And what keeps us busy
Those first rays of sunshine after a heavy rain. The increasingly bright light dancing around the treetops. The wind playing with the leaves of the plants... We walk on and enjoy the early morning light. Slowly the image begins to form: a new idea for an artificial tree. Just like it is here in the forest.
But even better. More durable. With such a beautifully weathered bark, capricious branches and leaves full of veins and markings. Because everything we see with our eyes in nature, we can recreate with our hands and design the right feeling. That is our great passion and inspiration. Down to every detail again. How do you get inspired?
When Michael started for himself in 2004, he had no idea what it would lead to. "I started from a family business in fresh plants and flowers and always had the desire to have a chain of flower stores. So I started with a first store in Dordrecht, with 80% fresh and 20% artificial plants. In 2005 I took over a second store in Leerdam and we started with internet sales in the upstairs apartment.
We noticed already then that the silk products and internet went much better than the store and fresh. This led to the fact that in 2007 we started with the import of quality artificial plants and flowers in Papendrecht on an industrial estate. The price-quality ratio at chain stores was so weak that we jumped into that gap. In that year I also went to the factory to design our own products.
This ultimately resulted in a special and now longstanding successful collaboration based on openness and honesty. "This collaboration is unique in our industry and therefore one of our greatest strengths. It allows us to check everything ourselves. From the working conditions in the factory to the right certified wood to make our products." But the company continued to grow and another decision had to be made. "So we moved to a large greenhouse in Rozenburg in 2011. With now a website and shop in three languages: Dutch, German and French. Since three years we now also have English."
Although the company is growing enormously and there is no end in sight for the time being, Michael has no intention of sitting still. "Doing nothing? I don't know about that. Fortunately, I'm creative and competitive and that combination means I'm always looking at how something can be better. New forms in nature? Cool, I want to have that copied! Walking through the showroom wearing glasses to give the customer a virtual reality experience at home? Let's do it! My ambition is not to make a lot of money, but to have fun designing and selling the most beautiful artificial plants and flowers with a nice group of people."
What motivates them?
Doing what we believe in. Working on our ambitions with enthusiasm. Living our own dreams. Fulfilling your dreams. And preferably exceed them. That is our challenge and what we would like to do for you. What we like to get out of bed for in the morning. To create the perfect experience with artificial greenery that fits seamlessly with you and your ideas. To surprise, inspire and touch you with beautiful and lifelike artificial plants and trees. Every day.
In November 2011, Joyce started in the packing department. "In addition, I now do the administration, partially support the sales in the showroom and returns," explains Michael's colleague and life partner. "Someone left in that department and Michael and I were together by now. We thought it would be nice to work together as well, so when space became available, I jumped at it. Besides, I didn't like it anymore in the pharmacy where I was working at the time, so it all came together nicely. But my previous experience as a receptionist and telephonist also came in handy.
"The variety is what makes the work so much fun. For example, one minute I'm walking through the showroom with a customer, in between I'm handling a phone call and then I'm arranging a return. My work is never predictable, which I love. The contact with customers and colleagues is also very nice. I really enjoy it.
To relax from work Michael and Joyce regularly go out together. "We both enjoy catching up, being together, going to the theater or out for dinner, for example. In addition, I really like cooking and baking so I regularly bring something of my baking skills to the business. I also enjoy doing fitness, but I should really do that more. But because of the busy schedule, I don't get around to it.
Visit our Experience center
Designplants not only has a wide range of artificial plants and artificial trees, but also a large amount of stock. We want to prevent you from going home empty-handed at all times.
We have a building of over 6000m2. Enough space to store all artificial plants. Designplants always wants to make sure that you do not misunderstand and that we can always delight you with the plants that are on your wish list.
In addition to the storage of the stocks, Designplants has the most modern artificial plants experience center in Europe. Here you can admire all artificial plants and artificial trees at your leisure.
Quality is our top priority. Our artificial plants are so faithfully reproduced that they appear lifelike and therefore absolutely not fake. Because that is our passion, every day. Something that grows and blooms so beautifully in real life, does it deserve to be imitated with the best quality and fidelity?
That is at least our starting point when designing and making all our small and large plastic plants. To guarantee this quality, we listen carefully to what customers, suppliers and Dutch growers have to say. This allows us to respond well to everyone's wishes and we only supply high-quality products.
We search and scan the whole world. No place is too crazy or too far for us to get an excellent quality product. Designplants therefore only works with the best factories in China. And don't we find something? Then we just design it ourselves?
With our previous experience as a fresh grower, we know exactly what plants, trees and bloomers should look like in real life. The advantage of this is that many of our plants and trees are exclusively made for us and built by us ourselves. So buy lifelike fake plants that no one else has? Many of us are definitely unique in the European market!