From Nieuw-Buinen to the United Nations
Director and co-owner Yvonne Kooi of pottery factory Royal Goedewaagen in Nieuw-Buinen is full of pride. She devotes the title ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2015’ to her entire staff and business. ‘It is the staff that manufactures all our products. Purely handmade, a beautiful piece of craft.’
Royal Goedewaagen is known for its earthenware and ceramics. Approximately 350 years ago it started with the manufacturing of graceful clay pipes. These clay pipes are still manufactured in the same traditional manner. However, Royal Goedewaagen manufactures so much more, for example a miniature version of the Peace Palace.
In commission of Foreign Affairs a limited edition for the United Nations was created. A unique project, a product that contains a story. ‘The miniatures are handed out to the most influential people of the world. The fact that this miniature is in possession of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, makes me really proud’, says Yvonne Kooi.
At Royal Goedewaagen handcraft and traditional craft are combined with modern technology. About seven pair of hands have worked on each product. ‘Nowadays we are more focused on the business-to-business market, which resulted in repeating orders from businesses such as Holland America Line.’ Besides, Royal Goedewaagen has agreements with the Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum to market decorations in ceramics for several businesses. ‘But we also receive assignments for special events, anniversaries or the realization of a part for a final product e.g. lampshades’, says Yvonne while she shows the most diverse products.
‘Our museum receives a special edition of every miniature that has ever been made here, so that all our products are preserved.’ The museum is housed in the same building as the factory. However, as a foundation the museum has its own entity. Besides the museum, a few acquisitions took place over the years. Three years ago Royal Goedewaagen acquired the urn business ‘Urnencentrum Nederland’ and recently acquired the Frisian tile business Albarello. Both are traditional Dutch businesses with a rich history and high quality products that perfectly fit with Royal Goedewaagen. Read more about from Nieuw-Buinen to the United Nations >>