Beauty of the Finest and the best of the best that was the motto and slogan of my grandfather. !
The funniest thing was that even though my grandfather became a successful businessman and ultimately a millionaire, he only saw himself as a millionaire when his children and grandchildren were eating around his big table, he said with a very satisfied face and a table full of the finest food '' we look like millionaires ''.
I tell you , we find everything beautiful, from nature and food to clothing and make-up.
But that love for beautiful things comes from a special place, namely my grandparents, they did not have a very easy time in the war, like many, and could not afford anything after all the bad events.
My grandfather was allready a businessman in heart and soul and a very righteous man.
He did not often tell my sisters and me about the war but luckely he told something about that time,.
He told my sisters en me that he met my grandmother at a bakery and when he saw her, he knew ''she going to be my wife, he liked her and came to the bakery every day, to get a glimp of her'' so told my grandmother'''. .and every day he brought her flowers, which he has maintained throughout his life.
O he was so in love with her, his Jopie (Johanna), only for her he sang his love song como prima.
He also said that in the war he pushed the bread car so that people who were terribly hungry could eat something again, he even let his dog steal sausage at the butcher.
Also at the evening clock my grandfather had a grind, at that time my grandfather thought it is necessary (since my grandmother was cold) to kick in the doors of Germans who were not at home so that he could use the doors as firewood for grandma's stove.
I loved it so much as a child when he told me these things and I wanted to hear it again, and again.
Our great-grandfather was a diamond cutter and also a ragged trader and had knowledge of furs.
He went with his bike past the farmers in the Netherlands for animal skins.
While my great-grand father did that on his bike, Grandpa ran after it so that he had done his boxing training .
My grandfather grew up in the Jordaan a famous neighbourhood in Amsterdam, when he went to the farmers with his father, my great-grand father gave him a whole bunch of cowtails , which my great-grand father did not see trading in.
Cow tails were still polluted from feces and my grandfather got a brilliant idea.
Although it was freezing cold and winter, he went to wash the cows' tails at the chicken bridge a canal at the Jordaan , when they were clean he made brittle's of it and what do you think? They eventually ran like hot cakes over the counter.
At that time he earned about a rijksdaalder per week (2 guilders 50) where he then lived with his wife (my grandmother) and then 3 children from.
At one point he heard that there was a Jewish businessman (called Abrams) at a well-known café in the Jordaan Kootje Meijer, and although he actually had to use the 2.50 to buy food for his family, he saw an opportunity to tell Abrams a new idea, but to be able to do that, he had to choose between that 2.50 for his family or Mr. Abrams to treat him to a beer and because it was a man who dared to take a risk, he opted for it last and went to the pub.
There he indeed met Mr. Abrams and treated him to a beer. Finally he asked him if he could tell his idea to him.
Mr. Abrams sold women's coats of fabric.
My grandfather then said '' Mr. Abrams I have a lot of fur, it seems to me a good idea to provide your fabric coats with fur collars ''.
In the first instance, Mr. Abrams did not see this plan, but after 6 beers where my grandfather treated him with his last money, he turned out to find an excellent plan haha.
So my grandfather put fur collars on his fabric coats and that ran again like hot cakes over the counter, (so if you wear a coat with a fur collar, then know that's the original idea of my grandfather Evert Jan Hofstede .
He started earning enough money to buy Abrams' fabric coats himself, so that in the end my grandfather kept his own product, Abrams was earning from the sale of the fabric coats.
Meanwhile, my grandmother was pregnant of baby number 4 (my uncle) and they had to move from the Jordaan, they ended up in a house in the Pieter van der Does street in Amsterdam West.
When my grandfather was still living in the Jordaan, he sold the jackets with fur collar, by going to the pub entrance but it went so hard with those coats that my grandfather told my grandmother '' Joop slide the couch aside, we hang the coats here in our living room and we're going to sell them from home '', granny was (business wise) always agree with grandpa.,
That also led to a success, such a success that my grandfather was one of the few who bought a car in Amsterdam, to my knowledge was that a DKW and the driver's seat was then a stool ,told my grandmother, so he also bought a television of his earned pennies that hardly had anyone back then.
The whole neighborhood obviously also watched television with uncle Evert.
The result of the good sales was that the living room shop became too small and the children were getting bigger, the small wallet that was exchanged for a larger one.
The first shop of his beginning empire became a fact, in all he had 44 fur and ladies confection businesses, of which 33 at the same time throughout the Netherlands and Belgium.
My grandfather was really an ambitious trader in heart and soul and my sister and I recognize very much in ourselves.
His slogan: The most beautiful of the finestl.
And this I would like to continue in my way for them Beauty of lifestyle the most beautiful of the finest !!