Tell us about yourself?
Father of 3 (Girl, 9/ Boy, 6/ Boy, 4 years), Husband to the love of my life Jeannette. Used to have a finance career in Business (PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Fonterra, CSK/DSM), but choose to take matters in own hands and start a business with my wife.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
From personal experience; people tend to think it’s all a bit of a gamble, not too professional and born from necessity (no other job) instead of a calculated/well-considered opportunity.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
In the initial phase; find more people to participate/help in the weaker areas. We developed and found out quite a lot the hard way.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
Some key characteristics; we truly believe in our proposition and operate to high ethical standards (as anyone should).
We’re in this because we believe we actually do good, provide something more than just the monitary value.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Stick to the long term plan – believe in the long term success also when things moved up and down (for example during covid pandemic).
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
My wife and I founded Hout en Plezier when we became aware (when we had kids) of the amount of low quality toys given to kids these days.
So much is given and thrown away pretty much the same day.
When we think back to our own childhood, we remember the heavy/strong/durable toys which actually still are being used by our own kids.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Still offering toys to our global customer base, hopefully changed some parent’s minds to switch to sustainable toys.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
Pricing competition. Especially now there’s potentially an economic downturn and an energy crisis – people might flee back to cheaper alternatives for presents/toys.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
Every day we receive personal pictures (not requested in any way) from our customers thanking for our service and high quality products. Each and every single success story makes our day.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
We’re found through the internet, online independent reviews on our business speak for themselves and through word-of-mouth.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Stay true to yourself and do something you really believe in. Otherwise you’ll not be able to persist and stick to the plan.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
A prosperous business that will enable us to continue, find more people to inspire to support sustainable play and move society in that direction.