My aim is to tell about the work of the owners of shops and companies in Archipel and Willemspark. But information about the biography of the people concerned is just as interesting and often full of surprises. There is Mária de Iongh, owner of Minty. She started as an X-ray lab assistant in the Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis and after that worked 10 years as a medical receptionist at psychiatric hospital Schakenbosch.
“I worked in the somatic ward where in preparation for their intake patients get a physical screening. The institute was rather isolated and I was often alone at work, therefore I furtively took my labrador to the office. When I heard my boss’s car in the driveway the dog and I quickly climbed out of the window. I hid the dog in my car until my boss had left. As far as I know the boss never was aware of what was going on.
“I met a wholesale dealer in fabrics and I worked for him for 10 years. I had been content working in the psychiatric hospital, but fabrics turned out to be my real passion. In the Christmas Season of 2006 I walked down Frederikstraat and noticed that this shop was vacant and I started my own business here.”
I asked how she had come by the name “Minty”. Mária answered that Minty used to be the name of an English chair factory that was very successful. It reads well and it is easy to remember. I could not agree more.
“I buy in lots, directly from the weaving mills and that is how I can sell materials that would normally cost € 70 or € 80 per metre for only € 19,99. The only disadvantage is that I cannot order more a second time, so finished means finished. About 20% of my stock consits of expensive materials.
“Thanks to the economic crisis residents of Laren, Bloemendaal and Wassenaar have found their way to our shop. We offer good quality and are less expensive than the wholesale dealer – so what more can you ask for?”
Mária sells trademarks like Designers Guild and Ralph Lauren, but also linen that she imports from Northern France. “My daughter Kari does the PR and handles the materials that are more ‘modern’, like the Ikats with a kind of American Indian print that are totally ‘hot’ these days.
“Via agents we buy fabrics from the United States, Spain, India and Italy. I go to France myself. We have a stock that changes quickly, but we always have about 12.000 metres of fabric on hand and with 30 metres per roll that comes down to no less than 4000 rolls!”
Are you in search of new curtains or some beautiful fabric to upholster an old and comfortable sofa? Stop by at Minty’s at Frederikstraat nr 3.
Josephine de Vijlder, 27 Augustus 2014