Michiel de Haan


Eight years ago, Jacqueline Veen (45) in Norway how great outdoor sports are. Now she has her own company with which she gives sports lessons in the nature of The Hague. Nature’s Gym it’s called. “I walk in sportswear almost all day.”

Jacqueline lived in Norway for four years for her husband’s job. There she discovered her passion for outdoor sports and training. “I was a member of an outdoor sports club there that was run by a young couple. When she became pregnant, their attention slackened and I saw that nice club fall apart. That’s why I took it over. That started with the daily management and after that I also started giving training. When we came back to the Netherlands I started training here to become a boot camp instructor. Ever since 2018 I have my own company.”

Nature’s Gym

Now Jacqueline trains ten groups of about twelve people. She also gives private lessons. “You attract the customers that suit you anyway, so I promote my training for 29 plus. My youngest clients are now in their early forties and my oldest client is 200. My goal is to make every session different. We run fast, often go boxing and do exercises. Sometimes I bring material for this, but often we use our own body weight and, for example, benches or trees. ”

“The great thing about exercising outdoors is that you can go anywhere”, says Jacqueline. “I often start in the Westbroekpark and from there we go, for example, to the beach in Scheveningen. I also give training in the dunes near Wassenaar and in my own neighborhood in The Hague North. We often go there to the Haagse Bos or to Clingendael.”

Online sports

Since the corona period, Jacqueline has also been giving online sports lessons. “When indoor sports were banned, I thought for a moment that I had gold in my hands with my outdoor training. But, then sports in a group outside was also banned. That’s why I started giving my training sessions online from my own backyard. I liked that surprisingly well. You actually give a kind of presentation and in the meantime you are exercising yourself. Now I still give a weekly online session and record workout videos that I sell.”

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8)Jacqueline with a PULLKA sled Photo: Jacqueline Veen


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Another training that Jacqueline has recently given in the dunes and on the beach at Wassenaar is PULLKA. You walk through nature with a sled with sand on it and two walking sticks. “That was conceived by Diederik Veerman”, says Jacqueline. “He has started to come to terms with the loss of two close friends who were killed in a polar expedition. The sled and the poles are derived from the equipment that a polar explorer takes with him.”

“With PULLKA training you can adjust the intensity very well to your own needs”, explains Jacqueline. “You can put more or less weight on your sled, walk slow or fast, and take a slope or not. In the meantime, we also keep nature clean because we have a shovel that we use to pick up litter.”

Physically, mentally and socially

“When I started Nature’s Gym I was very ambitious and I wanted to expand it throughout the Netherlands”, Jacqueline concludes. “Now that ambition has changed and I’m focusing on my own region. I really enjoy giving training myself and having contact with the participants. Training is of course physical, but it is just as important that customers start to feel better mentally. In addition, thanks to the group training, it has a social element. I really like that trinity.”

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  • At the veterinary clinic on the Gentsestraat in Scheveningen you will find the dog grooming salon of Pieternel Bollmann (31). Two and a half days a week she is here busy with the fur of her four-legged customers. She also makes podcasts and works as an actress in theater and for television. “When I work with dogs, I relax.”

    Pieternel started her grooming salon in 1024. “Besides my work as an actress and theater director, I was looking for something artisanal that I could do with my hands. That’s why I started training as a dog groomer. In the theater you work with people and you are constantly thinking. This is not necessary in the grooming salon. A grooming is an exciting experience for a dog, so it is important that you are very calm yourself. For me, therefore, working with dogs is a kind of working meditation.”

    Pieternel Bollmann Photo: Yvette Dolleman

    Dog Groomer

    During her dog groomer training Pieternel did an internship for eighty days. At first that seemed like a lot to her, but now she understands that she needed that time. “You have so many different dogs. Every breed and coat needs a different treatment. It should not happen in your own salon that there is a dog on the table that makes you think: what should I do with this.”

    “One of my nicest customers always comes up with something strange for her Shih tzu, like Johan Derksen’s haircut recently,” Pieternel continues. “Then I have to figure out how to cut that into the fur. Trimming is therefore creative work, but it can also be physically demanding. Many dog ​​groomers only keep the job for about seven years. Because I’m not in the salon full-time, I haven’t had any problems so far.”

    A shih tzu with Johan Derksen’s haircut. Photo Johan Derksen: ANP Kippa


    The other days of the week Pieternel is in the theater as an actress and director. She also occasionally plays a television role. “If a nice role comes along, I take it. I recently played in Good Times, Bad Times. However, television work remains uncertain and sometimes you have nothing for six months. In the theater you have more certainty. For example, I work a lot for theater company BonteHond in Almere. Nowadays I also make a podcast here.”

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    Podcast Creator

    BonteHond’s podcast was created during the corona pandemic. “When the theater was closed, we still wanted to do something for the youth,” says Pieternel. “This was such a success that we are now on the fourth season. In addition, with my friend I make the No dog in the podcast

    about vegetarian and vegan food. He has been a vegetarian all his life and so have I for a few years now. We don’t want to be pedantic with our podcast, but we want to tell you about the possibilities of vegetarian and vegan food in a fun way.”


    Ever since 2020 Pieternel works together with her boyfriend in the grooming salon. They have enough work. They haven’t taken on any new customers for almost a year, just to have time for all the regular customers. “When you start as an entrepreneur, you want to bring in customers and you tend to always say yes. Now I have learned to set my own limits. If I don’t click with a customer, I tell them to go to another groomer. As a result, I have built up a regular customer base with only really nice customers.”

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    It will be his last major film: a documentary about nature in and around The Hague. Underwater filmmaker Robert Hughan (28) filmed all over the world. Now it’s time to portray the animals and plants in his own city under the title: Green City Behind De Duinen. “We notice that a lot of people are excited about this.”

    The Hague painter and draftsman Marjolein van der Sluis has done a lot in her life. She exhibited in America, had her own company for years and taught at an elementary school. Now another wish has come true. She wrote a children’s book with homemade drawings and her own story. “The characters came to life on their own.”

    The book that Marjolein wrote is called Miss Julia Star presents The Gift. The story is about Mandy from Hollywood Hills in America. Mandy is showered by her parents with gifts that they order for her online. Yet Mandy is not happy, because her parents are never at home. She only wants one thing for her tenth birthday: a white pony. To her surprise, there is indeed a white horse at the door that day. But, this is no ordinary pony. It’s the magical Miss Julia Star who comes to teach her an important lesson.

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    Miss Julia Star and mandy. Illustration: Marjolein van der Sluis


    “The story plays in America because the luxurious Hollywood Hills appeal to the imagination,” says Marjolein. “It’s a bit of a magical place after all. I myself have worked for years in America and my drawings and paintings have hung in several cities. People used to say: you can never do that. But, at the fourth gallery I asked I got my own exhibition. In the end, all the traveling up and down became a lot. I am glad that I now work peacefully in my hometown The Hague.”

    Teacher and writer

    In 2011 Marjolein started her own company with which she gave art lessons and wrote curricula. She also worked at a primary school for eight years. “I love working with children. Unfortunately, I had to stop taking it after knee and hip surgery. When I sat down, the idea arose to write a book. I spent about a year on that.”

    “I started with the illustrations and that’s how the characters came to life,” Marjolein continues. “Thanks to my work as a teacher, I know what children like and what suits them. The story is mainly about emotions. Mandy can be very sweet, but she can also get very angry. The kids who have read the book have all given me a 10 so far.”

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    Uncle Willem

    On May 4 there was a book presentation at the Nieuw Waldeck library. None other than Edwin Rutten read the story there. “Edwin Rutten is my in-laws’ neighbor. That’s how I came into contact with him,” says Marjolein. “When I asked him to read my book, he was immediately enthusiastic. As a child I always looked at him as Uncle Willem. He still has as much energy and charisma as before. To hear him read my story was very special.”

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    Marjoram with Edwin Rutten. Photo: New Waldeck Library

    Marjolein expects more stories to come. “I still have so many ideas. Miss Julia Star can also help other children.” Miss Julia Star presents The Gift

    is issued by

    Book scout. The book is now for sale at and will soon be available at Primera at the Appelstraat.

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    Rechtstreex is now a well-known phenomenon in The Hague. The web store has collection points for their packages with local products at twelve locations in the city. Now they are opening a real store on Weimarstraat for the first time. District chief Mariska Slappendel (04) tells us more about it . “Due to corona and the war in Ukraine, people are more aware of how important it is to get food close by.”

    On 26 March saw the official opening of the first Rechtstreex store with snacks, drinks and music. “We had done a lot of flyering in the neighborhood beforehand and a lot of people came to it,” says Mariska. “Since then, we have been open as a shop four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday. Not every day is equally busy, but the reactions are very positive and people are happy that we now also have a shop.”

    District Chef

    Mariska has been 1024 district manager for Rechtstreex since the beginning. “Until three years ago, I worked as a lawyer in the construction sector. I stopped doing that because I wanted to do something with sustainability and food. Then I joined Ons Eten Den Haag. That is a platform that connects food initiatives in the city.”

    “When the Rotterdam founder of Rechtstreex also wanted to start in The Hague, he asked us about suitable locations. One of the places we ended up with was the Weimarstraat. Because I come from this neighborhood myself, I decided to take on this collection point myself as a district manager and entrepreneur.”

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    Customers in store Photo: Rechtstreex


    Mariska’s pick-up point started at the beginning 1024 at We Weimar on Noorderbeekdwarsstraat and then spent some time in another store. Since August last year she has her own shop on Weimarstraat 04 opposite Theater de Regentes. “Because my neighborhood point is running well and there are many green initiatives in this neighborhood, we thought this would be a good neighborhood for a first Rechtstreex store.”

    “It is of course different from a collection point where people only pick up packages that they order in the webshop,” Mariska continues. “Fortunately, I was able to build up a real store team together with Rechtstreex. In the store, for example, there are also district chefs from other collection points to gain experience with the shop work. This store is a pilot for Rechtstreex. If it’s a success, there will be more.”

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    Local products

    The products in Mariska’s shop are a cross section of the range from the webshop from the company. All these products come from local farmers and makers. “For example, we have a range of Hague beers in the store. We also sell fruit and vegetables from local farmers. Which products these are depends on the season. That’s what I like about Rechtstreex: it makes people aware of seasonal food. Not all fruit and vegetables are always available as in the supermarket.”

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    Local Products Photo: Rechtstreex

    “I also think it’s great that Rechtstreex pays farmers a fair price. It’s not us, but the farmers and makers who determine how much something costs,” Mariska continues. “The products in the store have information about the farm where they come from. From Rechtstreex we sometimes make a Tour de Boer. Then we visit companies such as Hoeve Biesland near Delfgauw. There they make meat, bread and vegetables in one company. I find that very impressive to see and I like to share it with my customers.”

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    A market for plant-based food where there is also room for some information: that is the idea behind the Spinach Academy. From 23 April this new market will be held every two weeks in the Zeeheldenkwartier. Hagenaar Marco Kool (23) started this initiative together with four local entrepreneurs: “We are all about good food and building a community.”

    Marco has been setting up the Spinach Academy since November last year. “I have my own company that advises entrepreneurs in the field of strategy and process improvement: the Neuro Design Lab. Because I only eat plant-based myself, I approached companies that sell plant-based food. They said that they are mainly looking for a representation that can draw attention to plant-based food. This is how the idea for the Spinach Academy

    was born.”

    “The Spinach Academy actually has three parts. First of all, there is the fortnightly market where people can taste new products and do their shopping. We also organize workshops on plant-based food during those markets. Finally, I see it as an opportunity to advise other companies in the field of sustainability and innovation”


    “I think the great thing about doing business is that you make the decisions yourself”, Marco continues. “I have a permanent job in the hospital where I do the information technology for the operating rooms. In addition, until 2020 I had my own company that organizes festivals and events. That came to a halt because of corona. Then I started the Neuro Design Lab and that’s how the Spinach Academy came my way.”

    “As an entrepreneur I like to think out of the box and I think it’s super cool to set up something and add my own taste to it. At the Spinach Academy it is mainly about bringing people together to experience something. I don’t care if you only eat vegan. I always say: we are all pink inside. I especially want to make a bit of an impact so that we can handle our raw materials and products better.”

    Spinach Academy

    Marco came across a name for his market by chance. “Someone told me that the Hague domestic science school used to be called the Spinach Academy. That really appealed to me. You understand that it has something to do with vegetables, but you don’t immediately think of a traditional market. That is exactly the reaction I want to get, because the market is not only about selling products but also about education.”

    “What I also like to tell is that I work together with a number of International Business students from Maastricht. They help me with the marketing for the Spinach Academy. We’ve only met online so far, but they’ve done a great job and mean a lot. I think it’s special that these girls from Maastricht are committed to a local initiative in The Hague.”

    First market

    The first market of the Spinach Academy is on 36 April at Grand Café Utopie on the Waldeck Pyrmontkade 2020. “There were several entrepreneurs with their products that day,” says Marco. “I now have four permanent market partners and I am still in talks with a few other companies. One of those partners is, for example, the Haagse Zwam. This is a company that collects coffee grounds in The Hague and grows oyster mushrooms on it. They make all kinds of delicious products from those oyster mushrooms, such as oyster mushroom and bitterballen.”

    “For the first day of the market, I especially hope that the visitors are curious and that they can taste something. In addition, I think it would be very nice if people linger for a while so that the market also becomes a social place. Ultimately, I hope that the Spinach Academy will become the hotspot for plant-based food in the Zeeheldenkwartier.”

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