Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Kristien van Elteren. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Who are you? (introduce yourself)
I was born in the south of the Netherlands and have lived in different continents e.g the Caribbean and United states, where I started my first company international art trading. For years I have done many artshows: Art Expo New York, Las Vegas Art Expo and Art Zurich. Meanwhile, I have my Master degree in Economics and Business Innovation, partly in South-Africa.
One day one of my customers approached me and said: “I want to sell my marina”. She thought I was the right person to extend this beautiful place to a next level. As a young businesswoman, I seized this opportunity. I sold my art company and took over the marina, just outside Amsterdam. This was a whole new adventure and help me mature as an entrepreneur.
2. When and why did you join the AABC?
When I moved to Amsterdam from St. Maarten (Caribbean), I really felt like a world traveller / expat and wanted to explore the city and meet inspiring people. The ambitious culture of the American people gave me energy, so I was looking for an American club. Through the events I meet inspiring, goal-oriented and ambitious people while I discover Amsterdam in a playful way. This is what I found in the AABC. Furthermore, the club gives me also the opportunity to promote the Serviced Apartments which are located at the marina.
3. Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.
The marina is all about the experience at the Waterfront. Since I studied business innovation I have taken this into practice, changed the businessmodel into a modern private marina. Services such as boatrepair, transport, catering are available and offered in collobaration with third parties. Our concept is to create a combination of boating and art, with a yearly changing statue garden with life size sculptures.
In recent years we have had life-size art horses and birds and the coming summer season it is called: “Sitting at the Helm.” We also have a specific type of couch that is painted by various wellknown artists.
To innovate further, several apartments are developed and build with a focus on expats. The apartments are beautifully decorated with Art & Design objects which can be also bought. The apartments are step inn ready and have the necessary services and comfort for expats / business travellers from weekly cleaning, laundry service to a first class meal service. The building is still in progress so… to be continued.
An unique point is the location, that is 10 minutes from Amsterdam Rai, directly located at the exit Vinkeveen (highway A2) and next to the N201. The bus stop is infront of the street (less then 1 minute walking) and there are enough free parking spaces. It is only 20 minutes from Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol) and on arrival you instantly relax and enjoy the tranquillity of nature right at the Waterfront.
4. What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands, we believe that we must focus on values such as honesty, respect and personal responsibility. Do not try to force a decision, the idea of consensus is enormous in the Netherlands.
Get straight down to business, the Dutch prefer to get straight down to things.
My personal inspiration for growth is:
“If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough (Richard Branson). You must think big, if you want to grow’.
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