The role of my female ancestors on my way to creating the Visionsmanufaktur and becoming an artist

Are there ancestors in your life who have shaped you in your personality?

Having influenced you in such a way that you feel that something of them lives on in you?

For me it was my grandmother.

My grandmother and I we were a great team. We had a soul connection.

When I was born, my parents moved into their new self-built house. There was a lot to do. And so I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in the first few weeks. She was at our home.

Unfortunately, my two grandfathers had already passed away. And my other grandmother, only 56 years old, was very sick and passed away when I was one year old. Her wish was that my name would be Heike. My parents fulfilled her this wish.


My grandma came to her mission of being a tailoress on her mother’s deathbed.

In 1918, my great-grandmother, the mother of my grandmother, was very ill after having given birth. Her days could be counted. She was only 39 years old. She called all her seven children to come to her deathbed. And every child was given a task so that they could continue well when she were no longer there.

To my grandmother, who was only seven years old at that time, she said: “Take care that the family always has clothes to wear.” And that’s what my grandmother has done for 76 years. At the age of 14 she began to sew.

She sewed the last costume for me at the age of 90 in 2000. We all knew that when she stopped sewing, her years were counted.


My grandma was a passionate tailoress.

My grandmother was a passionate and extremely talented tailoress. She could not stand any inaccuracies in sewing. She unsewed everything again with her hand. And it was re-sewn.

No matter what we wanted, she made it a reality: clothes, dolls, pillows, curtains, tablecloths, carnival costumes. Everything our heart desired.

And no level of difficulty was too high for her. If I saw something in a shop window, even if it was something of Chanel, I just had to show it to her. And she created it. With excellence!


She said about herself: “I’m an artist.”

She lived for sewing. She said about herself: “I’m an artist.” And that was her life. She also didn’t live the role model of the traditional housewife. According to my mother’s stories my grandfather, who worked in a smelting works, shared the household work with my grandmother.


I’ve always enjoyed my holidays with my grandma very much.

I’ve always looked forward to my holidays with my grandma. Also during my holidays, she continued to sew. I’ve always taken things to play with when I visited her. I learned early on to deal with myself and to find something nice to play and to do on my own. Each of us did what we loved to do. And the nice thing was we were together.

I loved music and audio plays. And in the background the sewing machine rattled.

We went for a walk and played board games in the evenings. Puzzles, that was also something we did sometimes . When we watched TV together, there were always cookies on the table.

And when I was already a teenager, there was a small sip of wine for me on special occasions in a mini glass.


I simply lacked the patience to sew.

As I got older, I also wanted to try sewing. I succeeded only a little. She also gave me a sewing machine. I still have it today. But she was right. I didn’t sew in a good accurate way. She said, “Heike, you don’t have patience for this.” And she was right. Patience isn’t one of my talents.

I learned a few basics of sewing. But it was not enough to start a career in the fashion industry.

My grandmother was generous at tailoring. Many people went in and out of her house. She has sewn wonderful pieces for many people, especially us. I still have garments that she sewed. Everything had high quality.

We had our rituals and secrets.

In the evening before falling asleep, there were some rituals. In winter the electric blanket was waiting for us. There was no heating on the first floor where the bedrooms were. My grandma read her novels, and I immersed myself in my books.

In her bedside table, my grandma had always her prayer books, talisman, or letters I had written to her. You could call it: A bedside table full of protective helpers so that the demons stayed away from us.

We had a lot in common, especially that we do what we love.

When I take a look into my drawer of my bedside table today, I see that I copied something from my grandma. The chocolate is missing. But otherwise there are similarities.

When I think of my current working day, I feel that it’s similar to the one of my grandmother. And when I paint or create something, like my grandma, I feel like I’m immersed in another world. I’m in the here and now. And there’s only what I am currently creating.

And this fulfills me. This gives me purpose. And often I am so happy that I want to share my joy immediately with others.

My grandmother also shaped my role model for women.

I’ve never been a traditional housewife either. And I’m sure I won’t be one in this life . Please don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against being a housewife. On the contrary, if someone loves to do housework or to iron, whether a man or a woman, then that’s wonderful.

For me it’s important that we love what we do. That’s it. Only then we shine inside out.

But it has been already clear to me when I was child that the household work would never become my “sole ruler’s kingdom”. Until today I’ve lived this strategy, with success. Men with whom I shared an apartment or household we always have shared the work or if possible we had external support.

I believe that my grandmother influenced me a lot here. I didn’t grow up with a mindset that housework is only women work.

During my crisis 14 years ago, she whispered to me from above: Follow your heart. It knows the way.

When my grandmother died in 2006 at the age of almost 95, it was very painful for me and a great loss. During my private and professional crisis 14 years ago, she often appeared to me during my three years coaching education, among others in hypnotherapy where you have a lot of trance journeys, and helped me to find my new way to start my own business “Visionsmanufaktur”.

The core message I received from her was: “Follow your heart. It knows the way.” And it became clear to me that I wanted to work on my own. And that I wanted to help other people to find their mission, their guiding star as well as their heart visions.

Even now in my artistic and creative activities, I feel connected to her.

Now my grandma feels so present for me again. And I feel that the more I open myself to my artistic and creative existence, the more a part of her lives on in and through me. And this feels so well received. And I feel so much connected to my “inner little Heike” who felt so comfortable at the time with my grandma and copied so much from her.

Maybe the sewing machine will be unpacked again, e.g. to integrate fabrics into my paintings. I’m not ready for it now. But I’m sure it will also find its place if it should. Maybe before I have to go through a few more lessons in patience.

Or maybe I will print fabrics and clothes with my art. Who knows?!

In any case, life surprised me again that 16 years after her death I feel her so close in my life with her way of life and her vocation as an artist in me.

And who knows what would have happened to our artistic expression if my great-grandmother whose days were counted hadn’t told my grandma to sew?

And if I go back another generation, I also thank my great-grandmother, especially for your courage and love for life. A birth is still not a matter of course today. It’s a moment when the woman also risks her life. Too often this is forgotten.

My great-grandmother often took this risk with seven children, even in times of war, when many lose hope.

Without her willingness to take risks, her courage and love, I wouldn’t exist. And I wouldn’t write this article today.

I hope she looks down from heaven now and is happy that the words to my grandmother on her deathbed have lived on in me and my daily creative and artistic activity and being, too.

I thank from the bottom of my heart, my mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother – for my life. On my mother’s deathbed, I promised her that I would make the most out of my life, and to take the courage to follow my heart in everything.

! If you want to dive deeper:

  • Is there any ancestor who has significantly shaped you in your vocation or your life?
  • And if so, who was it and to what extent did he/she influence you?
  • What would this person tell you today if she/he sees you?
  • In which area of your life could you integrate his/her inspirations and thoughts which have been good for you?
  • What can you already implement in the next two weeks?

If you want to go through these questions with me in a sion (online | offline) and dive deeper into the topic of “ancestral work”, write me an E-mail to:

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Much love!

Heike Kolles

VisionCoach | Artist | Creativpreneur

Diplomkauffrau & Diplome de Grande Ecole de Commerce der ESCP Business School (Paris – Oxford – Berlin) | certified NLP & solution-oriented and systemic Coach & Trainer (Trinergy) | certified Career Coach (Martin Wehrle) | certified spiritual ConsciousnessCoach (Elevation – Bahar Yilmaz & Jeffrey Kastenmüller) | Chakradance Facilitator (Natalie Southgate) | Sound Healing Facilitator (Suyana Luz) | registered management consultant (Chamber of Commerce, Vienna)

Coaching languages: German | English | French | Italian

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