It must have been my mother's first car in the early 60s. In that small, light blue simca 1000, as far as I can remember, there was always a horseshoe in the glovebox. Nobody ever asked why it was there because everyone knew that driving at that time was dangerous and that horseshoes brought good luck. And I'm sure it worked because my mother drove for 50 years without damage. And she rode like a guy.
When I obtained my driver's license many years later, she also gave me a horseshoe for the car. That horseshoe is now in the trunk of my 9th car and I am still driving without damage.
In recent years I have regularly given horseshoes to friends and family. In the beginning it was when a driver's license was obtained, but later also at a wedding, a baptism or an exciting exam.
Slowly I got so much demand for these lucky charms that I made it into a little shop in 1999.
That shop has grown fast and now we send lucky horseshoes around the world with a whole team.
The horseshoes have become more beautiful in those years, the packaging is better and the package that we sell has become more complete. But the most important thing is: those lucky horseshoes are really used and still bring good luck.
The demand for lucky horseshoes takes on such forms that it seemed easier to sell them via the internet. That was at a time when internet shops were still very unknown. The first shop therefore focused on the USA, where web shops were already well established.
We thought it would be nice to provide the horseshoes with a personal engraving. That was easily made up, but in practice it was more difficult than expected. The first engraving machine that we bought turned out not to be really suitable. The wrought iron is very hard and in the beginning we have lost a lot of engraving needles. In the meantime we have a whole series of engraving machines specially adapted for us.
The attacks in the USA even have a major impact for us. Most packages that we send to the USA are seized by customs. They don't trust anyone anymore. Time to look for a new market.
Because the sale to the USA has stopped, we have translated the webshop into Dutch. We are very curious whether the down-to-earth Dutch would like to give each other happiness. And that is indeed the case!
With the Dutch site we get a lot of newspapers and even come here and there on TV. The highlight of the publicity was the attention of 'Kopspijkers' for the website. Enormous what a response you get!
Times are changing, we are ready for a new design of the webshop. We immediately made everything in German. And that goes well!
We are making a cautious attempt to resume sales in the USA. They have gotten over the worst and the sales are starting again. We are allowed to hand over more lucky horseshoes to famous movie stars.
We have now also adapted the site for the USA for England. Englishmen love lucky horseshoes. Fortunately we are not bothered by the time difference here and the transport costs are not too bad.
The list of foreign dealers is becoming longer and longer. It demands a lot from our office occupation but it is very nice to hear their enthusiastic reactions.
Neiman Marcus is a very chic retail chain in the USA. At their request, we develop a special set of lucky horseshoes. We are even in the Christmas catalog with half a page.
The Ronald Reagan Museum has included the Giant USA in its collection. And we are very proud of that. (not because of Ronald, but because of the museum ;-)
We are invited to stand at the Gift Lounch of the Golden Globe elections. It is a wonderful parade of famous (and less famous) movie stars. And they all love the Lucky Horseshoes.
To our surprise, a Giant Horseshoe hangs prominently for an entire season in the office of the protagonist of the American television series Entourage.
Okay, we're going to do it: For years people asked if they could send in their own horseshoe to get a gilt.
We launch our first Facebook page.
Time for something new: we have redesigned the entire website. Much more modern and now also suitable for mobile use.
We post our first photos on Instagram.
We start selling our Wenshoefijzers . Completely developed in our own workshop.
We start selling our Wenshoefijzers. Completely developed in our own workshop.
Another new website, but now we approach the concept differently. Make your own lucky package, where you can choose your horseshoe, filling and engraving.