Our company started in 1993.
The founder, a student of Veterinary Medicine, Ron Stolk, met (by chance), Astrid Halsema, the daughter of the anatomical draftsman Henk Halsema.
Ron was immediately very impressed with the drawing qualities of Astrid and bought 4 designs from her hand ....
A remark from a staff member of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine put Ron in the idea of putting the drawings on mugs and t-shirts and although it seems very simple afterwards, this was preceded by quite a bit, but in the end ......
After a very successful sale of the T-shirts at the Koninginnemarkt in Utrecht, the eyes were only really opened and after consultation between Astrid Halsema and Ron Stolk it was decided to make a try.The name Animal Prints was "actually" coined by an employee of the Kabelkrant from Utrecht. He saw the t-shirts and drawings and said casually: "oh what a nice animal print".
In short, the name was a fact. Then quickly to the Chamber of Commerce and what could still go wrong ....
What started as a joke from a student room in Utrecht quickly took more serious forms and the first building on Thomas a Kempisweg in Utrecht was a fact.
At that moment Ron Stolk's father stopped his "real" work and came to support the two young entrepreneurs. It started with 1-2 days a week, but he was also present 5 days a week in no time.
A first representative joined Animal Prints and the products of Animal Prints spread like an oil slick through the pet shops and garden centers of the Netherlands and later also other countries of Europe. Certainly with the development of the hugely popular mug series, there was no stopping it.
Animal Prints moved to Maassluis in 1996, Astrid decided to work from home and the collection grew through and through.
Of course Animal Prints also had to deal with the enormous changes as a result of the internet, the crisis in the retail trade and the rapidly changing market.More and more often, commissioned work has been carried out in recent years and the expansion of the collection has been temporarily stopped.
In the meantime, Ron Stolk had started his own animal clinic in Maassluis, and his hands were more than full of it
In 2019, due to the increasing demand for products, it was decided to "upgrade" the webshop and collection. That was not that simple yet, the possibilities are enormous and the questions very diverse.
Still we think that a good start has been made again, many new products are in the pipeline and it is now finally possible for the consumer to have a drawing made to measure by Astrid Halsema himself.
To be continued..........