Entrepreneurial business and design couple, Evert and Veronique Veltink, found the inspiration in the open spaces and unspoiled beauty of Exmoor National Park gave them the incentive to relocate to Somerset.
Having moved to the Somerset/Devon border in 2000 on a mission for the Dutch Farmers Union to investigate emigration possibilities to the UK, the British farming industry was thrown into turmoil with outbreaks of foot and mouth and BSE. Presented with the dilemma of returning to Holland or finding an alternative income, the Veltinks had no choice. “It was a privilege to be able to live and work from home in such stunning surroundings, so we investigated other business possibilities.” In 2005 they moved to their current home in Exton, a parish with a population of just 230 made up of farms and hamlets.
Evert’s first West Country business was NapTidi®, a cutlery packaging and presentation business for commercial ventures. Evert has found Somerset’s new business services to be excellent. “Somerset Business Link has been particularly helpful as we develop the product into other bespoke packaging areas. Although production is currently carried out in Poland, with the help of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and the strengthening Euro, we are exploring the possibility of bringing the manufacturing closer to home.”
In 2006, Evert decided to diversify, bringing an effective, top-of-the-range rust treatment and prevention product over from Holland. Caprotech is being marketed online and sales are steady and growing.
“We have been impressed with the speed and efficiency of the broadband in the area. I also found the airport links to be fantastic, which is essential for a business that has close ties with Europe.”
Veronique discovered that being in such close proximity to good universities broadened the horizons for her career in interior design. “I decided to take a course in spatial design at the City of Bristol College which would update my skills, particularly with regard to new computer programs.”
With the inspiration of the moors around her, she started DesignStudio and has since caught the attention of the design world.
As well as being the subject of a feature in the national magazine 25 Beautiful Homes, DesignStudioV, in conjunction with Roderick James architectural practice, was nominated for an award on the new approach to buildings in the countryside.
Evert and Veronique are both stimulated by the endless possibilities of life in the countryside. Evert says, "I grew up in rural East Netherlands and am fully aware of the benefits of living as part of a rural community in an area that stimulates creativity. Living and working on Exmoor is an unforgettable experience.”
For all details about what West Somerset has to offer please contact Gordon Dwyer on GDwyer@westsomerset.gov.uk - tel: 01984 635219 (please mention Into Somerset when making contact)