Tête Talk: Starsky & Hutch
A black box holds all the knowledge and information about a journey. You could say the same thing about us, at BLACKBOXX. That is why we regularly organise a ‘tête-à-tête’ with one of our members, so we can share their knowledge with the world. This time we had a talk with Katrien Hennau & Stephanie Suarez from Starsky & Hutch.
Katrien: We were just talking about it and I think we have the following in common: we are eager to learn. Even at our age I still like to learn new things and that gives me energy!
Stephanie: Me too! I also still like trying new things and sometimes you fail at it, that's part of life.
I think there’s other things we have in common. We're both enthusiastic and we go for it.
Katrien: We also like to do things right. I think perfectionism is too strong a word, but we like to put the dots and commas in the right place. We both love to deliver something we can be proud of.
Stephanie: Sometimes that's also a pitfall, of course. You have to know when enough is enough.
BLACKBOXX: You clearly have a lot of things in common, but are there any obvious differences?
Katrien: You're practical, Stephanie. You will steer things in the right direction faster and establish a kind of work flow, while I float around a bit more.
Stephanie: Ok, but then you are more creative aren't you! That makes us complementary of course.
Katrien: I also think that you dare to do things faster, even if you don't know how yet. You're kind of like Pippi Longstocking: "I've never done it, but I think I can do it!" And then you jump right away without thinking and then we jump together (laughs).
Stephanie: We also like to be confronted with things, we are eager to learn and curious about what people have to say.
Katrien: And we are rarely shocked by anything anymore. We've seen it all (laughs)!
Stephanie: I used to work alone as a storyteller and copywriter, but I felt a bit lonely. When our paths crossed, we started working together and quite recently we started 'Starsky & Hutch'. It’s the name of a series from the 80’s about two American police officers, we both watched as children.
Katrien: The first letters of our surnames also correspond to Starsky and Hutch, so that was a nice little extra.
BLACKBOXX: How did you two find each other?
Katrien: We had a blind date thanks to a mutual friend who had been telling each of us for years to meet up... and she was right, it turned out to be a wonderful match.
I had been active as an editor for television programs for years. So I've always been looking for people with stories, but for TV. But it was time for something different and I really wanted to write. Meeting Stephanie gave that direction.
Stephanie: We tell stories, that's our core business. It can go in all sorts of directions. For example, telling the story of a company for their website, different stories in a staff magazine, it can be a story behind the scenes of a company, podcasts, legacies, ... Everything that contains a story.
Katrien: We also say it on our website: Give us your story and we will give it words. We're here for people who don't find the right way to have their own story told. The added value of what we do lies in telling those stories. A story sticks with people much longer. With a story you can teach people something, but in a cool way without becoming pedantic or boring.
Stephanie: We are both language and communicative.
Katrien: Right! We are also a good listener and that curiosity comes in handy when you're sitting at the table with people you don't know. For example, I also automatically make up stories for people I see on the street. Sometimes the stories are real, because you've heard them from people, and sometimes they're made up, because I have the wildest fantasies in my head.
I can listen very well, but usually not to the people who shout the loudest. I always find it much more intriguing to listen to people who are sitting somewhere quiet or quiet, but you can tell that they carry a story. I love getting that story out.
Stephanie: That's right, for me it is. And if you listen, you will often be surprised. A person is often not who he or she seems at first sight.
Katrien: I can also bring air or oxygen into a heavy conversation. Or if people tend to be acidic, I like to block that with a joke.
Stephanie: We would rather listen than tell ourselves.
Katrien: For example, what helps to start a good conversation is to let silence fall. Sometimes people have a tendency to fill in silences and then they often start talking. I had to learn that, because I used to have a tendency to fill in silences and sometimes finish stories myself in people's places. And I now notice that if you give those people time and sometimes let a silence fall, they pick up the story and continue to tell.
Stephanie: Indeed. A good conversation takes the necessary time and therefore also leaves room for silence.
Stephanie: We are inspired by everything that radiates passion. That may sound cliché, but for example the other day on the train we had a fantastic conductor who made the whole compartment laugh with his positive energy, humor and show. We find that very inspiring. That's how we want to be in our job.
Katrien: Indeed! If you do something, you throw yourself. Whatever your job is, do it with enthusiasm.
Stephanie: That's how you make it pleasant for other people.