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Puik Art

Starting a new design label from a love of Dutch design, young entrepreneurs Freek Claessen and Daan Gescher are paving the way for their Dutch design label Puik Art.  

By Cassandra Pizzey / 27-06-2013

Full of enthusiasm and serious about their cause, we spoke to Puik Art (Great Art) founders Freek Claessen and Daan Gescher. With a background in economics and business these young entrepreneurs aim to help young designers get their products to market. 

What drove you to start Puik Art?

“First off it’s a love of Dutch design combined with our entrepreneurial spirit. Our strength lies in commerce and that’s exactly where product designers seem to be lacking, especially with recent budget cuts. We have managed to create the right balance between talented product designers and our commercial qualities.”

What makes Puik Art any different from the other design labels such as New Duivendrecht or Droog design?

“It’s the way we interact with young talented designers. We sell products under our own label but also offer extra financial support through design projects for large companies. We stand for open communications and take our designers on a tour of our factories. We travelled with Thomas van Rongen to Eastern Europe and will take Sjoerd Jonkers and Pascal Smelik to the south of Europe at the end of the month. This way, we hope to create a family of designers who will stay loyal to us.”

And what about the products?

“Our designs are comparable to those of the bigger names in quality but we aim to create affordable designs that appeal to a wider audience. Up until now we have focussed on home accessories but are ready to broaden our range with textiles and eventually furniture. We’ve only been around for a year so are still the underdogs but we promise to take Puik Art to exciting heights!”

Is there a certain Puik Art style we can look for?

“It’s mainly striking yet functional designs. On the one hand, the designs are autonomous whether that be aesthetically, functional or a combination of the two. On the other hand they are also part of a bigger picture, part of a story.” 

Can you tell us about the young designers you collaborate with?

“We get in touch with (mostly product) designers through our personal network or are approached and would love to work with every creative we meet. Unfortunately that isn’t possible so we focus on designers who have graduated, simply because the experience and time is there. Right now we’re working with people and studios such as De Nieuwe Heren, Sjoerd Jonkers and Ka Lai Chan.” 

You talk about commercial and affordable designs yet many products are limited edition, can you explain?

“There are two lines within the Puik Art label, one is the product line which is sold in design shops in the Netherlands and aimed at a wide audience. Wherever possible these products are made in the Netherlands. The second line is made up of limited edition products and are handmade by our designers, this makes them relatively expensive. However, these products are exclusive and ‘made in Holland’. It’s a way for designers to let loose their creativity, make a name for themselves and please a select number of customers." 

What are your goals for Puik Art?

“We worked hard to save enough money to start Puik Art and it would be great if we could contribute just a little to the Dutch economy by fairly employing a few people. Of course, our dream is bigger: We want to create a company and a Dutch brand that we can be proud of. It would be amazing if Puik Art products would be sold internationally, which is only a matter of time. We realize we are a young company and have a lot to learn so we’re taking things step by step.”

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