We understand that you might have a lot of questions. We do too 🙂 ! Below we answer the questions we are receiving the most. Feel free to connect if you want to learn more.
It’s a long story. If you are ready for it then buckle up for the ride…
The urge to create HYMNN has come to us and grown over the last few years. Living in Melbourne for several years learned us that ‘normal’ is just what we are used to. Each place, each culture has its own ‘normal’. We were fascinated by the different cultures we met, their different views on life and especially in the way ‘this normal’ manifested in their lives.
Later, in Bulgaria we were blown away by its rough nature. The clear 4 seasons that are all so different and beautiful in their own way. It helped us see the cycle of life. That it’s not linear but cyclic. That there is always change, movement. Letting go, going within, nourishing what wants to be (re)born. It’s the cycle of life that’s been presented each year so clearly through the seasons here.
The way Bulgarians still have their home gardens, grow their own food, share their harvest with their neighbors… It woke something up in us. A desire to be closer to nature, to become more conscious about the food we eat, to feel grateful for our life.
We have had so many guests the past 5 years and we noticed that they all slowed down by simply being here, they relaxed, enjoyed being in nature and we had the most inspiring and deep conversations about life. How would it be if we could offer this on a larger scale? A safe space where people are invited to connect with the pace of nature (which is nice and slow ;-))…
Sylvia was experiencing and struggling with several symptoms for years. Which became more intense the last 3 years. In the end of 2021 we discovered toxic black mold in our master bedroom. Just 2 weeks before that we received an article from a friend of us, stating the correlation of Crohn’s dis-ease and mold. Sylvia had been diagnosed with Crohn’s 2 years prior.
This connected all the dots. Sylvia’s body wasn’t attacking it-self, it was protecting her from the mycotoxins going to her brain and heart. Her vital organs. The mycotoxins were stored in her fat cells where they could cause the least amount of damage. It explained why she couldn’t sweat for the last 20 years, why her digestive system was inflamed constantly and why she felt so extremely tired and gained 40kg in the last years. It all started in her twenties when living in a monumental house in Rotterdam. The mold was everywhere there. But being a student in your twenties you don’t care. You are glad to just have a great student house!
It made us aware of how mold is present in so many homes nowadays with the way we are building. There is a big community of people that are experiencing the harmful negative effects of living in a home with toxic mold. It also made us aware of the influence our environment has on our wellbeing, on our health. It’s not just the food you eat and the exercise you do that make a healthy person. Nowadays we are using so many harmful products that our bodies can’t cope with eliminating the toxins. There are sensitive people, or people that have been exposed to large amounts in a short time that are the ‘canary in the coal mine’. Letting the rest of the world know, through their symptoms that if we continue to walk this path we will all be negatively affected by the large amount of toxins in our environment. For people but also for the planet.
This is our ‘why’ behind HYMNN. We haven’t figured it all out and we don’t have all the answers yet, but we are eager to create awareness by ourselves, make positive changes by identifying common products and behaviors that are harmful for people as well as the planet and provide alternatives that are non-toxic and even life-enhancing.
PLOT OF LAND
Our desire is to live close to or in the midst of nature and connect with others that are also eager to make an impact on a better world. Living in a village created and taken care of by its inhabitants. It takes a village to raise a child, we believe it takes a village to make an impact. We believe in the power of people coming together and working together.
Bulgaria unexpectedly touched our hearts. Many foreign people we spoke to, joke saying ‘people always ask me what did you do wrong ending up in Bulgaria?’ But most of them also say that it’s a hidden gem in Europe. This is how we feel. And yes, Bulgaria has its problems as well. Just like any other country.
Besides Scandinavia, Romania and Serbia, Bulgaria is the country with the most unspoilt nature. The connection with nature is easy to find here. Due to the exodus of young Bulgarians to Western Europe the country’s population has been in decline, resulting in abundance of land and space.
Bulgarians are still living in connection with nature; the seeds of a good crop are shared amongst the villagers and the majority of people have their own home-grown food and bee-hives are found everywhere across the country.
Although we focus in our search on Bulgaria, we widen our search to other countries as well such as Montenegro, Greece and other nearby countries. As long as it meets our requirements.
Besides setting up the company and arranging a lot of admin stuff that is now behind us, finding land has been the main priority. We have seen many beautiful places already but not yet the right plot of land for HYMNN.
We believe that we have to collaborate with nature, the spirit of the land. That might sound crazy but we believe that this is necessary to create a vibrant health of the land and the people living there. We have many people supporting us on finding the right plot of land. Although we are now focusing our search on Bulgaria, we also feel that the right plot of land could be anywhere, even in other countries. We are open to all possibilities and suggestions.
HYMNN is an ever-evolving place. Although we can’t wait to meet the right plot of land to start co-creating HYMNN there, HYMNN is more than this dot on the horizon. You can get a taste of HYMNN’s tune by browsing through our website. We organize retreats, offer online content such as videos of the process, programs, social media updates and coaching. In all we offer, the values and guidelines of HYMNN are present.
Is there a reason why you are building with natural materials, low toxins and chemical free?
We have experienced first-hand what living in a house with mold can do to (y)our health. Especially Sylvia was (and still is) affected by the mycotoxins in her body coming from the toxic mold in several houses we lived.
She has been and still is dealing and struggling with many symptoms such as extreme fatigue, brain fog, Crohn’s disease, inability to sweat, weight gain, oedema, breathing issues and more. Years of looking for answers to find the root cause, to find solutions for the symptoms paved the path to her why, her mission in this life. Creating a place with the least harmful environmental stressors present. Using natural materials and a conscious approach to the design and the environment that truly supports health and wellbeing and isn’t affecting the earth in a negative way.
Building on that we find it very important that using natural materials reduces waste. When working for Heineken in Bulgaria Marcel was part of the Board of Directors of Ecopack, a waste collection and recycling organization. This experience contributes to his eagerness to minimize waste.
For HYMNN we are looking for sustainable architecture for the future. We see that earth’s resources are not enough to support the current population growth and it is harmful for the earth. Therefore, we need to look at different alternatives. Here in Bulgaria there is a rich history of building with natural materials like clay, lime, straw, hemp etc. Building with these materials significantly reduces shipping costs and material waste.
However, building houses with natural materials in a conventional way takes a lot of manpower and time. Working with a 3D printer reduces the time spent, and requires less people to build.
We are still in the exploration phase for applying this technology.
We, Sylvia and Marcel are the constant factor at the moment paving the foundation and in this process we have received an incredible amount of support already in terms of inspiration sessions, advice, branding, architecture, real estate, 3D printing, critical questions and listening ears… so grateful for that.
We believe in the power of doing it together. The power of communities. Combining our knowledge, wisdom, strengths, talents, resources, energy, inspiration etc.
Our dream feels big, too big often ;-) and it’s not meant to be created by one family but by a group of people that are excited to explore, be adventurous, open to new ways, eager to learn (from their mistakes) and feel the urge to make a positive impact in the world.
Yes, we are! We’d love to connect, share and learn.
Yes, we definitely are 🙂 Like Massimo Moretti, the founder of WASP 3D printing, says ‘We are not so crazy to think we can save the world, but we’re crazy enough to work for it.
HYMNN will not be for everyone, and that’s OK. HYMNN has a visionary approach on life. It challenges the status quo and therefore a lot is still unknown. We take it step by step, with trial & error and we learn along the way.
By sharing our process we intend to inspire