Interview with Rutger van Schaik and Sarita Bouwmeester.
What makes Voi Jeans unique?
Voi means “for you” in Italian and that characterizes Voi Jeans: customers come first. If you come to our store, you’ll instantly be in a living room atmosphere. We want the customer to feel at home. In addition, we are unique with our value for money. Currently, customers in this market can simply ask for lower prices. We anticipate to this with creativity.
Who is behind the brand Voi Jeans?
Three brothers went on holiday to Italy, where their love for jeans started. They took the name Voi Jeans take back to the UK in 1988 and began selling in the UK.
Rutger, how did you come up with the idea to open Voi Jeans in Amsterdam?I have a sneaker shop in Amsterdam and I wanted to open a second store. A friend of mine was working at that time as an agent of Voi Jeans. Right after I told him it would be cool to open a store in Amsterdam, I got a call from the owner in the UK. The rest is history.
Why did you choose the Haarlemmerstraat as store location?We first had a building in the Utrechtsestraat in mind. When me and my partner walked out that building, we looked at each other and my partner said: “I don’t feel it”. The Utrechtsestraat falls into a different price category, which didn’t fit our target audience. Nel de Jager said Voi Jeans would be of added value to the Haarlemmerstraat and since it’s an upcoming street for local Dutch shops, it just felt good.
What are the future plans for Voi Jeans in the Netherlands?It is our dream to launch a women’s collection in the Netherlands. There is a women’s collection in England, but we would of course adapt to the Dutch market and luckily they are very open to our knowledge of the Dutch market. When we opened the Voi Jeans store in Amsterdam, the owners were so enthusiastic about our design and the look and feel of the store, that each new Voi Jeans store must meet our design!
What tip can you give entrepreneurs who want to open a store in Amsterdam?“It’s not know who you are, but who you know”. In general, you need to differentiate yourself and be of added value to the whole. We do this by introducing a new brand in the Dutch market with a competitive value for money and a different interior and appearance of our store. But what is of most importance: always follow your intuition.
Finally, what do you love about GetBisy?
It’s cool that you can find something with GetBisy that suits you as an individual, rather than chasing the mass production. You always want to express yourself in your interior and your clothes. GetBisy gives you this opportunity!