If you live in Berlin, you may have found yourself at one of the city’s most reputable craft markets, The Voodoo Market. The market’s founder, Oryanne Dufour lives in Rixdorf-Neukölln with her husband Raphael, their four year old daughter Lisette, their six month old twins Anton and Gabin and their cat Martin. Together they own Un Autre Voodoo, a shop dedicated to sell the work of independent makers on the designers own terms. For someone with their fingers in this many pies—and who also came back from a month long family “vacation” three days ago—I was expecting at least a small amount of chaos to unfold during this interview… (Spoiler alert: it didn’t!)

I knock on the door of a large altbau in a treelined street in Berlin’s village-like Richardkiez and is greeted by Oryanne with one of her twin babies, half asleep on her arm. Lisette runs up to me and gifts me a lava rock she found while on vacation and Raphael offers me a cup of coffee. I immediately feel at home in the Dufour household.

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The Knight Rider Print

Oryanne directs us into the kitchen and my attention is captured by David Hasselhoff’s eyes, staring at me from high up on the wall.

[Oryanne] It’s really the most ugly artwork we have… I found it in the streets of Paris.

Ralph bursts in.

[Raph] No, we found it together!

[O] No, no, no!

[R] Yes, we found it in the trash!

Suddenly I find myself in the midst of a lovers quarrel over an ‘ugly’ David Hasselhoff print, and while it’s seemingly good spirited, it’s hard to tell what’s going on, seeing it’s happening in Frencha language so full of passion it was literally invented for this purpose.

Oryanne continues…

[O] So… we found it in the streets of Paris about fifteen years ago.

Is that how long you’ve been together?

[O] No, we got together eight years ago, but we’ve known each other for way longer.

The print is really badly made and reminds me of tacky 80s airbrushing, the kind you see people sell to tourists on beach promenades with images of planets and palm trees in the sunset. Everything is wrong with it, but it’s been in all of my flats since I found it, from Paris to Berlin.

When did you move to Berlin?

[O] Also eight years ago, right after we started dating.

Some guy once offered me 100€ for it, which I think is a lot, but I wanted to keep it. Most of our guests really love it too. He’s ugly, but he’s part of the family.

I really love the way you group your artwork together. 

[O] It’s super random actually. We have a lot. I used to work in an art gallery, so I collected a bunch and then we also bought several pieces together. This is perhaps two-thirds of what we have, and there’s still a third waiting to be hung.

The family cat steals our attention as he’s elegantly galavanting on the edge of the kitchen sink in search of a drink of water. In the mean time, Lisette has decided she needs to handle her fringe, which supposedly got frizzy over night, and we find her standing on the toilet seat, hair partially covered in shampoo. The ordeal ends in the bathtub, and while papa Raph helps her get her locks in check, Oryanne tells the story of object number two, their wedding bouquet.

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Some guy once offered me 100€ for it, which I think is a lot, but I wanted to keep it. Most of our guests really love it too. He’s ugly, but he’s part of the family.

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The Wedding Bouquet

[O] We got married six years ago. We had two separate celebrations, or actually three. We did the legalities in Paris and then the ‘real’ wedding with family and our closest friends, was in the tiny village, Orcemont, outside of Paris where my father is from. The day after we had a party in Paris just for our friends.

We decided to separate the two, because so often at weddings you have friends that want to party, but hey might not want to sit next to your grandma and have dinner for hours, or you may not want your drunk uncle to bother your friends at the after party. We also really wanted to party, and it felt better to do it the day after, without the stress of your ‘actual’ wedding day.

When we got back to Berlin, we had yet another event at the club Chez Jacki for all of our friends who couldn’t make it to France—and also as a good excuse to have another party.

The story of the bouquet is really the story of the wedding. I choose these specific flowers and plants because I knew that they would dry and keep well—the yellow pom-pom flowers (Billy Buttons), the Eucalyptus and the succulents all look great six years after. 

The whole wedding was yellow and grey-themed. I also have the invitations and the confetti.

I ask again how long Oryanne and Raph have known each other, but immediately bite my tongue as it brings back the ‘argument’ over the Knight Rider print.

[O] I know that I found it before, because I have photos of it in an apartment where I lived before I ever met Raph.

I remember something I read recently about couples who have been together for a long time and have heard each others stories so many times that they start mentally placing themselves in scenarios they never actually took part in. I suggest this as an option to Oryanne and Raph, but it doesn’t seem to resonate.

[R] You should find those photos. I wanna see proof!

The couple decide to bury their hatchets and agree to pose for a recreated wedding shot with their bouquet before moving on to their next favorite object.

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The story of the bouquet is really the story of the wedding. I choose these specific flowers and plants because I knew that they would dry and keep well.

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The Globe

[R] There’s a really funny story behind this one. We were living in a shared flat in Kreuzberg and Oryanne had just told me how badly she wanted a globe for our apartment. One of the next days, as I was taking out the trash, this globe was standing there, right outside the door to our apartment. For over a month I was convinced that Oryanne or one of our roommates were playing a trick on me, but it was truly a coincidence.

We found it within the first few months of moving to Berlin and it’s been with us since.

[O] It’s a really old one. I think it’s from the 70s. Some countries don’t even exist here…

[R] … and some don’t anymore.

[O] Yes, exactly. The globe is also part of the series of objects we’ve found on the streets—it’s become quite a few over the years. The large rug under this dining table for example. The same thing happened with that. We talked about how we needed a large rug, and a week later, we found this beautiful one in the streets.

I guess, sometimes all you need to do is tell the universe what you need…

[O] Totally. It’s also about keeping your eyes open. I think a lot of people miss out on treasures from the street because they’re simply not used to looking there.

[R] This is changing as well though. We’re not finding as much anymore, because we’re not looking as much. We have a family now, and our needs have gotten more specific. Back then, we were younger and new in Berlin, and the way we acquired things was different.

I guess it’s hard to find that specific storage shelf to fit in your hallway, or a crib for your baby on the street. But all the beautiful found things found dumpster diving or traveling the world form such a nice foundation and add lots of personality to your space!

[R] Lots of great things came from that first flat. We met so many nice people and I think most of the people we know now are somehow related to the time in that flat.

We move on to the next object, a hand painted sign that is peeking up next to the sofa.

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I think a lot of people miss out on treasures from the street because they’re simply not used to looking there.

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The Voodoo Market Sign

[O] I painted this myself for a Voodoo Market event that we did at this really hidden location in Mitte, and we needed something eye-catching to help people find their way in. It’s been a permanent installation at every market since.

Can you tell me more about the Voodoo Market?

[O] I started it about five, six years ago and first it was a really small event. We were just friends who were all making stuff and wanting to show it off and sell it, so we decided to put on an event at Chez Jackie.

I put on two events by myself before I met my business partner Maria. She was already selling her stuff at the market and we decided to start doing the events together.

We’ve done about twenty. It’s hard to keep track. Right now we’re taking a small break, because Maria just had a baby three moths ago, but we hope to do one again in October.

The idea of our shop, Un Autre Voodoo, obviously sprung from the market. It really came about because of all the requests from our participating designers. We kept hearing them talk about the struggles of selling their work in Berlin. Having their own shop is complicated, adds a huge overhead and becomes a full time job, leaving no time to create. With other shops, the conditions make it hard for small designers to participate, because they expect you to have complete collections, available in all sizes and with the ability to restock on demand. Many of our designers were looking for a place where they could sell their work on their own terms—a place that suited small, individual designers with limited collections.

In addition, it’s important to our designers that their objects are sold along with the stories behind them, so one of the main ideas of the shop is that it would be a place where their products would be sold the way that they do it themselves at the markets, by people who care and know their individual stories.

The shop is mine and Raph’s project and Maria and I do the market. Now the market is more of a fun side thing that we do three to four times per year, and we only do it if it works out easily. If anything gets in the way, or it gets too complicated, we won’t do it. It’s mainly a place to meet people and have fun, and to buy stuff for ourselves of course.

Ralph opens up and offers us delicious salted caramels (that were supposed to be a gift for a friend), and we happily indulge as Oryanne guides us over to the next object.

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It’s important to our designers that their objects are sold along with the stories behind them, so one of the main ideas of the shop is that it would be a place where their products would be sold the way that they do it themselves at the markets, by people who care and know their individual stories.

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The Family Photos

A collection of old, black and white photos adorn the wall leading into the kitchen from the living room. One of them features three middle aged women, all dressed up in costumes.

Who are these women?

[O] This one we have no idea who they are, but we know that we’re related somehow and we thought it was a really funny one. This guy with the sleeve tattoos too, we just really like him, but we’re not sure who he is. These are all photos from our families, mostly from Raph’s so far, but we’re collecting more. We made our own tintype photo last year to match the collection. I was pregnant with the twins in this one and I like it a lot. I like Raph’s serious, angry look.

I love the look of tintype photos, they always make you look really strong and serious.

[O] Yes. It’s also because you have to stand still for so long. They put a wooden stick behind your head to stabilize your neck, and for about twenty seconds you have to stand completely still and not move at all. You’re not even supposed to smile, because it makes you move more. We wanted to include Lisette in the photo, but the photographer advised us not to because kids move so much it’s almost impossible to get a clear picture. That’s why, in a lot of old photos, the kids always have blurry faces, making them look strange, like ghosts.

I love having this collection, and even though we don’t even know who some of the people are, we feel really connected to them.

Are you close with your families?

[O] Both yes and no. Because we live away from France, we don’t see them that much, but we are close non the less. I have a very small family. I don’t have any brothers or sisters and I don’t know my cousins very well, but I’m close with my parents and my grandparents, and I’m lucky to have all four of them still. And now I have my own family!

Did growing up as an only child influence your decision to have more than one child?

No, not really. And Raph actually has six half-siblings, so he’s got a big family.

Are you having more?

More than three, are you craaaaaaaaazy? No! But we did want to have three, so I’m really happy that we had the twins, because being pregnant again and take another break from our business would have been quite complicated. We’re happy with the three!

Lastly we ask Lisette to give us a tour of her bedroom and show us her favorite object. She had originally picked the cat, but after learning that cats do not qualify as objects, she agreed to pick again. In a room filled to the brim with treasures, it’s hard to choose just one, but the choice eventually falls on a giant, glittery cardboard rainbow.

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Even though we don’t even know who some of the people are, we feel really connected to them.

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The Rainbow

Because Lisette was too young to remember how the rainbow landed in her room, momma Oryanne tells the story.

[O] We found it at the flea market on Bergmannstraße for 2€. It had been part of some kind of school theatre set up. They also had these huge cardboard candies that we bought to use for the Voodoo Market, but the rainbow we kept for Lisette. To transport it back, we put it over the hood of the stroller, above a happy, smiling Lisette. Walking all the way back to our apartment, everyone we passed in the street would laugh and smile at us and our giant rainbow. It was so much fun!

While we’ve been talking, Raph has composed a lovely, colorful salad for the family lunch, and its time for all of us to get on with our days. And while the Hasselhoff mystery remains unsolved, it seems as though the Dufours have at least a thing or two figured out about coexisting.OR38OR34

Walking all the way back to our apartment, everyone we passed in the street would laugh and smile at us and our giant rainbow.

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Check out The Voodoo Market here and Un Autre Voodoo here!
Photos by Tabea Mathern (who has actually known Raph and Oryanne for seven years).