Ernie and Aldo blog

HandTrux Europe kicks off (5)

arthur heaving fun in boxes

The container was on sea for a month. In the mean time Aldo and Ruzanna made arrangements for all kinds of marketing materials. Stickers,
aldo ruzanna container loadflyers and a promotion tent with a printed backside.  They bought frisbee's and stickered them. They were a give away when you would buy a HandTrux diggingarm. Phonecalls were made to different toy stores. It was harder to get into the bigger chainstores and meet with the buyers they noticed. Their is a lot to learn when you become an entrepreneur. A lot you can't know and you will only learn by doing. Ruzanna and Aldo learned in their IT job every day. It is part of the profession to keep learning. That makes IT so fun because you learn something new everyday. They experienced that it is the same with having a business. It is constantly changing gears and meet the daily challenges of a career in IT, having a business and being a family. And all of this with a limited budget.  

The container arrived and they unloaded. They took a part of the contents with them to their house and the rest was stored in the Logistical partner that also did the transport of the container. Also a small businessowner. But he was a great communicator and as a unexperience importers that we are he was a big help. We could call him late at night with questions that otherwise would cost us sleep. So thanks Maarten from Logic4l! 


The real start for HandTrux Europe was a fair in Eindhoven. It was sold to Aldo as a family fair for Men, woman and children. In short: it was terrible. It was a big disapointment. The few people who attended were only there for the free stuff. The average age was above 60. The organization of the fair did not a whole lot of advertising. An adult toy stand was placed back to back with a stand that was selling the bible and the word of Jezus Christ. It had cost a lot of money and in 4 days the fair was held there was an average of sales of one per day. At the end of the fair the organisation did not dare to show their face anymore and was hiding in the ticket booth. Sometimes a fair is just about selling square feet by the organization. Not about having a great fair for visitors and exhibitors. 

eindhoven fair

Before the fair Aldo had called some newspapers. The biggest newspaper of The Netherlands was interested and a interview was scheduled. The interview took place before the trip to New York. After the trip a photographer came by and made pictures of Aldo in his overall and between all the boxes of HandTrux in his house. But apperently this newspaper made a lot of stories for every day and not all made it in the Newspaper. The whole time they act like this was not an option that could happen.  
So this was a real disapointment and a bad start of an entrepeneurial enterprise. A terrible kickoff. The wife of Aldo was a big support for Aldo. Sometimes you feel like you are broken in bits Aldo said. With all the energy you put into something and all the strength you have. And then something like this. But there was no thinking of stopping. There was a house and a warehouse full of HandTrux and Ernie told Aldo to hang on. He also had a rough start when he first started HandTrux. There are always bumbs in the road. Something that also realy helped was two images that inspired Aldo and Ruzanna. It is pinned to the wall and they see it every day. 

(click for large) 

entrepeneur goal relatives pessimistshow to never give up anna vital infographic

 

So after a set back like that they picked themself up and started promoting the brand. They went to big markets  where a lot of people came. Also Aldo sold by phone. Most buyers have had not ver heard of HandTrux. But after seeing it they could appreciate the quality and the originality of the toy. 

 

police likes handtrux dutch army likes handtrux

 

They had a lot of fun on these markets. The ducth military and police loved the toy. Although it did not make it as their standard tools. The reactions on these markets from the children also made it enjoyable. Something that was surprising was that children instantly understand what the toy is and what it can do. Some of the grown ups need explaining. What is it that we lose when we grow older? Creativity and a open mind? 

 

The year wend by. Sales picked up. They made arrangements to go to a professional toyfair. The biggest in the world.

 

Nuremberg Spielwarenmesse here we come!

20130109 ISM PI NEC 2 02

 

 

 

 

Keep reading: "Nuremberg here we are! (6)"

 

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