The team
‘The dried flower industry is truly something that rewards working together’

The people behind DMIDF: (from left to right)

Jan Willem van Delft, the dried flower expert

“With almost thirty years of experience with dried flowers, I am a dried flower connoisseur. I am fully responsible for the purchase of dried flowers: from sowing to harvesting and from drying to packaging. To be the best, I often come into contact with growers. The knowledge of dried flowers among growers has ebbed, and I am working hard on changing that, because growing and cutting dried flowers is a different art form when compared to flowers for the fresh auction.

Together, we make a cultivation plan, and I supervise the grower. All this is great fun–it’s a kind of déjà vu. I started my career in dried flowers, and maybe I’ll end there as well!”

Teun Nijgh, dried flower seller in Aalsmeer

“I keep stock of and sell all of our dried flowers. Together with Ronald, we decide which flowers to dye and come up with fresh ideas for new bouquets. I’d say we need to stay creative with dried flowers. The nice thing about this industry is that you have so many small customers, such as florists, small businesses, hobbyists and tastemakers, not to mention all the large retailers throughout Europe. Mixing it all together can be great fun!

As a result, we have direct lines of communication with our customers and we do our purchasing in consultation. When I know that a customer is looking for something specific, I tell the buyer: “Take a look at this Brazilian varietal…” As a team, we complement each other well!

Ronald Hartevelt, dried flower seller and marketing expert

“I am responsible for the commercial part of things, together with Teun. We develop bouquets depending on the season or the customer’s preferred colours. Making a good bouquet line in just the right price range is also one of my responsibilities. I also handle marketing (including taking and sharing photos) and communication with customers.

All trade comes from the root concept of developing new products out of existing ones; so, for me, composing a new bouquet or dyeing certain flowers is part of the fun.
I also love the çhallenge of product development and the search for ideal flowers based on available varietals: “Is this type of flower suitable for drying?” Then I take a bucketful of flowers and plumes which we then hang in the drying room. Sometimes something astonishing comes out, while other times we aren’t so lucky. But that’s what keeps our craft so exciting!”

Alain de Mooij, founder of DMIDF and seller

“The great thing about this market is that we perform a worldwide search–Brazil, Tunisia, Italy…you name it. In addition, the dried flower sector is really something we do together. In the Netherlands, we manage flower cultivation together with our growers. Ronald and Teun also develop the bouquets–again, together with the growers. That camaraderie makes our work feel ‘one-of-a-kind’ special.

My task is more managerial, in terms of handling appointments and organisational and logistical activities. Still, this is one of our biggest and most difficult challenges: the harvest has to be completed in one or two months, but with all the planning we must do, our work is year-round!”