‘The nice thing about our trade is that you can develop things yourself. What I mean is that you can develop the thickness, quality and types of yarns, and also the technique, height, colour, drawing, sizes and shape. You can determine everything yourself, naturally in consultation with your suppliers. This also makes us stand out from everyone else in the market’, said Edwin Tromp, owner of De Munk Carpets.
‘I’m mad about football. My favourite football club, AZ Alkmaar, is from my home town and was founded in the same year that I was born. I prefer to go jogging with my daughter Sterre, which is pure quality time. I’m a fairly outspoken person. When I get the feeling that something is good, I’m usually right. I’m absolutely not someone who has doubts. For instance, Sterre always asks for my opinion first when she has new clothes. Whether she actually listens to it is another matter,’ laughs Edwin.
‘What I really like about our company is that we supply top-quality products. We’re a committed company and extremely proud of our employees. It’s always special when a custom-made carpet we’ve worked on with so much passion actually arrives. It no longer just exists on a computer screen – it has actually come to life.’
‘Together with Edwin, I’m pleased to be a supporter at Sterre’s volleyball tournaments. I also love to go for walks in the woods or along the beach with my labradoodles, Diesel and Bikkel. I find that having the dogs in the office is welcome relaxation for not only myself, but also for many of the others in the team.
It’s not only De Munk Carpets that is celebrating an anniversary. Jack Schouten, who is in charge of logistics, has been working at the company for thirty years. ‘I was nineteen when the former owner, Frans de Munk, who was a customer at my father’s barbershop, asked me whether I’d like to work for him. That was in 1991, and I’ve never left,’ laughs Jack.
As a father of two girls, Jack is far outnumbered at home. ‘But that’s no problem at all. Alongside enjoying time with my family, I absolutely love sport and exercise. Cycling, tennis and fitness are my favourites. I don’t go cycling just for the nature. I also love above all to set some decent speeds,” laughed Jack.
John Brugge is an Account Manager and has been in the profession for over 35 years. It’s clear that he has commercial blood running through his veins. He talks enthusiastically and bursts with passion about his life as a representative. ‘When I leave the house in the morning, I want to be working with my customers to get the best possible success rate’. It’s wonderful to be able to put our carpets on the market and to bring in orders. It’s really my mission.’
Alongside long days at work, John always finds time to go walking, cycling, and to read or do something nice with his wife. They like to go on holiday to Vietnam, which is where his wife was born. John’s children and grandchildren also play a major role in his life. ‘Actually, you can sum me up in just four words: someone who enjoys life!’
Ellen van Lent
Ellen van Lent is at the heart of the carpet firm’s administration. As the Office Manager, this sixty-year-old lady takes care of everything connected with orders at De Munk Carpets. ‘I feel perfectly at home here,’ chuckled Ellen. ‘I enjoy the fact that we work in a small, tight-knit team. I also like it that you get the freedom to do things your way.’
Ellen adores animals. ‘I don’t have dogs at home because I work fulltime. That’s why I love it that we have two dogs here in the office. When Edwin and Mirjam are on holiday, I like to look after Bikkel and Diesel. My partner and his brother breed racing horses, so I have more than my fair share of animals to enjoy. Greece is my favourite country for holidays. My partner and I absolutely love the relaxed atmosphere, the fabulous weather and the great food. We are always looking for nice, quiet areas, such as Stoupa on the Peloponnese peninsula. We are far from finished with Greece, as we still have so much more to discover.’
Erwin van der Vegt
Erwin van der Vegt is good with his hands and he was a welcome addition to the team at De Munk Carpets. Seven years ago, Erwin spent six months in the warehouse helping his neighbours Edwin and Mirjam out of a fix. ‘I was between jobs at the time and they were looking for a temporary employee. It was the perfect solution for everyone’, said Erwin.
As a Warehouse Assistant, Erwin takes care of things such as packaging, dispatching, unpacking and checking carpets. He also attends to all the large and small odd jobs within the company. ‘I trained as a carpenter and I love to work with my hands. Everything can be made or repaired, and if it can’t, then I find another solution.’
When he is not at work, Erwin enjoys sport. ‘Only as a spectator, however,’ laughed the new Warehouse Assistant. ‘I like to watch a football match on TV, or visit the grounds of my favourite club, AZ Alkmaar. The other loves of my life are my daughters. Even though they’re already grown up, I do everything for them, through thick and thin.’
Bikkel & Diesel
The two labradoodles Diesel and Bikkel complete the tight-knit team at De Munk Carpets. ‘I’d wanted a dog for a very long time,’ explained Mirjam. Edwin is crazy about dogs, but he knew they can be a lot of work. After all, how can you combine looking after dogs with a busy job? Naturally, I had thought of everything. We could bring the dog into the office, just like my brother does. That was how lovely, docile Bikkel came into our lives seven years ago.’
Monika: ‘I’d really like to have a dog of my own, but you can’t do this when you work fulltime. It’s fantastic being at the office with the dogs and I enjoy taking them out.’
Ellen: ‘They’re extremely low-maintenance dogs and I enjoy having them around.’
Jack: ‘At first I was sceptical about having dogs in the office. But it’s going well and the customers are not bothered because the dogs stay out of the way upstairs.’
Luuk: ‘Since I’m on the road a lot of the time, I don’t see the dogs very often. But their presence creates a cosy atmosphere. They help you to put everything into perspective. When they make a fuss about a piece of rope, I think, yes, that’s really all it is.’