Evelien Emondts (1986) and Merel Groenenboom (1985) met at the university of Amsterdam, where they both got their master degrees in communication science. Evelien also has a master degree in American studies and Merel in business studies. After spending time abroad in Washington & Prague (Evelien) and New York & Beijing (Merel), they started their careers in Amsterdam. The travel bug however soon bit again, so they left home to see more of the world. Evelien and Merel are now using their marketing and communications experience for Kiyoko, a business they run next to their (freelance) marketing and advertising jobs in Amsterdam.
Evelien and Merel started Kiyoko in March 2014. Kiyoko stems from their ambition to chase dreams. In that spirit they both swapped their lives in Amsterdam for a long trip abroad. That meant taking risks (quitting jobs and giving up apartments), but both got to do what they really wanted – to experience the ultimate feeling of freedom and to prove that no goal is beyond reach. This vision resulted in a business plan for Kiyoko: a product based on an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take risks. Travel remains a major theme in the development of the products and the brand. The details of the products are Japanese for a reason: the founders draw their inspiration from Japanese culture.