Around 1888, one of my ancestors started a gold and silversmith company in the “Silver City” Schoonhoven, the Netherlands. Since the inception, the craft of jewelry has played a central role in our family. In the year 2000, my older brother transfered the company leadership to me. At that stage, we did not have our own collection but focused on the import and distribution of luxurious but unbranded jewelry in the Netherlands.
In these years, the market faced an abundant supply of jewelry. Traditionally from Germany and Italy but increasingly from Asia. Despite the wide offering, I felt that something was missing. Furthermore, most producers were not responsive to the special requests of their customers. Consequently, I was not completely satisfied with our value added as a wholesaler.
After extensive deliberations with our team, we bit the bullet and decided to go new. We developed a bold plan to design our own collection and produce in the Netherlands. This would allow us to turn our ideas about design and quality into reality. In addition, the short production cycle enabled us to respond to the needs and desires of our customers. Finally, we liked the notion of preserving at least some authentic craftsmanship in the Netherlands.
From 2001 onwards, our business model has gradually evolved. Today, we design and produce more than 90% of the Bron collection in-house. In addition, we leverage the special skills and products of a German supplier and two high-caliber Italian workshops.
Since 2012, Bron has a new owner and co-pilot next to Heleen. Following a career at McKinsey and Nike, Hans van Willige joined team Bron. His experience in marketing and international business is a perfect addition to our strong base. Building on our mutual backgrounds and strengths, we are well positioned to shape the future of the Bron brand and business.
All Bron products are made of gold and we only use natural gemstones, pearls, and diamonds. Gold is appropriately called a precious metal. It has a high specific gravity and feels ‘heavy’ in the hand, while also being soft and warm. Similar to the other ingredients that we use in our jewelry, gold is highly valuable and in many ways ‘forever’.
Quite often, our products are inspired by classic designs and we make them ready for the 21st century. We define a model as successful as we achieve a balance of classic, feminine, and contemporary. Not too serious, just effortlessly chique.
Colored gemstones are at the heart of our collection. Our two gemstone experts, Paul van Muijden and Ellen van Beek, travel internationally to track down new ‘candy’. This is inspirational as well as challenging since each stone needs to be assessed in terms of color, shape, and quality. Repeatedly, Paul and Ellen stumble upon something unique and beautiful. These ‘specials’ trigger the design and production of limited editions. Upon the team’s return in Schoonhoven, it’s always exciting to see the fruits of their buying efforts.
As a family business we cherish long-term relationships. Obviously, we are deeply connected with our Bron customers and their jewellers, but we also regard our suppliers and employees as family. From the very start, we have put our customer needs and interests ahead of anything else. Our heart jumps every time we spot a woman wearing a Bron product.
In addition, we are proud of our loyal colleagues and suppliers who all have cratfmanship and service in their DNA. Finally, we nurture the collaboration with our jewellers. They provide our Bron customers with professional advice and high-caliber service. Essentially, they represent and deliver the Bron brand in the market.
In a nutshell, our mission is to build a special brand with a bunch of like-minded spirits. We believe in quality and old fashioned service and are convinced that many people in the Netherlands as well as abroad recognise and appreciate this.
Heleen Bron & Hans van Willige