4 November 2020 | Interview
In Haarlemmermeer, he’s perhaps better known than the mayor: entrepreneur Paul van den Brink, owner and director of the interiors and furnishings company Master Totaalinrichting. His popularity may have something to do with the fact that his company contributes so much to the liveability of Hoofddorp and surroundings. ‘We’re really happy that we’re able to give something back.’
The brothers Paul, Erik and Jeroen van den Brink founded Master Totaalinrichting in 1998. They furnish homes as well as offices and shops, and any other places that need furniture and decoration. ‘Master Totaalinrichting has contributed to the liveability of the region by adding colour to offices and homes,’ says Paul van den Brink.
The brothers have strictly divided up their roles within the business: Paul is responsible for the company’s key accounts and international activities, Erik spends a lot of time in the showroom helping private customers, and Jeroen does planning and logistics. They started out with five employees – all of whom are still part of their workforce – but within a little over 20 years, Master has grown from a small local interior decorator into an international player with more than 50 employees. ‘Day in, day out, working evenings and weekends, these people do their absolute best to keep our customers happy,’ Paul says proudly. ‘But you have to have a balance between working hard and taking a breather, and so we regularly organise drinks and outings. For 2020, we’ve got a trip to Spain planned.’
The relocation of their office, at business park De President, was a strategic move: it’s central in Haarlemmermeer and easily accessible. They held the opening of their office in 2010, in the middle of the recession, welcoming more than 600 invited guests. A bold choice – just like the design and the location of the building.
Networking and connecting people
Paul is a real networker and loves bringing people together in all kinds of areas, though the English term ‘community’, sometimes used as a trendy Anglicism in Dutch, is not for him. He prefers to use the Dutch gemeenschap, saying it’s a much better fit for Haarlemmermeer. In Haarlemmermeer’s business gemeenschap, he feels right at home and has all its social and networking events marked in his calendar. He plays an active role in De President’s park management association and he is full of praise for the good relationships between the businesses, for the social contacts at the park and for the way in which standards are kept continuously high.
In addition to business networks, Master Totaalinrichting is involved in other initiatives in the region. Events such as Meerlive, Haarlemmermeer Culinair and Winterland as well as various special-needs organisations and sports clubs can always count on its support. Paul doesn’t like to advertise the company’s charitable efforts, but when we ask, he says, ‘It’s not always about writing a cheque – people are often happier about furniture donations or other kinds of support. We’re really happy that we can give something back to the community that has supported us so well. It’s a cliché but it’s true: you need to give as well as take.’