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Scents & Colours

a shop with a big heart

People who come into our store are exposed to a brand new shopping experience. In this gift shop, you don't just buy something pretty for someone else or for yourself; you make it possible for mentally challenged people to gain normal work experience.

Geuren & Kleuren (Scents & Colours in English) is a new, extraordinary gift shop in Haarlem. Here, you'll find luxury handcrafted candles, soap, bath products and incense. Beautiful colours, lovely fragrances, and everything 100% animal friendly! Great to give and to receive. But what's most extraordinary is that our products are made in-store by mentally challenged people. They would, just like everyone else, like to actively participate in society. They get to do this at Geuren & Kleuren. A store with a big heart!

A unique store concept

Gift shops make people happy! We've found that this is really the case for Geuren & Kleuren in the heart of Haarlem. Our large product range, the interior and our personal service expose people to a brand new shopping experience. In this gift shop, you don't just buy something pretty for someone else or for yourself; you make it possible for mentally challenged people to gain normal working experience. The Geuren & Kleuren store concept is currently the only one of its kind in the Netherlands.

You make their dreams come true!

Meet Bas, Truus, Nicolette, Dominique, Jan, Fatih en Froukje! They and experienced branch managers Rob en Bianca Koese form the team with which Geuren & Kleuren started in the autumn of 2007. Working in a real store is a dream come true for them. "I didn't dare believe it at first," says Nicolette about her new job. This is not unusual, since people like Nicolette, who are mentally challenged, are often sidelined in the Netherlands. This is the case even though they really want to do more, and in many cases can do more than public opinion suggests.

Traditional quality products

Geuren & Kleuren is the brainchild of Maarten Teunissen, director at Gildewerk BV. His business - supplying soap and candle making machines, ingredients and technology - has been active in the care industry for almost 30 years. In the Netherlands alone, around 1000 institutions for the mentally handicapped work with Gildewerk products. However, often not enough of the candles and soap that they produce finds its way to the normal consumer. The products are usually sold on a limited scale via the institutions themselves. "So much ended up being shelved, while it's actually about traditional quality products," says Maarten Teunissen. "I thought to myself that there must be another way."

Crafted with Care hallmark

Geuren & Kleuren is an upmarket gift shop and is therefore not just about a good cause. Teunissen adds "It is essential for this concept that products that people really snap up are produced." Our colleagues at Geuren & Kleuren are trained in the making of luxury candles, soap and bath products (featuring the 'Crafted with Care' hallmark), but they also learn how they can create interest in their products by anticipating current trends. Besides this, they are also taught other skills necessary for working in a store environment, like providing product information, packing gifts and operating the cash register.
For more information: www.crafted-with-care.com

The Hartekamp Group

For Geuren & Kleuren, Gildewerk entered into close co-operation with the Hartekamp Group. All seven of the store's employees are from this care institution, which continues to support them while they learn. "In these times, people who are slightly mentally challenged consciously choose work within society," says Care manager Irene Wolterbeek. "They also have the right to a challenging place of work." Through its setup, Geuren & Kleuren creates a made-to-measure learning environment. "We prefer to provide support while keeping our hands behind our backs, but if necessary, we simply help pack gifts," continues Wolterbeek. "Using this formula, I think that we can create opportunities for more disabled people to progress to holding down regular jobs."

Animal- and environmentally friendly

The group of companies that have other than purely commercial motives is increasing in the Netherlands and internationally. Besides the people, animals and the environment are the focus of this particular store. The ingredients used are plant-based and are 100% animal friendly. Our products also display the logo of the national Vereniging Proefdiervrij.

In the production of candles, Western European paraffin is used. This ingredient is much purer than the less expensive Chinese or Eastern European paraffin that other producers use. Because of this, Geuren & Kleuren's candles often burn for longer. Shea butter, known to be good for the skin, is added to the soap- and bath products. Shea butter originates from the Sahel, and by using it, you financially support the population of this desperately poor region on the southern border of the Sahara Desert. "All the ingredients that we use can be traced from their source to the consumer," says Maarten Teunissen proudly.

Where can you find us?

As we've mentioned, people are most important at Geuren & Leuren. That's why we are curious about your opinion. Please let us know what you experienced so that we can further improve our store concept!

Geuren & Kleuren
Kleine Houtstraat 4-6
2011 DM Haarlem
Tel.: 023-5313278
E-mail: info@geuren-en-kleuren.nl


Copyright Gildewerk © 2010