Here at Rockett Home Rentals, we value our tenants. People from all walks of life set up homes of all shapes and sizes through us; places that suit their lifestyle in or around The Potteries.
As a chatty bunch, we're always keen to get to know our landlords and tenants better and recently; we had the pleasure of chatting with Vanylla and Kiko - a couple who recently moved to Stoke from overseas.
Vanylla is a young interior designer and Kiko a talented footballer who's been on loan to Port Vale.
To find out about their thoughts on Stoke-on-Trent, oatcakes (or lack there of...), the beautiful game, and more, read on…
Hi Guys, how are you? How are you finding Stoke-on-Trent so far?
Hey, we are fine, thanks! Well, we are adapting to Stoke-on-Trent. At first, it wasn't easy, because compared to where we came from, it's very cold. And there was the language barrier too. But we've grown to like the city and living here has become a joy. Despite the weather, Stoke-on-Trent is a quiet and peaceful city; it's well-located too as we've found it easy to enjoy major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
Vanylla, you’re a talented interior designer with an eye for style. Was there anything in particular that drew you to the apartment you live in now?
First of all, thank you, you must have an eye for style, haha.
When we found this apartment, we were looking for a place to call home. As we don’t have family or many friends here, we knew we would spend most of our time at home. So, we wanted a comfortable place that we felt homely. We looked on mobile apps and found this apartment. We could tell it was for us just by looking at the photographs due to its industrial style. It is timeless and urban, and I like it a lot.
And how did you find Rockett Home Rentals?
We found them to be knowledgeable, fair, friendly and helpful from start to finish.
Being in The Potteries must be a far cry from Portugal and Brazil. How has it been adjusting to life here and do you guys have a favourite place in the city?
As we said before, adapting to life here was not as easy as we thought it would be. The countries we came from have different cultures and lifestyles from those in Stoke-on-Trent and, of course, we miss family and friends. But we've been here a short time, and I think we've done well. We like England and we like Stoke.
About our favourite place in the city. It’s difficult to tell you because we have so many. I think my favourite place - just kidding. Truly, I don’t have a favourite place; I just like to go out and explore. Kiko is more homely. He likes to be at home, to be quiet, watching movies or play the Play Station. I’m more electric, I think it’s the brazilian blood, haha. Anyway, jokes aside, the Orange Tree Restaurant and the intu Potteries Shopping Centre are Kiko's favourite city spots.
Kiko, you left the Primeira Liga to play for Port Vale. How have you found the transition into English football?
I think that English football is a very different from Portuguese football. In Portugal, it is more technical and more tactical. The soccer games there are very distinctly different from those over here. Honestly, I'm still adapting. Here football is very physical, and the ball spends a lot of time in the air, which sometimes causes a lot of confusion. But I'm really enjoying the experience. It's been positive so far but I know I still have and I want to adapt better to this kind of football.
What’s been the highlight of your time with Vale so far?
I'm left defender but I really like to attack and to create good plays to help the team to score for the win, and I think that has been my highlight. Well, it’s what I think at least! But, only the fans can tell really, haha.
And what would you say is a typical day in the life of a Port Vale player?
It depends on the height of the championship and our physical state. If we're injured, we spend the whole day at the club to recover faster, but if we're match fit, we start in the morning with training, then have lunch together and, in the afternoon, hit the gym. It's a busy day, but it's our job, and we have to keep in shape, both physically and mentally. The rest of the time we rest up for the games.
Vanylla, you’ve worked on several creative projects over the years. What are you working on at the moment and how has your vision been received here in the UK?
Well, I don’t have much market experience. I finished my bachelor's degree in Design early last year. Until then, all my work had been developed within the university and through supervised internships.
After graduating, I did some improvement courses in software and some freelance work in Brazil.
Here in England, I'm still in the process of building a following and tapping into the market. But, I still do freelance work on the internet for people in Brazil. As I am from South America, the visa process to work here takes a certain amount of time, it’s different for Europeans. So, at the moment, I am just waiting for it to come through, then time will tell what the UK thinks of my style. But, I can say that I like the 'English' style, in interior design, graphic design, product design, fashion and even gardening. In the courses, I did in Brazil, both at the Federal University of my state and at the University of Potiguar, I had an opportunity to study your English design. So, I am really excited to be able to work here, because I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more and your style by getting out there locally.
What would you say has been the highlight of your designer career so far?
As mentioned, I am a recent graduate, so I don’t have a huge amount of market experience. But, I would say that, of all the work I've done, I mostly excelled in redesigning the visual identity of the Japa em Casa Restaurant as well as designing kitchens.
I have to ask: do you guys like oatcakes?
We are great food lovers and really love to eat, but to be honest, we never tasted oatcakes. But we will do very soon!
And do you use the term ‘duck’ now?
Term duck? We've heard it but haven't used it ourselves! What is the meaning? For us ‘duck’ is just a duck, an animal.
Last but not least, what do you both have lined up for the summer months?
Kiko: This summer we’ll go to Portugal to see family, friends and, of course, catch some sun. But mostly, we're going to spend time with family and friends.
We would like to go to Brazil too, but as Vanylla spent Christmas, New Year's and their summer there, and it’s been almost a year since we've been to Portugal, although we intend to go to Brazil on our next vacation.
Thanks guys, we hope you have a great summer break and everything goes well for you within the realms of professional football and interior design.