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In this edition of JFK Magazine, two inspirational heroes are featured in the Prepare for Glory column. Taco and Ties Carlier are brothers and the faces behind the brand VAN MOOF.
Their bicycles are known as real city bikes, especially in Amsterdam. On an international level the brand has expanded rapidly in recent years. Nowadays, the brand is being sold in 39 countries worldwide. The aim of the brand is to design an entirely maintenance-free bicycle that can be used anywhere in the world.
We chose VAN MOOF because they have an interesting business plan: build up a brand without external investors. Their entrepreneurial spirit is exemplified by their motivation to focus on development, and to provide solutions for common bicycle issues, including maintenance and theft.
A few years ago, the brothers discovered a gap in the bicycle market. There was, and still is, a high demand for functional city bikes. Normal bikes are not city proof, because components can break down in no time, and bicycle theft is all too common. VAN MOOF was founded on those principles. But every culture is different, so a different approach is needed in every country.
For example, in the Netherlands people are usually able to fix a flat tire by themselves, but in New York it’s a completely different story. VAN MOOF aims to take into account all of these principles in order to design maintenance-free bicycles.
“We have always had the ambition to bring change and that‘s only possible if we dream big, grow and expand worldwide. We haven’t reached our goal yet, but we are on a mission to get more people on our bikes.”
The brothers grew up as ‘hippie kids’, spent a lot of time with their parents and traveled a lot. At a later stage, when their parents started up their own business, they met the entrepreneurial world. In their youth they learned to live with little money, to work hard and to never give up. This is what inspired the Carlier brothers to become serious business partners, driven to build up their own business. www.vanmoof.com.