The largest wooden shoe factory in the world is located in the east of the Netherlands, on the Grolseweg in the village of Beltrum. It is there that some forty years ago Paul Nijhuis took over his father’s business. Wooden shoes have been a part of the Nijhuis family heritage since 1938. All their products are created in-house – from traditional wooden shoes, known in Dutch as ‘klompen’, to the miniature versions that have gained popularity around the world as souvenirs. Catch the thread of this family’s story and you’ll soon agree that the Nijhuis folk may well have wood running through their veins. Every day the Nijhuis team members pour all their love, passion and professionalism into being the very best in the world of wooden shoes and souvenirs. In our modern-day world, that can be quite a challenge.
National cultural heritage
In olden days, wooden shoes were the footwear of choice in the Netherlands. And much like Holland’s tulips and windmills, wooden shoes for a long time have been an icon recognised and embraced every year by millions of foreign tourists. Nijhuis is the leading provider of this simple, yet remarkable symbol of Dutch history and tradition.
Development & innovation
Use of this once popular footwear is waning in Holland. But rather than giving up on ‘klompen’, Nijhuis has taken the decline as an incentive for innovation. Steady development, renewal and alertness have kept the firm alive and – if you’ll excuse the phrase – kicking. Almost as old as the trees they are made from, wooden shoes today are produced with ultramodern techniques. Nijhuis builds its own production machines and does all the maintenance. Right at home in Beltrum, every new product is conceived, manufactured, tested and shipped off to any of a wide range of customers – from Dutch farmers and garden centres to souvenir shops and countless foreign buyers. Nijhuis sells both its own brand products and white label products for other players to market. Also, numerous leading Dutch brands collaborate with Nijhuis in creating promotional gifts. Feel free to ask for examples and possibilities!
The Netherlands’ large tourist attractions offer Nijhuis major sales opportunities. This year, for instance, Keukenhof, the famous Dutch floricultural park, will feature an impressive range of quality wooden tulips, the latest pride and joy of Nijhuis. Offering tulips in rich colour ranges and characterised by high-quality wood, paint and finishing, Nijhuis has thus joined the ranks of Holland’s tulip suppliers – with the promise of fresh products all year round.
Healthy and sustainable
Paul Nijhuis has made wooden shoes his life’s calling. As the company’s catalyst, he has formed a team of motivated staff members. Their drive to keep the firm in position as global market leader – along with its heritage, the wooden shoe – is impressive. The Nijhuis team works fulltime at manufacturing wearable wooden shoes and a range of related products for the souvenir industry. Reliable deliveries, quality and fair pricing are among their core values. In addition to its plant in Beltrum, Nijhuis has its own manufacturing facility in China. This combination is remarkable. All new products are developed in Holland. Many metres are manufactured here, tested, improved, embellished and improved again – until a perfect product emerges. Only when every detail has been taken care of and satisfactorily tested, are these Dutch-made wooden products sent to the team in China for finishing. At the Chinese facility, a second, specially trained team is assisted in ensuring the quality standards that have given the family business its good name. The Dutch and Chinese teams consult with each other on a daily basis. Lines are short and the teams interact with commitment and enthusiasm. Products completed in China are shipped to Beltrum, from where they are distributed to customers around the globe.
We’ve enjoyed sharing the Nijhuis story with you. Naturally, you are also welcome to visit our factory, warehouse and showroom in Beltrum, the Netherlands.