The making of memories
Ceramics yes. At Royal Goedewaagen, Nieuw-Buinen, they manufacture the most beautiful things of ceramics. Furthermore they produce stories, identity, memories, authenticity. Director and co-owner Yvonne Kooi knows that there are sufficient opportunities for Royal Goedewaagen’s future. A company that apparently makes old-fashioned products.
By Jean-Paul Taffijn
If you think of an earthenware factory you will probably think of old-fashioned products and Blue Delft. Royal Goedewaagen is still manufacturing these kind of products, however they produce so much more. In the 20th century Royal Goedewaagen started to manufacture business gifts for companies such as Heineken. Manufacturing business gifts is what gives Royal Goedewaagen a solid future. ,,I can tell that unique ceramic gifts are becoming more and more popular. Multinationals and other institutions know how to find us nowadays. We are in contact with great international companies, such as ministries and banks. We created a miniature of the Peace Palace in The Hague for the United Nations.” Royal Goedewaagen is steadily growing, due to the switch to more business-to-business relations and the end of the recession.
Business-to-business has always been a part of Royal Goedewaagen. The best example would be the ceramic, hand-painted miniature KLM-houses, which were given away by KLM in de mid-nineties. A couple of hundred thousands were manufactured by Royal Goedewaagen each year. ,,That brought us so much. Other international organizations were able to find us, which lead to new realizations of unique business gifts.” De 8600 houses that were made in assignment of Heineken are traveling the world. Besides the Holland America Line is one of our biggest clients of all times.
Goedewaagen produces memories. Memories than can be bought and memories that you’ll get as a present from a company or an institution. ,,Organizations want one unique meaningful business gift, a high quality business gift instead of the more standard business gifts. That benefits Royal Goedewaagen obviously. Besides we also want to invest in long-term relations, so that we have the possibility to create something new for our clients every once in a while.”
Yvonne Kooi has helped the company to build their way up, helped the company to grow. ,,We had to make some difficult decisions. And I did think at times: what am I doing? But every time when I am looking around I think: this is really cool. A factory like this is unique. And I am convinced that we are on the right track. The demand for unique products with their own story, their own identity is growing. We have a regional product, handmade and authentic. That is worth a lot.”
The history of Royal Goedewaagen starts in Gouda in 1610, where firstly clay pipes and later tableware was manufactured. The following owners of the company are acquiring small clay pipe factories which causes a great growth. In 1974 the company moves to Drenthe. Nowadays 20 people are working in Royal Goedewaagen’s factory.
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