Tenant in the spotlight
Erik Huizinga and Ralf Emmerich together comprise vanStijl, a full-service communications agency. This year they launched the first magazine of their own for the Rotterdam Central District. The magazine is called STRICT and it is full of great stories about people who live and work there.
“We’d never made a magazine before. But then I thought, well, it’s actually simply laying out one page well sixty-eight times,” laughs Ralf. “That keeps it in perspective.” STRICT was a great success. Erik and Ralf are good at building networks so that they can create something new together. “It was a good project for us,” says Erik. “I’m really proud that we managed to put this together so quickly with just a few people in such a short time.”
“We’d never made a magazine before. But then I thought, well, it’s actually simply laying out one page well sixty-eight times.”
Cooperation and indulgence
“We’re very pragmatic, without much fuss,” says Erik. “I think we’re good at creating cooperation. Ralf and I are both social animals and we like having a beer with the other tenants in the Groot Handelsgebouw. Through them, you make contact with lots of people. And we’re lucky that people indulge us.” Ralf and Erik go to quite a number of events within Kleinhandel and elsewhere. “When we were looking for a new office, we went to Kleinhandel for drinks one time,” explains Ralf. “After the second beer, we decided to hire two permanent workplaces here.” They have now had their own unit in Kleinhandel for some time.
The vanStijl agency has been around for twelve years now, working for organisations such as Erasmus University, AT5, RTV Rijnmond, Vereniging Rotterdam Central District and Culinesse. “We’ve been involved in the most fun jobs from the very beginning,” says Erik. “It starts with a logo and the corresponding visual imagery. Then we develop the website, newsletter, flyers and signings for events too. That’s why we call ourselves the ‘external communications department’.”
“We don’t compete: we let each other get on with it and don’t block each other’s ideas.”
Trust and freedom
Erik and Ralf are enthusiastic entrepreneurs. They have for instance introduced DSGNcheck (a website where you can find a suitable interior architect) and Dwel (a designer table lamp they came up with themselves). Even so, they are not aiming to expand their team.“Because there’s just the two of us working here, we don’t have high overhead costs,” explains Erik. “Only having to pay for ourselves and the office gives us freedom. That lets us keep enjoying our work. We both have the freedom to tackle things we’ll enjoy. I appreciate Ralf’s creativity, so I want him to have scope for that. I know that we often make the same choices in terms of style, and we both take the work seriously.” “We don’t compete: we let each other get on with it and don’t block each other’s ideas,” adds Ralf. “That’s one of the reasons we get on so well,” concludes Erik.
vanStijl | Unit D1.149.1
Photo: Antim Photography – www.antim.nl | Unit E1.174.2
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