Discover Benelux | Made in the Netherlands | Dutch Industry and Innovation
For the love of soap Since the very invention of soap, it has become apparent that its power lies in the versatility of fragrance and the countless possibilities in terms of design. Makers of soap can be endlessly creative, and good quality soap gives users a sense of luxury and pampering. Harrie van der Steldt, owner of white-label soap producer Soap World, and Wout Willems of retail brand Soap & Gifts, teamed up in 2015 to co-create a new range of products based on their shared love of soap. In no time, the products became successful and were adopted by retailers throughout the Benelux. The key, according to Willems, is a business model where creativity and sustainability are paramount. “Soap is a wonderful product. Any scent, colour or shape is feasible, whether shaped like a palm tree, a heart or a sea shell. This allows us to play into contemporary trends and themes very easily and quickly.” Soap & Gifts is focused on retailers who wish to offer handmade products with complete concept displays that are easy to set-up,
TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: SOAP & GIFTS
innovative and trendy. The products are available in novel shapes, colours and fragrances, are of natural origin, not tested on animals and made by hand. In addition, the founders keep the environment in mind and instead of traditional plastic packaging, they use glass bottles and bio-based plastics wherever possible. In 2016, Van der Steldt went on to introduce men’s brand Van Der Lovett, with special beard oils, soaps and aftershave balms, and a beer shampoo. The founder explains: “We saw there was a need for high-quality men’s products in the market. Men are paying more
attention to their appearance and are looking for high-quality but affordable products.” The Van Der Lovett range is available via the online shop and at selected hairdressers, pharmacies and barber shops. Van der Steldt concludes: “Soap is multifunctional. It’s a great way to feel good, but it can also be a lovely addition to any interior or a wonderful present for friends, family or colleagues.” Web: www.soapandgifts.com www.vanderlovett.com
Van Der Lovett’s high-quality range of personal care products for men.
Simple and innovative household products TEXT: KARIN VENEMA | PHOTOS: DOVOX
When Dovox co-founder, Gijs Donders, came up with the idea of perfume cards, people would laugh at his ‘silly cards’. Now, six years later, millions of these cards have been produced and can be found in retail outlets all over Europe. Dovox’s technology, that inserts perfume into plastic cards, is unique, as are all of the different scents you can choose from. “I have a knack for recognising trends,” says Donders. “As an entrepreneur at heart, it only felt like the right thing to do to follow up on this simple idea of perfume cards. We offer top quality by specialist production, and we are the only company in the Benelux that uses this technology.” The Dovox perfume cards last for over 60 days and can be used in the car, around the house or anywhere else in which you might want to introduce a pleasant aroma. Far
removed from standard smells such as pine or vanilla, the sophisticated selection of perfumes offers more than ten luxurious scents at an affordable price. “I am a real fan of the Dovox products. I try them all myself and give them to family and friends. When they speak highly to me about them, I know that the product is good,” says Donders. More recently, Dovox has started producing moisture absorbers that can be used around the house, in the car, garage and so on. This, again, is down to a specialist, dry production process that Dovox has come up with on its own. The Dovox products can be found in many supermarkets, discount shops and other household chain shops. “Last time we went skiing, en route I saw our products beautifully displayed in a large German shop. I was glowing with pride! We are conquering the world with Dovox,” Donders concludes.
Issue 58 | October 2018 | 31