Anniek Manshanden and I met as 1st-year archeology students during the introduction camp, and I remember thinking she looked like someone I wanted to get to know.

We were casual friends that first year of Uni and really got close over a somewhat randomly spontaneous backpacking trip through Scotland and England. As in, one of us mentioned we wanted to go backpacking in the UK, the other said “me too!”, and two weeks later we were flying to Edinburgh with a rail pass and no real plan, had an amazing time and ended up best friends.

We were inseparable at Uni, living only two streets apart in Leiden, and at our local student society, it caused genuine concern if one of us showed up without the other, as it generally meant the other was sick. Her best-friend status is so clear that at my wedding we realized I never actually asked her to be my maid of honor, it was so obvious that she would be. She’s a bubbly, loving and loyal lady who loves to sew, run and bake. As a very down-to-earth and rational person, she makes a perfect counter-half to my emotional self.

She ended up going a different route with her studies than I, and after getting her BA in archeology found her passion for restoration. After getting her MA and PDres, she started her own restoration business restoring glass and ceramics for all kinds of clients. I love hearing her work stories, as one day she will be fixing a grannie’s beloved porcelain figurine, and the next she will be off at a palace dismantling and cleaning an antique chandelier.

I have been known to take advantage of her talents on occasion, such as when I knocked over a sculpture we got as a wedding present, or when I dropped a beloved sword pin and it broke in half. My parents have even used her services to repair a beloved ceramic pot.

Please go check out her website, and by all means please consider using her services!