“Active on Instagram, sales handled through direct contact”
28-06-2017 in Indigo Brussels news
Mick Verbeek is the son of Chris Verbeek, who is the owner of the Dutch Verbeek designs. They are active in 32 countries, including the US. Mick is 28 and has been working in his dad’s company for 2 years. And even that was unintended, because Mick wanted a job in education.
Mick Verbeek: “There really was no connection with my dad’s company. I wanted to become a teacher. After my studies I landed a job as a teaching assistant in a day-care centre. I was satisfied with my job and I was soon offered a permanent contract. But there was one small thing that annoyed me. I couldn’t continue to grow in my job and I really did feel the need for that. After 8 years I decided to help out my dad in his studio one day a week. I was great with images and I learned my way around the programs quickly. I really enjoyed working in the studio, so this one day became two and after a little while I decided to stay.”
Do you handle things differently from your father?
“I can imagine it’s not always simple to start working in your parent’s company. But I am very satisfied about the way it goes here. We are working with a team of 4 young people and on an organisational level we actually don’t have any differences of opinion. If there are some differences, it’s mostly related to trends. I am bolder. I lean towards more colour in the collections and I love crazy prints. My dad is a bit more commercial. And a bit more discrete when it comes to design. But we always work it out.”
Millennials are digital natives, they were raised with internet. How does that reflect on Verbeek Designs?
“Our generation handles internet more freely. We are very active on Instagram for instance and mull less over the risk of being copied. Young people primarily see the opportunities the medium has to offer. But we don’t just release anything and everything. Our site only shows the latest designs on a secured page. Only customers can view them. Despite that the sales are handled mainly through direct contact and on trade fairs. Internet still only has a supporting role.”
Generation Y has a different view of the balance between work and life, or so they say. Not live to work or work to live, but live, is something I heard recently. What are your thoughts about that?
“I am one of the employees in my dad’s studio. I don’t get any special treatment. I have to work five days a week and just like everybody else, outside of office hours I limit myself to looking for trends and ideas. Because he is the owner of the company, my dad often works in the evening and on the weekend. For the moment I can keep my private life and work pretty much separated.
Discover Verbeek designs on Instagram.