In 2014, Jorien Bloemink started her own company Bloem@work. After having been active in commercial management functions for many years, the need to do business herself arose. Her commercial knowledge often rents as consultant to small-scale (make) companies. Because she also wanted to give advise from her own experience, she decided in 2016 to also make and sell her own product.
As an addict lover of stationery, she thought she'd find something in that direction, and it eventually became personally printed pencils. After a long search, she found a family company in America that delivered beautiful and perfect writing pencils. The machine to print the pencils was purchased in England. A third machine has been purchased since then to accommodate the business' growth.
Instagram was chosen as a sales channel. Jorien: "I'm actually doing everything on Instagram. @uniekpotlood is my Instagram name. The nice thing is that from the day I posted my first message, orders were immediately placed. At first, those people were out of my personal circle of friends, but soon it spread to other individuals and businesses. The prints are very different. These can be names, slogans, but also trending topics on the internet ".
Jorien gives an example: "For a shoe manufacturer I could make super cool pink pencils with the text I love shoes". The prerequisite for being successful at Instagram is to have a unique product, perfect photography and fast delivery. In addition, it helps to see and deal with opportunities continuously. Among other things, by responding to followers' posts and staying in touch with followers. In addition to pencils, the range has already been expanded with Germany's best brass sharpeners. Bloem@work can also deliver pencils in which recycled dollar bills, jeans and newsprint are processed. In the meanwhile, orders are already being placed for these pencils.
The pencils are sold to both private consumers and business clients, in quantities ranging from a highly limited series to very large orders. Jorien: "Our largest order to date came from a Belgian company for a couple of thousand items. The personal and handmade nature of the product appealed to them; it was the reason why they chose us."
The sale of pencils is still good to combine with her other work. Still, she has decided to market her activities under a new brand name: uniekpotlood.nl. In addition to pencils, she also supplies accessories such as card holders, pencil cases, erasers, posters and notebooks.
Exporting countries: Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany