In one of the large halls on the Zwitsalterrein in Apeldoorn, next to the Foenix Kringloop, you will find the two companies Sea’sons and MeubelBaas van Kjelt van den Hazel (25), Mathé Booij (22) and Tom van Dieren ( 24). At Sea’sons, Apeldoornerne (swim) sells clothes that change color when it comes in contact with water, and with MeubelBaa’s trendy furniture. “We only offer items for sale that we have in stock. That is really our strength. ”
Loading ad …
Kjelt, Mathé and Tom have known each other from an early age and have all three studied Small Business and Retail Management at Saxion Hogeschool in Deventer.
What these three young entrepreneurs have achieved in recent years is admirable. Their companies Sea’sons and MeubelBaas have grown in a short time. Revenue has multiplied. According to the gentlemen, the progress of e-commerce in the corona period in particular has contributed to this. But the companies’ brand awareness has also grown strongly. The current 2000 m2 location is actually too small. They are therefore actively looking for a suitable location of around 4000 m2. Preferably in the Apeldoorn region.
The start of these companies was in 2018. In the early years of his education, Tom van Dieren started with the first company: Sea’sons. “I was on my way to a party in Enschede when the idea came to me to develop swimming trunks for men that change color when the water touches,” Tom explains. “It took a while for the company to get there. I first talked to a lot of people and did a good research into the technology behind the particular drug. And I did a crowdfunding for the first funding. That’s how the company Sea’sons was born. A combination of technology and fashion. The three of us are now partners in both companies. ”
The collection has since been expanded. Bikinis, hoodies, T-shirts and a children’s series have now also been added to the collection. Not only are new colors added but also prints. Sales have now also expanded. Initially, it was only sold online through Season’s webshop. The clothes are now also for sale in about 75 menswear and children’s stores in the Netherlands (in Apeldoorn bij Fabels, ed.). Tom: “I visit the shops myself to show the collection. The personal contact works very well. ” Online sales have now grown to no fewer than a hundred countries. The company has built brand awareness worldwide through the use of social media.
I was on my way to a party in Enschede when I got the idea to develop swimming trunks for men that change color when the water touches.
Tom van Dieren
Loading ad …
Furniture in Grandma’s attic
In November 2019, during a school assignment for a furniture exporter, the enterprising friends got a new idea. This exporter had a large stock of products that had been returned in a hall. This gave the friends the idea: What if we buy the batch of furniture that has been returned to this exporter? Not before said than done. The men twice bought a large stock of furniture and sold it online. It was an instant success.
“We did not have a warehouse yet, so the furniture was scattered across Apeldoorn. With all of us in the garages, with Tom in his bedroom, but also with one of the grandmothers in the attic. When an order came, we had to find out where the relevant furniture was, “says Mathé with a big smile. ‘Then we took our heads together. This had to change. And we decided that we would buy furniture ourselves, so we were no longer dependent on one supplier. ”
We had no storage yet, so the furniture was scattered across Apeldoorn. With all of us in the garages, with Tom in his bedroom, but also with one of the grandmothers in the attic
This is how MeubelBaas was born. And now, almost four years later, a giant hall is filled with an ever-changing stock of trendy furniture. Chairs, benches, tables, poufs, etc. All goods that sell well and that they can deliver throughout the Netherlands and Belgium within a day.
“We currently sell the most mango wood tables with a black, industrial base. They are really popular, ”says Kjelt. “We also only offer items for sale that we have in stock. Then we can deliver fast. That is really our strength. ”
Tables of 2.20 m are missing
What proved to be a particular challenge for these entrepreneurs was to arrange proper transportation of the furniture. Various conveyors have been reviewed. “It was so strange, during that period, tables of 2.20 meters were sometimes missing,” says Tom. They never found out where they were going. But it was clear that things needed to change. The men went in search of a better carrier and found one in Amsterdam. The transport now runs smoothly.
It was so strange, during that period, tables of 2.20 meters were sometimes missing,
Tom van Dieren
According to the men, the strength of the companies lies in the fun. There are now about fifteen permanent employees in the companies and there is a large pool of freelancers that can be called on. The good atmosphere in the team is striking and fits well with the credo “service with a smile”. Kjelt explains: “We have an employee who never really wants to work for a boss. But here he feels free and at home. We consider that a great compliment. “
Friends and business, do they go together?
We asked the gentlemen how it all fits together: friends and business. Mathé says it’s going well. “We are always honest with each other. We wish each other the best. If something bothers you, we will discuss it immediately. But we have also put the business points on paper.” Tom adds: “Together we are really making progress. We know each other well and can count on each other. We also have the same goals in mind. ”
Tips for future entrepreneurs
Do you also want to start a business? Then Tom’s biggest tip is: “Dare to share.” Mathé adds: “Just start. Focus on the long term and on good relations with suppliers. Kjelt adds: “Don’t just focus on making money!”