Last week we paid a visit to our retailer Melting Pot, a gift and interior design shop in the bustling neighborhood of de Pijp in Amsterdam. The family business was founded a year ago by the Maasland family. To find out more about the shop, we spoke to our son Bryan Smiet and daughter Bridget Maasland. Curious about the story behind Melting Pot and the store concept? You can read it in this blog!
Meet The Retailer is a series of interviews with retailers registered with Orderchamp. We kick off with retailer Melting Pot, who has been active at Orderchamp since February. In this blog, Bridget and Bryan talk about what they sell, how the roles are distributed within the family and how they maintain contact with their customers.
How would you describe the shop concept of Melting Pot?
"Melting Pot was founded because we wanted to start a shop with "something for everyone", an accessible shop where every type of consumer can find something beautiful. The people here in the neighborhood sometimes don't have a huge house and a lot to spend. Therefore we offer a mix & match of gift items and all kinds of stuff to decorate the house with. In addition, we also sell nice gadgets. With us you will find products in different price ranges.
"By the way, everything in the store is for sale, including the table, lamps and chairs. Our shop is cozy, despite the different styles, it's still one whole. By the way, that whole is really my mother's merit, she really has a talent for shopping! At the beginning we didn't know exactly what kind of public we would attract and in terms of purchasing that was still quite difficult. We've moved around a lot in our lives and we've redecorated our house a lot, that's my hobby as well. But that was hard to find, because how do you know what works and what fits together? Together with the help of my parents I managed to do that very well! Normally you wouldn't be so quick to put shoes with perfume or accessories, but it still works. Melting Pot is just like our family a shop with guts!"
Why the name Melting Pot?
"Melting pot literally means "crucible." Melting Pot is actually a crucible of items and styles. But also de Pijp was called the crucible of Amsterdam in the sixties. Everyone thinks the name is funny, even abroad the name is doing well. This is useful because we regularly have orders from Australia and Canada".
How's the division of roles in your family?
"We started this store over a year ago because we wanted to do something together with family. Our mother Elly and father Frits are jointly responsible for the purchasing and back office. The purchasing process is mainly done online, which is why my parents also registered with Orderchamp. They like to discover new, unique brands and trends here. We also visit trade fairs together on a regular basis and visit the brands in person. Of course, that's a bit more difficult these days. I'm mainly concerned with sales and the social media of Melting Pot and make sure that the online orders go out the door every day. So it really is a family business! Although we're originally from The Hague, we all live in Amsterdam now, so that makes it a lot easier".
"I'm mainly concerned with promotions and I'm also often in the shop to follow up on orders with Bryan. The webshop is a nice addition to the shop. Brian is mainly packing and I play for courier by bringing everything around. Sometimes to the post office and sometimes to the people themselves. Who live in the neighborhood of course. We also do the shopping together and are in the shop together. It's a race against the clock but together we always know how to do it. Our parents arrange from home that the webshop stays up and running. My parents mainly look online to keep an eye on the trends".
Which products perform best?
"Our candles and various cardholders and standards really fly through! Especially abroad. Here in the Netherlands you can see that especially the paintings are very popular and actually everything to make the house cosy, like our colourful cushions and plaids".
How do you communicate with customers?
"Instagram is actually our communication tool! Besides showing (new) products, we regularly organize win actions with, for example, our paintings. Among the 10,000 followers we had done a win action, where 2 people could win a cheque to spend at the store. It was a huge success!
What message would you like to give to fellow retailers?
"Stay innovative & positive! Keep up with the trends and make sure you keep your customers informed".
"Of course you need your physical shop as a stage and for recognition, but make sure you're also active online. So open a webshop! With us this takes care of a large part of the orders and offers your customers the opportunity to shop 24/7".
Orderchamp tip: Don't you have a webshop yet? Then take advantage of our Lightspeed deal now. Especially for clients of Orderchamp offers Lightspeed now offer a free subscription up to six months. This means you can have your online store up and running in no time, while benefiting from minimal operational costs.
Next time in Meet The Retailer: Baby & Kids shop Wijs West.