You can find out more about the benefits of shipping with World Options by visiting our website or by contacting one of us at or .



An expert in change makes a big change

When we met Evi a couple of months ago, she had recently made a huge change in her life: Leaving San Francisco to move to Brussels and start all over. So we sat down with Evi to find out more about how to handle change professionally and privately.


Evi, you have recently moved here from San Francisco. Why did you make the change and what have you learned from it?

I was born in Germany and my family emigrated to the United States when I was 5. These last 12 years I have been drawn to reconnecting with my European roots and to live and work in Europe. I chose Brussels as it is such a highly international city and I enjoy meeting people from various cultures. I have been here 11 months and am delighted to be here. To me, Brussels feels like a large village, people are friendly, there is such a vibrant cultural scene and I love being able to walk everywhere. One highlight this year has been the reinstatement of my German citizenship; Germany did not allow dual citizenship until recently.


It is a year of many changes and as I am professionally focused on the issue of change, it is also a time of learning. One outcome for me has been an interest in writing about change and resilience so as to help bring more understanding of the complexity of the process of change and to underscore the impact of societal change on the individual.


Why should we be paying attention to our ability to change?

My expertise is in the human dynamics of change, personal, cultural and organizational. The failure rate of organizational change initiatives continues to be very high as there is insufficient understanding and appreciation of how change impacts people and culture and how to work with that constructively.


I am fascinated by change and believe that our ability to manage change will be critical in the future as there are so many changes in society today and an ever-increasing pace of change. In many ways, change is a much more complex human process than is often understood.


I am living through major life changes at the moment: my move to Belgium, change in my professional direction, my identity, home, relationships, culture, even language. I find it interesting to be my own personal laboratory, having previously been through many significant changes already. What continues to stand out for me is the inherent chaos and depth of emotional experiences. Change is not linear and takes us into many parts of ourselves. Real change entails facing our anxiety, fears, failures and losses, perceived or real. Real change allows and sometimes forces us to develop aspects of ourselves.


Resilience comes from actually living and working through difficult situations, learning from them and allowing ourselves to be changed by them. This brings the emotional balance, wellbeing and freshness necessary for creativity and innovation.


You are new at The Library, but not new to co-working. What, in your opinion, does co-working bring to your work-life balance?

For me, the key attraction is the ability to meet people and share my working day in the company of others. I enjoy being in conversation with people from other businesses and with different perspectives, both sharing and learning from each other. And as I am still settling in in Brussels it is a wonderful opportunity to feel part of a community. The warmth and welcoming nature of the people at The Library add a social dimension to my day. And the people and conversations are genuinely interesting. One unexpected and wonderful benefit was immediately meeting another member, Monika Hoegen, and discovering mutual interests in change and challenges in business today. We are now collaborating in researching ideas and writing.

Find out more about Evi here

Go get some ‘hygge’ in Copenhagen

We are at peak ‘hygge’ season and nobody does ‘hygge’ better than the Danes. Here are a few of my favourite places in Copenhagen to shop, eat and visit.



Every area of Copenhagen has it’s own specialty shops, so it’s almost impossible to choose just a few. But I tend to always visit these ones even during short stops in Copenhagen.


Intense interiors

This amazing interior universe was long just by appointment and for people in the know. But now they have opened a temporary pop-up in the centre of Copenhagen. You can also stay at The Apartment Residence, which is a mind-blowing experience. When in the centre of the city, visit Beau Marché or the grande dame of design Illum’s Bolighus.


My favourite department store

Forget about boring, old-fashioned department stores. Magasin has everything from fashion to food and foreigners get 10% off.


Danish fashion galore

For a concentrated fix of fashion, go shopping in the streets of Pilestræde, Grønnegade and Ny Østergade. Visit Ganni or Stine Goya for unique Danish design. Don’t forget that the Danish jewellery scene is fantastic too. My favourite shop is Dulong at Silkegade.


Where to eat like the Danes

Copenhagen is a mecca for healthy food, but also for bread and the world-famous kanelsnurrer (cinnamon buns) from Meyers Spisehus. Also a great place for lunch or dinner. For a quick and healthy brunch or lunch, I like Raw42 and Glo Food.


But why be healthy, right? If you’d like the ultimate hygge treat, then head to Nimb for Afternoon Tea in their big lounge with fireplace. The service is fantastic and the treats are unforgettable. Another beautiful place for a cake and coffee is the tiny, jewellery box of a tea salon called Winterspring. Their cakes and ice creams are so tasty and the place is so sweet and beautiful.


Also in Tivoli, you will find the beautiful restaurant Gemyse, where they’ve taken vegetarian to a whole new level. Book a table in the greenhouse.


For lively and popular restaurants, book a table with any of the Madklubben restaurants that look appetising to you. Or at Restaurant Llama, which also offers fantastic cocktails. I also LOVE the Sticks’n’Sushi restaurants, which are great if you travel with children.


To continue the night after dinner, head to K-Bar or Ruby, both are world-class cocktail bars with a great atmosphere.


Forget about The Little Mermaid

She is smaller than you think and looks a bit sad and cold. So spend your time on lots of other things instead. For example…:

Visit the art museum Statens Museum for Kunst. They have changing exhibitions and a wonderful shop and café. Take the train to Louisana for another art and design experience.


Rent bikes and discover the main neighbourhoods of Copenhagen; Christianshavn, Frederiksberg, Vesterbro, Nørrebro and Østerbro. Everywhere, you’ll find unique little shops and cafés. Or do like the Danes, get a to-go-coffee at Emmerys and walk around the main lakes to look at people and discuss your life.


Remember that Copenhagen is all about the hygge, the fashion, the food and the friendliness. Everybody speaks English and are ordinarily happy to help. Enjoy your visit.


Useful vocabulary

Tak – Thank you

Hej – Hello

Hej, hej – bye bye

Vi ses – see you later

Må jeg bede om en kanelsnurre – Can I have a cinnamon bun please



The Metro is clean, friendly and efficient. Take it from the airport (get a ticket for three zones) or between stops in the centre (Kgs. Nytorv), Frederiksberg and Christianshavn. The buses are also easy to spot, but the best way of transportation is a bike…


Creating a Sustainable Business Meet the experts

At The Library, we are in awe of the work being done by Ilana Taub and Michael Minch-Dixon from Bolder Impact. In 2013, they co-created SNACT: A sustainable snack brand that has saved over 250 tonnes (and counting) of food from going to waste. Years later, Ilana and Michael found their way back to Brussels, set up Bolder Impact – helping companies be the solution to environmental issues – and joined us at The Library.

In October, we are organizing a series of workshop lunches at all three Libraries, where you can meet Ilana and Michael and find out more about how to create a sustainable business and tackle the climate crisis.

Ilana and Michael, you have dedicated your careers to help the rest of us make climate friendly choices. Were you always passionate about this cause?


Michael: Maybe not always but it goes back a very long way. I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors and remember fondly my uncle taking me to the Irish countryside. Then, when I was studied Economics at university, I started to think about the economics of climate change and seeing how profoundly climate change would not only impact our environment but also our economies. Both in negative sense and in an opportunistic one – if we are to manage climate change, it will require fundamental changes in our economy and I found that quite an exciting prospect. So I focused my thesis on that and never looked back. I did an MSC in Environmental Technology after my undergraduate, set up a sustainability strategy consultancy and then later went on to work for Vestas, one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world.


Ilana: My journey isn’t exactly the same but there are a lot of similarities. It was my last year at Edinburgh University that really started determining this trajectory, though I should point out that from a young age, I’ve always loved and cared for the natural world and studied environmental sciences at school. I also have very fond memories of being in nature (but in Finland, not Ireland). My first job after university was working here in Brussels for (what was at the time) Dexia Asset Management where I analysed hundreds of companies across different sectors on their environmental and social performance. I found it very interesting but not “hands on” enough so I went to do the same MSC (in Environmental Technology) Mike had done a few years before. Knowing what we know about the state of the world, we both can’t imagine doing anything else… The nature of what we do will of course change but it will always involve working in sustainability.


You sold SNACT and set up shop as consultants. What made you make that change?


Ilana: A few different things came together at the right time to lead us to that decision. We’d spent 5 years working on SNACT and whilst we loved what we were doing, we felt it was time for a change. We sort of fell into the world of FMCG and developing a snack brand by accident – we saw an issue, food waste, and wanted to do something about it but we were very naïve about what it would take, and certainly about what running a food business in the UK would entail! The world of food retail is extremely competitive, it’s a really tough space to break into. We wanted to start a family and we decided a change of pace in our life would be a good thing, at least temporarily.


Michael: We found a lot of people came to us for advice as entrepreneurs and we’ve always been keen to help others. It made sense that once we had sold SNACT, we would build on our own business experience and expertise in sustainability to work with other businesses and continue having impact in the issues we care about. We’ll definitely start another venture in the future. It’s the sustainability challenge that excites us. Once we got SNACT up and running, we spent our days running a food business and that’s not as exciting as thinking about new ways of dealing with the issues we’re facing.


You are one of many entrepreneur couples at The Library (including Robert and me), what are your tips for couples working together?


Ilana: When we ran SNACT together, we were pretty strict about making sure our evenings and weekends were not spent talking about (and working on) the business. It’s hard, as start-ups tend to consume most of your time but we needed to make sure we had non-SNACT time to stay sane. Otherwise… The obvious stuff: Communicate and be kind.


Michael: Just do it. It’s a shame more couples don’t work together. We spend so much of our lives at work, it’s great to be able to share that with the person you love. And then what Ilana said!


Finally, you’ve been members of The Library for more or less six months. How is coworking affecting your work/life balance?


When you can structure your day however you want, it’s quite easy for your work to creep into every part of it. So having a space where you can go and work helps separate things a bit – especially with a young baby, it’s been very useful to have a place to truly focus.


Creating a Sustainable Business workshop & lunch

Thursday 3 October at 12:30

The Library Ixelles


Tuesday 8 October at 12:30

The Library Europe


Thursday 10 October at 12:30

The Library Ambiorix


The Creating a Sustainable Business workshops & lunches are in principle exclusively for Library members. If you are not a member, but would like to join, please email Anne-Sofie at


Stella talks to us about East African trade agreements

Stella recently joined us at The Library. She came to Belgium with a wealth of knowledge from her extensive career in East Africa. Uprooting and going to Belgium has been quite the adventure for her, but we are so happy to have Stella – our very own East African expert – with us at The Library. Here are a few of her insights.

Stella, you are a lawyer and a trade agreement specialist from East Africa. What can we learn in Europe from strategic partnerships in East Africa?

I believe Europe has a lot to benefit from strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts in Africa because of the innovation drive that is sweeping across the African continent. Africa’s long known development challenges like healthcare, infrastructure and education, are currently, the drivers and catalysts for innovation. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

Luckily, the exponential growth of technology has not left Africa behind. In the past 15 years, mobile phone-usage has exploded across Africa, bringing the complex and diverse continent closer by bridging communication barriers not only in Africa but also with loved one across the globe. This has increased the market for Internet and data suppliers in the continent, which poses as an opportunity for strategic partnerships with telecom companies present in Africa.

African youths are at the forefront of this innovation drive. Sub-Saharan Africa is witnessing ground-breaking innovations e-healthcare solutions and online education solutions backed by wide-spread used of smart-phones and computers connecting like-minded thinkers in strategic partnerships and collaborations to devise solutions to common development challenges across sub-Saharan Africa.

The pervasive usage of mobile phones also led to creation of mobile-money banking systems, which, drastically, revolutionised the banking system landscape especially for small-scale businesses and the informal sector- which dominants most economies in Africa – influencing changes in the way of doing business in the financial sector. The technology behind mobile money banking has been exported to the west. This trend, therefore, represents the coming of age of Africa as the technology creator rather than adopter.


Navigating the world’s biggest free trading area with Stella

In terms of trade, the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement purports to create the biggest free trading area in the world. It creates a market of over 1.2 billion people, with a majority population below 30 years. This represents the future work force for the continent and the current and future consumers of goods and services.

Suffice to say that Africa is the future. These innovations and regional as well as continental trade groupings are shaping the business and investment landscape and the development aid received from the west to sub-Saharan Africa. The innovation drive is a big motivation for foreign direct investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, while investment aid is increasingly channelled toward creating enabling legal and regulatory environment for sustainable business development and growth.

With this growth trend, comes the need to make policy reviews and changes aimed at creating business friendly legal frameworks across the board. My expertise in regional trade, trade policy and foreign investment facilitation in East Africa, allows me to consult on sustainable development projects coming from Europe to Africa, essentially for private sector development and trade policy-related technical training for policy makers in Africa.

You just started at The Library, so it might be too soon to tell, but do you think coworking will have an impact on the launch of your business?

Since I have just launched my consultancy business in Europe, I found The Library co-working space an excellent environment to touch base in Europe. Its central location in Brussels, the heart of Europe, puts me in proximity to global development influencers and international policy makers. The Library brings me in contact with members is various professional fields from whom I hope to get insights on how to navigate the highly competitive business environment in Brussels, not to mention the power of networking in terms of referrals with their networks. The library also offers me an insight into the work culture in Europe but in less formal structure. It gives me room to adjust to my new environment in a less stressful way. Above all The Library in a special way has given me a space to keep my career goals alive while also looking after my child.

Read more about Stella here:

Taking a walk with Stella of Stellar Walks

When I say that our members come from diverse industries, I am not kidding. Stella is not only from a super exotic place (Iceland), she also runs quite a unique concept and has made a success of it since arriving in Brussels almost two years ago. Stella organises walking tours of Brussels and will give you a whole new view of our city.


Exciting guided tour of the city centre of Brussels. It sheds light on the history of the city, interesting places and buildings.

She was super friendly, very clever and we just had the best experience. I would highly recommend this tour for everyone!’ Stella, this is one of your raving reviews on Tripadvisor. How are your tours different from other guided tours?

 I was repeatedly finding myself having the conversation “is there really something to do or see in Belgium?” with people who have never visited or only been here on short business trips. In my view, Brussels is one of the most misunderstood cities in Europe. In a way, I had become an advocate for the country and city because I simply love it myself. Since my mother language is Icelandic, I decided to emphasise that, offering Icelandic visitors a tour in their own language. We all know how much easier it is to listen and discuss topics in your own language, no matter how good you are in English. Also, when guiding your fellow countrymen, you have a better insight in what could interest them, make connections or compare to something from their own culture. It simply creates a relaxed atmosphere.

That is not to say that I only guide in Icelandic. I also speak Swedish and English so why not offer the tours in Swedish and English as well!

On top of that I tell stories from my own personal experience having lived one year in Bruges when I was a child, then in Brussels as a teenager around the turn of the century (It just sounds so funny to say it like that) and finally now again since the summer of 2017. All in all, a personal and Nordic approach to the history and culture of Belgium.


You told me once that you are a Wikipedia nerd, do you have any tips for remembering all these things about the city?

 Ahh, that´s a good one! The facts, stories and tales I have no problem remembering simply because I find them so interesting. I am not so good at remembering dates and in what year something happened, a challenge for a guide for sure!

This may sound silly or strange and it’s a bit hard to explain. I first try to connect it to something on a personal basis. I connect dates, months or even years to, for example, birthdays of family members. Then I add or subtract from that. Like if one my parents was born in 1961 and something happened in 1861, it’s simple to subtract a century or so! On top of that I have favorite numbers like 6 and 9, so if I see them, I have an “anchor” and can use my system with that. I know this sounds way more complicated than just remembering the year and the date, but it works for me!


You’ve been at The Library less than a month now. How is coworking effecting your work-life balance?

 It does create more of a distinction between the two, now that i am not only working from home. It really helps to leave the house and the distractions like the to-do list at home, and to concentrate only on what i’m doing for my business. On top of that it is very energising to meet others who are doing completely different things but still learning from them at the same time. It´s mind blowing to see the creativity, resourcefulness and entrepreneurship of others.


For more information about Stellar Walks or to book a tour, contact Stella directly.

+32 476 57 10 69

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