What happened during the 'Rijk van Nijmegen Ondernemerspitches'
Memorizing a 2-minute pitch
This Friday we will be presenting our Poma/Olera series and our research into storing fruits and vegetables in a better way and avoiding food waste in a 2-minute pitch as part of the 'ondernemerspitches' or 'entrepreneurial pitches' finals of Rijk van Nijmegen hub.
A total of 15 up and coming businesses will be pitching their ideas, after which the jury will award the Best Innovative Business Idea.
Of course we will touch on the Patera Magna and Patera Media -which we are preparing for a worlwide launch- but we will mainly focus this pitch on something that could have stronger ties with Nijmegen and has the potential to help the city take a chunk out of their avoidable food waste.
Since Nijmegen and its surroundings is ever more known as a sustainable food hub, we aim to team up with local professionals and create an inspiring Poma/Olera handbook that can both serve as an easy guide on how to best store different kinds of fruits and vegetables, as well as an inspiring reference book with tips and tricks from sustainable food pioneers based around Nijmegen.
Looking at the great selection of finalists, we are happy and quite proud to have made it this far and be part of the line-up.
We are looking forward to experience all pitches and get a chance to meet the many innovative entrepreneurs from Rijk van Nijmegen in real life.
Due to obvious reasons the finale cannot be attended in person, but there will be a livestream!
<Follow the event via Linkedin here>
By the way:
I just found out we are number 13 to pitch, so if you could keep your fingers crossed for us, that would be great: we can use a little luck...
We are super happy with this full page feature of our Patera Magna in this week's Volkskrant Magazine!
As for the text, it roughly translates to this:
"You may already know: keeping fruits and vegetables fresh doesn't require a refrigerator.
And sometimes they are better stored separately than together.
The Patera Magna fruit and vegetable dish from the House of Thol has different compartments, so that ripening fruit does not affect each other.
The terra-cotta dish cools itself with a layer of water that slowly evaporates.
Besides looking nice on the table, you can also see what you have in stock in terms of healthy snacks."
Thank you for sharing Volkskrant Magazine!
This is Bert
Bert is a kiln.
And a rather large one, able to fire 1 Patera Media and 2 Patera Magna sets in one go.
We moved him in over summer, after a very successful Object Rotterdam left us with a lot of orders for the Poma/Olera series.
We got Bert second-hand from a lovely man who got it from a school where it was used ages ago. Since Bert was hardly ever used, he was just taking up space and needed to go.
These things are built to last, and as you can imagine, it was no easy feat to move this monster of a machine. But we (Thomas, mainly) managed to get it into the workshop without breaking our (his) back(s).
First thing we needed to sort out was oven stones: in order to efficiently stack in Bert, we had to get new square stones and support.
We sourced them online and once the new set-up was in place, we excitedly started up the kiln for a first firing.
Which resulted in.... a blown fuse.
Amping up the ampères
And thus started the quest of finding out what was wrong...
All the time Bert was just standing there, unused, while Thomas was frantically firing Patera Magna and Patera Media in our smaller kiln and breaking his head about what could be the problem.
After a while, we got in touch with the original manufacturer of the kiln, who was happy to come check out the oven and see what could be the problem.
It cost us a pretty penny to have him come over here and see our Beast Bert with his own eyes, but the verdict was clear: the oven was in good condition, no need to change any of the heating wires just yet.
The problem was with the connection to the electricity grid: we needed to amp up the amperes.
Easier said than done.
We enlisted help of our indispensible electricity guy Jan, who got into the technicality of things.
Eventually we spent about the same amount of money on new electricity wires and the connection with its very own brand new electricity meter as we did on the oven in the first place, but we got it working!!
Rising temperatures & burned cookies
Unfortunately it seemed like we got Bert working a bit too well...
The first glaze firing we set up took a long time to reach the maximum temperature.
At least, that's what we thought by looking at the thermometer of the kiln itself.
When we opened up the doors, the whole load came out like burned cookies...
Turned out the internal thermometer meter was slightly off and the firing temperature had been too high.
Luckily we found a way to manually check the actual temperature inside the kiln with special cones.
And after tweaking the firing programme a little bit with those cones to guide the process, we seem to finally have it all under control.
Bert on fire
Baker Bert is now up for business!
Now all we need to do is feed his appetite for ceramics, and Thomas is working hard to make sure we can fire the kiln a couple of times each week, speeding up the production process from to 4-5 Patera per week (up from 2 a week).
That means that we can re-calculate the lead times for all outstanding orders :-D
We'll be in touch with a new estimated lead time for each order soon.
Can't wait that long to hear when your Patera is ready?
Pop us an e-mail with your order-number or -date and we can let you know when we expect to have your fruit and vegetable bowl ready for pick up / shipment.
Bright ideas, sustainable products
For many designers, especially recent graduates, sustainability is a key inspirations. And so it should!
As creators, we are at the beginning of a new production chain, and have a responsibility to think about what we create and add to a world already saturated with stuff.
Designers can approach sustainability in different ways:
-By designing products that help you create a more sustainable lifestyle;
-Making reparable and circular products that save resources now and in the future;
-Creating (and using) new, sustainable and/or biodegradable materials that can be used as alternative for plastics and other toxic materials;
-Coming up with solutions for waste and cleaning up areas of the world;
-Or by approaching the macro level of things and design innovative solutions to create more sustainable societies across the world.
At House of Thol we have thus far mainly had our focus on the first two ways: products for a sustainable lifestyle change and circular design that saves resources. Probably because we like tangible products that people can use in their everyday life.
That's not to say that in the future we might not expand our views and join a collective that is into a more macro approach + we are definitely super interested in making use of new sustainable materials in the near future.
For now, however, we'd like to focus this gift guide on Dutch Sustainable Design that you can add to your wishlist or gift your loved one (starting with prices below €20,-).
All listed designs can be purchased directly via the webshop of the designer.
As with the wishlists we have made in prior years, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you feel like you should be included in this list.
We like to showcase as many sustainable designers as we can.
Here we go...
The Dutch Sustainable Design Gift Guide (in alphabetical order)
CRE8 Urban Fabrication
CRE8 is an Amsterdam based social enterprise with People, Planet, Profit right at the heart of their business model.
By being smart about their production methods, they can manufacture all their designs right in the city of Amsterdam, avoiding shipping products around the world.
Cre8 also keeps their carbon footprint modest by using local and/or recycled materials and exclusively use green energy for production.
By making most of their products on demand and using every last piece of material in their designs, there is hardly any trash to speak of.
And because of the personalized nature of many designs, these will be cherished for years to come.
Personally i am most charmed by CRE8's multicolored name-puzzles that are available in several color combination and start from €22,-.
Sustainable weaving mill Enschede Textielstad produces fashion and upholstery textiles from recycled resources, such as recycled denim, recycled workwear and clipping waste of the garment manufacturing industry.
In their own words: "It is our goal to produce as local and sustainable as possible and provide brands that are struggling to find high quality sustainable fabrics with the right cloth in order to make their end product more transparent and sustainable for their customers."
Check out the Enschede Textielstad online store for a selection of their most popular sustainable fabrics as well as readymades like bowties (icw Anton Kleermaker), scarves, tea towels, napkins and the gorgeous Ziggy collection in collaboration with designer Roos Soetekouw.
Prices start at €12,50
Foekje Fleur likes to design attractive and colorful products that seem playful at first sight but are in fact inspired by serious topics like environmental pollution.
As stated on the website: "We hope our products allow you to make a small change every day."
Their goal is to produce as earth and animal friendly as possible, with fair work conditions for all employees.
Foekje Fleurs' new limited edition Ocean Buddies in collaboration with Sea Shepherd and Dr. Bronners come in a dark green variant made of 99% ocean plastic (mainly ghostnets) and a light green variant made of 49% ocean plastic and 49% post consumer recycled plastic.
Also worth checking out is the accompanying series of handmade organic soap bars that each come in bright and colorful packaging designed by Sue Doeksen.
prices start at €6,90 (Ocean Buddy €19,90)
Studio Hamerhaai makes Dutch Design from 'waste'.
The statement is as simple as that.
The studio became well known with their 'Rijkswachters', made from crates that were used to transport and store famous art pieces during the refurbishment of the Dutch Rijksmuseum.
But Niki and Boudewijn have more to offer than the ever expanding line of cute robots.
Check it out on their website.
Prices start at €24,50
House of Thol
Since our motto is 'We design products to make your life greener and easier' we had to add ourselves to this list.
(Also, frankly, it would have been bad business if we hadn't)
We designed Waterworks, to help you keep your houseplants alive;
the Flower Constellations: durable flower tools that help you create long lasting arrangements with fewer flowers;
Helios, brass growth disks to easily (re)grow cuttings and (avocado) pits into water rooted plants;
and the Poma/Olera series, designed to better store your fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh for longer and save food from the bin.
Oh right, and looking for a green card to send your loved ones? The Bee Happy series might be for you. Note: the Bee Happy cards will leave the House of Thol collection in the next months.
Prices start at €2,50
'Koda Amsterdam creates unique, stylish and timeless accessories that are fashioned from materials that are left over. For instance: the cutting waste of upholstery, curtain and tent fabrics. Different fabrics are left over every day. That makes every koda piece different. Unique. Just like you.'
(from the website)
Koda Amsterdam works with Dutch Designers and manufactures their colorful collection in Dutch ateliers.
The collection includes Horizon Pouches and Iep Pencil cases by Marieke van Heck (Orange or Red), made from left-over De Ploeg fabrics, Duin Bags and pencil cases made from left-over fabrics from Karsten tenten by the same designer and Plissé bags from leftover Luxaflex by Nikki Gilling.
Prices start at €22,50
Mo Man Tai
Studio Mo Man Tai has long been working with the leftover material of PyraSied Xtreme Acrylic.
I have personally witnessed their colorful layered ABC Key Chains go like hot buns, and their bright and cheerful Rainbow Kits create happy vibes everywhere.
As Mo Man Tai states: "Just because something is fun, bold and colourful doesn’t mean it can’t be environmentally friendly."
Products range from Key Chains to Candle Holders, and from DIY Mobiles to Rainbow Kits and Paper Flowers, each item as colorful as the next.
Prices start at €9,-
Studio Roof is well known for their playful and colorful paper creations that trigger the imaginations of both children as well as adults.
All products are made of recycled cardboard and colored with plant-based vegetable ink. Although you will probably not think about getting rid of their designs anytime soon, if you ever want to, everything can be easily recycled.
Furthermore Studio Roof works with the Trees For All foundation, planting a tree for every design and offsetting their carbon emission in case of travelling.
The Studio Roof collection contains wall decoration, mobiles, pop-out cards, and (up to lifesize) toys.
And their stylish colorful designs are definitely not just for kids!
Prices start at €6,95
Designed as 'the bag that would replace all other bags', the colorful recycled nylon shopping bags by Susan Bijl are abundantly present anywhere (Dutch) Designlovers congregate.
Crafted from 100% Bluesign®-certified, recycled, ripstop nylon (mostly made of fishing nets but also pre-consumer fabric waste and computer chips), the brightly colored bags are strong and durable, and can hold a great amount of weight.
As stated on the website: "You only need one, and if you take care of it, you can use it for over 15 years!"
You can't go wrong with one of these, whether you are on the gifting or receiving end of the deal.
Next to the well-known shopping bags, the collection also includes (a.o.) keychains, pouches, backpacks, small bum bags, the new trash bags and even raincoats.
'Reduce waste and add color to your life'
Prices start at €14,90 (Shopping bag Large €29,90)
Seriously. Get your gifts at the Creatives.
With Covid still rearing its ugly head, get your loved ones something truly special.
And get it at the source, from someone truly special: the designers and makers who worked their behinds off to create something beautiful to brighten up your life.
We do not all have a marketing budget and can use your business.
Although sustainability is so important for many designers, making this Sustainable Gift Guide was not as easy as i had hoped.
There is still plenty of room for other Dutch Designers who like to create not only a more beautiful, but also a more sustainable world.
Let's make this a longer list next year!
Want to see more Affordable Dutch Design gift ideas?
Check out the Get it at the Creatives design gift guide we made last year.
Missing a creative entrepreneur and this person has a webshop?
Let us know and we'll look into adding her/him to the guide!
As we always do during these fairs: we forget to take pictures.
So here we are, the Dutch Design Week being a beautiful memory, and hardly any pictures to show for it...
But boy did we have a great time!
Let me start at the beginning:
In the light of all things, we really had no idea what to expect from this first live Dutch Design Week after Covid (at least we hope it is).
Would people actually show up? And what would the athmosphere be like?
During set-up, everyone seemed to be cautiously excited.
But as soon as the fair kicked-off on Saturday, their was a tangible vibe of optimism and curiosity that would last the whole week.
Like riding a wave of Designer happiness.
We chose to create our own House of Thol world within a glass house at the Piet Hein Eek event space.
Our choice turned out to be challenging, as from day 1 we noticed the threshold that needed to be crossed to enter our House of Thol world was high -both literally and figuratively- and it took effort to get people to come in.
Luckily, we developed 'luring in'-skills in a few days, and ended up telling the story of our Poma/Olera series pretty much non-stop.
I am so glad we hired help for the week.
Without Pim and Chiel, we would not have been able to make it through.
Thank you guys!!
All in all, Dutch Design Week 2021 was great!
We made valuable connections, met interesting people and did quite alright when it comes to sales.
Also, it was lovely to be out showcasing our work again and experience the positive post-Covid vibe.
For everyone who visited the exhibition in Eindhoven: thank you for you visit, lovely to see you / meet you there!
(thank you for the picture, Angela!)
For everyone who did not have a chance to come by: we will do better with the photographs the next time ;-)
Living with style
Check out this beautiful piece on acclaimed Italian design website 'La casa in ordine'.
For obvious reasons the piece is in Italian, which might pose a challenge, but i invite you to take a look anyway, as editor Roberta del Vaglio chose a wonderful selection of photographs.
Click on the screenshot or <here> to visit the La casa in ordine website and see the full piece.
Without the images, the original answers to the english interview can be found <here>.
Yes we can
Dutch dustainable blog 'Het Kan Wel' ('It Can Be Done') is all about solutions and low-threshold behavioral change that makes the world a more sustainable place.
Instead of focussing on the long road still ahead, 'Het Kan Wel' chooses to approach the sustainable challenge in a positive way and focus on all the things that already can be done to make the world a bit greener.
I have been following the blog for a while via Facebook, and am super happy Iris van Asselt visited our exhibition and wrote a piece about our Circular ReCabinet series.
Thank you for sharing Iris!
<Read the full (Dutch) article here>
<For more about the ReCabinet series, click here>
Make sustainable materials work
So many beautiful innovative and sustainable materials are being developed at the moment.
It is a whole new design department.
We see gorgeous materials in exhibitions, shows, magazines and newspaper articles.
However, we seldomly see them being used in products that are sold in stores. And that's a shame.
No matter how sustainable a material is, if it does not transcend the conceptual fase, its practical impact is minimal.
So we came up with a plan:
Let's dive into all materials out there and develop a library in which we measure their effective sustainability on multiple levels (is it durable, renewable, circular, energy-efficient, local etc) and specifically look into their realistic implementation (can it be mass-produced, is it affordable, can it be used in an efficient way?).
In other words: can we make the world a little more sustainable by using those new innovative materials in an actual practical product?
Let's team up!
We sent our plan to the Dutch Creative Industries Fund in the context of the Open Call Building Talent, designed specifically to match established designers and -agencies with upcoming design talents that have been working in the field for a maximum of 4 years.
The Creative Industries Fund generously provides a grant of €6250,- for both the young talent as well as the established partner, so we can really take our time to dive into the research.
Now that our plan has made it through the first round, we hope it attracts the attention of a talented designer who loves materials, research and hands-on experimentation as much as we do.
Are you a young talented designer with a love for materials, or do you know of anyone who would love to take the time to dive into this project with us?
Apply via the Dutch Industries Fund! (we are project #33)
Deadline to send in your application is November 8th 2021.
Please note: we do not have a say in the initial match making, so be thorough and specific in your application and bring your a-game.
Find more information at the website of the Creative Industries Fund.
See you in Eindhoven!
With a wonderful but modest Milan Design Week last September (click), the Dutch Design Week that is about to kick off in Eindhoven is rightfully The Largest European Design Event of 2021.
We are super happy to be back at the Designers Exhibition at Piet Hein Eek and to be setting up shop in one of the greenhouses of the Event space. - Come meet us there!
Piet Hein Eek is open all days, and there is no need for an official DDW entrance-bracelet to visit.
That being said, i highly recommend visiting the whole of the DDW, so go and get that ticket anyway!
House of Thol // Dutch Design for Easy Green Living
16-24 October 2021
Designers Exhibition @Piet Hein Eek - Eventspace
5651 BP Eindhoven
Open daily 10:00 - 20:00 (last Sunday until 18:00)
NB The Dutch Design Week exhibitions are considered transfer locations, and do not require a Covid QR-code.
You will be requested to show your QR-code upon entering one of the bars or restaurants near the exhibitions.
In The Clouds
Made In The Netherlands