A former bed and mattress shop converted for two entrepreneurs who decided to launch a concept shop for startup fashion brands. In talks with Arjen Roos
Hutspot opened its doors in December 2012 at Van Woustraat, Amsterdam. According to Creative Director, Arjen Roos, «One night, in the process, before opening the pop-up, two friends got stoned from smoking weed. They came up with the name ‘Hutspot’, which is the name of a Dutch dish and can be translated into ‘mish-mash’». Roos highlights «When the store was set up, those who made their own products were welcome to sell them at Hutspot, and spread the word through family and friends about the launch of the store. Due to the economic recession at the time, the community was looking to back local entrepreneurs». The store’s location was a former bed and mattress shop. With a budget of €1000, they decorated it with items from thrift stores and climbing racks turned into clothing racks. The space was complete with a lunchroom, barber, and gallery space. Hutspot was picked up by brands, magazines and retailers as time passed on. It has been listed as the top five concept stores in the world by Vogue Paris and the New York Times. Arjen states that «The focus is on retail. We want to give a platform to start-up’s by focusing on brands that offer everyday products and have sustainability at its core».
Today, Hutspot has eight stores in the Netherlands, three in Amsterdam and five in Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Breda. Hutspot aims to select open spaces from 450 to 900-meter square. As for the space in each store, Arjen says «The interior system we designed is modular, it is implemented in every store. Each store has a collaboration with an artist, varying from mural paintings to 3-dimensional foam objects. The objective is to provide a space, that does not distract from the products being offered: clothing, interior, art, books, plants, bicycles, sex toys, travel and gifts. Floors, walls and ceilings are the same color. The furniture consists of a metal shelving system and colorful blocks creating shelves and clothing racks that form rectangular ‘islands’. The clothing racks are the same height across the store». As online purchasing increases, physical stores lose momentum. «Making a connection between online and offline, we link Instagram takeovers where designers illustrate the making of their products». Arjen explains «When a family comes into our store, each will find a product to their liking. As for the clientele at Hutspot, it is millennials who are conscious about sustainability».
The selection process is based on the product’s quality, comfort and sustainability, «We offer daily products, it could be as simple as a toothbrush». They support women-owned and black-owned businesses and designers looking to break the taboo around gender or sexuality. «We collaborated with Cycle Care, a brand that offers goods servicing the female body, for instance, menstruation cups and sex toys». When the pandemic started, Hutspot focused on products for home entertainment, DIY kits, and ‘staycation’ themed products. They sold designer tents and camping material one could use around the house. When asked about the rewarding and challenging moments in running Hutspot, Arjen says «As a team consisting of millennials, we work intuitively». One of the branding events, Hutspot Sleepover, in collaboration with museums and botanical gardens in the Netherlands, allowed customers to win a night stay at pop-up hotels, where dinner, breakfast and private tours by night, through their respective partnerships, were organized. Looking forward, Hutspot aims to expand overseas facilitating designers through their platform.IMAGE GALLERY
Van Woustraat 4, 1073 LL