Ernie and Aldo blog

Nuremberg here we are! (6)

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Nuremberg felt like home. HandTrux between the other toys. Aldo had build the fair stand in the livingroom to scale. Together with a friend who helped designing it.
Thanks Ramon from Ramon Custom Design and Chairs! They designed a L - shaped sand box at the front where people could dig around in. During the fair their were several people who just wanted to feel if it was real sand. Real sand on a toyfair! That was something special. The reception was great. We had also a great corner stand wich drew a crowd. Aldo had promissed the lady from the organization of the Spielwarenmesse/Toyfair that she and here team would get a delicious home baked apple pie if they got a good location on the toyfair. As a newcommer on the toymarket this was needed. People needed to see it, feel it and try it. A video was cut together by a student of the school Aldo worked. He did an amazing job. Of al the video material that was out there. Footage from television show it was in and  so on he made an great video. It realy grabbed the attention and made clear where HandTrux stand for. Fun, original and quality toys. So thanks Erwin. Good job! 

 

Music by Owner of HandTrux Ernest van den Heuvel 

Aldo had traveled ahead to build the stand. Ruzanna came a few days later by train. They have a son that needs some attention as well. And by the way: It is hard to explain to a 7 year old that altough he is the poster boy of the brand, he is not allowed on the ToyFair. A TOY fair.  The first day a Russian buyer was at the stand. He spoke a little English but not that well. Aldo signed him to wait and on his cell phone called his wife who speaks Russian fluently. The Russian man was very surprised to hear this. But he smiled and they made an apointment to meet each other later in the week when Ruzanna was also there. A lot of companies liked the toy and requested quotes and other information. Sales were made and partnerships were formed. Most sales were closed after the fair. This is when most of the sales work is done. This made up for the rough start Ruzanna and Aldo had. The acceptance was even felt on the New York toyfair by Ernie a week later. People who visited Nuremberg also visited New York. Some of them were saying hello from Aldo to Ernie. It was a special feeling to be a part of something big.

 

Also seeing that the work you did payed off. Not entirely in money just yet. But a business is started and you feel the potential. Ruzanna and Aldo said to each other that they felt like they were part of toy history. At least their history. There was almost a daily update with Ernie. Also to discuss and check the production schedules.

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A talk Aldo had with the owner of KAPLA was very inspirational. Aldo had seen his story on a TV documentary. The first day Mr van der Bruggen came and dig some sand at the HandTrux stand. Later, towards the end of the fair, Aldo wend to him and asked if they could have a conversation. It was an hour that Aldo will never forget. Mr van der Bruggen told him that he had to struggle in the beginning of his company and explain to people what his toy was about. About litle wooden planks. That sparks creativity with children. Also a toy that you need to explain somtimes to grown-ups while children understand it instantly. Mr. van der Bruggen said the acceptance of the toy was different in every country. That when he started to have success he needed to sell his castle that he had designed and had build to fund his success. That it is hard to protect yourself from copycats who will steal and cheat from successes. But that you need to keep your cool and see the long term goal of your company. Your in this for the entire trip. Not only for the quick cash. Because that is not the goal if you're into quality toys. Aldo gave hime a HandTrux out of thanks for the wise words and inspiration. It always is refreshing to meet a fellow entrepreneur that likes to help. After the fair there was a lot of work to be done. Tired but fullfilled Ruzanna and Aldo drove home and had seen the glimbs of great future. 

 

 

 aldo ruzanna

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