Have you ever seen the black bus with pink letters from Wallpaper Service Priscilla driving through the city? Priscilla has already provided many a living room and bedroom in Zoetermeer with cheerful wallpaper. The tough lady from Noordhove sometimes jokingly calls herself ‘bitch the wallpaperer’ and men in buses on the highway give their thumbs up approvingly when she drives past.
Priscilla (44) is a ‘female wallpaperer’ and many Zoetermeer residents and people outside the city find that all too interesting. After all, isn’t wallpapering a man’s job? “Not at all!” Priscilla explains. “People are surprised that I am a female wallpaperer. ‘Never heard of it’, ‘unique’, ‘tough’, ‘you work quickly and neatly’, are often heard reactions.”
Priscilla learned wallpapering from her mother, it was their shared hobby. “We used to put up to six layers of wallpaper on the walls. Once every two years we wanted new walls in our house. And it was necessary to freshen things up a bit; because there was smoking in our house. We took off a few layers. My mother and I worked with a potato peeler. That didn’t always go very well. We cleverly concealed the accidentally made holes in the wallpaper by hanging a painting over it,” jokes Priscilla.
“With my current husband, we started a handyman company in Zoetermeer more than 20 years ago. I occasionally helped with wallpapering and wallpapering our first house together. I loved doing it and I kept getting compliments. When a 90-year-old customer asked me to wallpaper his house, I decided to start for myself.
I found customers through Marktplaats. Very handy because they can leave reviews. Thanks to the positive reactions, I kept getting new customers. I bought a second-hand bus and had it lettered with my company name. When I’m driving on the highway, I regularly get ‘thumbs up’ from men in their company buses.”
Priscilla wallpapers all areas of the city. From bedroom to complete new homes in Oosterheem to flats, baby and children’s rooms. “I come into the house of so many people: with one you have a bond and the other you don’t. When people start talking about private matters that appeal to me, there can just be a click. I also sometimes tell something about myself and we listen to each other. I have also had tears in my eyes at people’s homes because I was moved by what they told me.
Priscilla notices that as a woman she is sometimes asked more often than her male colleagues. “People often ask me to wallpaper the room of their older father or mother. A woman may then be seen as more reliable? I have a nice chat with them and drink coffee. At one I get a moorkop for my birthday or sandwiches with fish are bought. I once had dinner with the children at someone’s table. Then I just go back to wallpapering.”
‘Bitch the wallpaperer’
In general, Priscilla is not ‘bothered’ by enthusiastic men who like Priscilla to wallpaper. “But if they get too close then I say they come into my aura. I’ve learned to be a little more direct. That works well. Some mothers sometimes ask me if I also stick children behind the wallpaper. Those are funny things in my work.”
Priscilla also regularly hears the joke from the men: “I’m not a dick the wallpaperer”. I just respond to that: “And I’m not a bitch the wallpaperer.”