Meet the Bergmann Family

By on December 27, 2010

What brought you here? 

Nicolai: My father also worked in the flower business and had business in Japan. When I finished my studies as a flower designer in Copenhagen, I came and worked for some of his associates in 1998. It was supposed to be just for a few months, but I still have not left.

Amanda: I first came to Japan as a student; I was studying Japanese at university, which eventually led me to Tokyo. After I graduated, I returned and I’ve pretty much been here ever since. Nicolai and I started our business here in 2004 and although we work on many overseas projects, the bulk of our work is in Japan and that’s what keeps us based here.

Who had to convince whom to establish your career in Japan?

Nicolai: I love working as a florist in Japan: there are so many exciting materials here and the range of projects to work on is vast. I don’t think either of us ever thought about the business elsewhere. Although we have since expanded and have locations overseas, Japan is definitely our base.

Amanda: Neither, really. We both enjoyed our careers in Japan prior to starting our own business, so it was natural for us to continue in Japan. Luckily, we both still agree that Japan is where we want to be, and we’re both happy to be here.

What is the funniest thing you have seen in Japan?

Amanda: I saw a woman walking a pig down Roppongi Dori one day. The pig and the woman were wearing matching jogging suits.

What is the funniest cultural faux pas your partner has made?

Amanda:  Nicolai is a very picky eater and doesn’t much enjoy extremely ‘exotic’ foods or styles of eating. So, needless to say, over the years he has found himself in some tricky spots while being treated to some really lavish kaiseki meals….

What is their most annoying habit picked up in Japan?

Nicolai:  Amanda now never remembers to close taxi doors whenever we are outside of Japan.

Amdanda:  Nicolai speaks Japanese in his sleep – it’s not really annoying, but quite funny.

What is the biggest change in your life since being here?

Nicolai:  Jack’s birth and the growth of our business.

Amanda: The birth of our son. Having a child in Japan has really shifted the way I see Japan and I appreciate life here on another level now.

Who calls the shots? And be honest!

Amanda:  Probably me.

What is the perfect family day in your household?

Nicolai:  A day off with all three of us together.

Nice weather, no rightwing extremist protests outside.

Amanda:  Our lives are rather hectic with our work and travel schedules, so a perfect day would be one where everything is smooth sailing, we are all together, the weather is great and we float through a lazy day just relaxing with each other.

What is the biggest family nightmare?

Nicolai: We have had some scary times – and some sad losses in our family. Amanda lost her mother suddenly to cancer before Jack was born, and that would have to be everyone’s nightmare. We all dread that kind of experience.

Amanda:  Our son was suddenly hospitalized when he was 11 months old. He was extremely ill and we didn’t know what was wrong with him for days. Although the Japanese hospital system is quite good and he had excellent care – navigating the hospital system and all the misunderstandings and frustrations that come from language and cultural differences made it quite a difficult experience. 

Homesick  blues. What is the cure?

Nicolai:  Travel home often. Although I love Denmark, I am always happy when I come back to Japan.

Amanda:  I like to read Australian books – a great novel set in your hometown can sometimes provide a quick escape and the short trip home you need.

Sake, calpis, canned coffee. What’s it going to  be?

Nicolai:  Canned coffee. The flower market at 4am wouldn’t be the same without it.

Amanda: Canned coffee. It reminds me how strange things can be in Japan – when you’ve been here so long, you tend to forget.

A word on the in-laws…

Nicolai:  Missed.

Amanda:  Lovely.

Who takes on the the role of good cop, bad cop with the kids?

Nicolai :  I think I am a little stricter with the discipline than Amanda. I may end up the bad cop.

Amanda: Our son just turned two, so for the most part, it remains to be seen.

Who takes the rubbish out?

Nicolai:  I think we all do.

Amanda:  Everyone helps.

What was the most romantic thing he/ she has done for you over here?

Nicolai: She has surprised me many times with some really great trips and adventures.

Amanda: Proposed. 

What do you appreciate most about your partner?

Nicolai: I appreciate Amanda’s ability to balance working full-time with being a mother and a wife, as well as keeping our household together. To do all that takes a lot, and to do it in Japan without family help is incredibly hard – she’s a pretty amazing woman.

Amanda: We just have great fun together and I’m so grateful for that. Nicolai is my best friend and that’s really the essence of any great love, I think. Not only is he my husband but my business partner too and I think that would be incredibly hard if we didn’t share a sense of humor.

A final word: What is family to you both?

Nicolai:  Wonderful.

Amanda:  Just us three together. We are a happy little trio.

Nicolai Bergmann Flowers and Design has just opened a shop in Tokyo’s posh Minami Aoyama  area where most of the world’s luxury brand stores are located.  Barely a month old since its opening,  the Nicolai Bergmann Minami Aoyama store is already creating a stir in the elite Minato district.  Make no mistake: it’s not your ordinary florist – it is Tokyo’s premier florist combining modern elegance with attitude.

The Nicolai Bergmann brand enjoyed media attention when it was first introduced in Copenhagen where the flagship store is located. Each piece of floral arrangement is undeniably a tasteful melange of European floral design principals, incorporating a Scandinavian taste and the Japanese attention to detail.

Very evident from the variety of impressive floral settings that are on display at the store, each piece is arguably infused with Nicolai’s unique imagination that is able to transform the mood and energy of any room in your family’s living space.

Whether you’re looking into sprucing up your home, working area, or simply want to surprise someone with a gift, or need creative advice for an upcoming wedding or big event, Nicolai Bergmann will not disappoint.

Nicolai Bergman Flowers and Design   5-7-2 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062   Tel. (03)-5464-0716

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