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Mats Boots, Brilliant Dutch;

NL: Give the 'dull' tulip bulbs a boost

"The heart of the matter was the paint. It was really tricky to get it right, but now it is, and we can move on." The coloured tulip bulbs from Brilliant Dutch have, according to the brothers Boots, all the potential to become - maybe not a bulk product - but an exclusive product in the (gift) assortment.

Give a dull bulb a boost
Four years ago, Mats Boots had the idea to give the 'dull' tulip bulb a make-over. What if we could give them a colour and a colour that would match with the colour of the tulip itself? And what if we could give the bulb a fun, surprising turn? "Those ideas have resulted in two concepts: one for outdoors and one for indoors. For the first one: we gave the bulbs a colour which (more or less) corresponded with the final flower colour. In the second case - that is even nicer – the customer gets a prefabricated box in, for example, the shape of a hearth or a flag, with in it the tulip bulbs on a bed of nails. One must fill the box from time to time with water and in 4 weeks time you will see the bulbs growing into a (red) heart or a (Dutch, German, Belgian etc.) flag. He/she can than enjoy the flowers for 2 weeks.”

The paint
The paint is the crux. “The paint must be permeable to oxygen, waterproof, and durable and no concessions can be made on any of those three factors. That is the main reason that it took us 4 years to get it right. We have talked to potential developers and manufacturers across the world and finally allocated a firm in our own country, the Netherlands, which could produce it to our satisfaction.”

No fear for falsification
This route took time, but also financial means, which have to repay themselves in the future. Mats does not lack confidence. “We are not afraid for falsification. The paint, we ourselves know it all too well, is not easy to copy and moreover we patented the whole concept. You also need to have thorough knowledge of the product: if you want to get the flag right, all the stems need to have the same length, the flowers need to bloom at the same time and so are there enough other criteria, which you can’t fill in on luck alone. Besides that, the responses are good from the consumer - through a few sales channels the concept already are for sale in a modest numbers- laudatory.”

Moreover, Mats has multiple contacts, this week he had for example a meeting with a large retailer. “A large retailer, would be great of course. But when they want bulbs, they will not say: give us say 2000. They will say give us 200.000. Then we have to deliver and that is not possible this year. For now, the painting is very laborious: the bulbs must be painted by hand with the principle of a frying pan (the bulbs are one by one emerged in a pan with paint) and then left to dry (also not so simple, because they must be laid apart to prevent that they are glued together). Therefore, hard work is done on a sprayer, which will automate the whole process. A promo machine is already running, but very slowly. The coverage ratio is not yet optimal and also the nozzles get clogged, but also the paint need some adjustment. But,” says Mats,”when everything is on track in the season of 17-18 the operation will- so we hope- really start running”.

For more information:
Brilliant Dutch
Mats Boots
M: 06-52732831
E: [email protected]

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