Timeline of our family business
Grandpa Cornelis Zuiddam had a sailing clipper of about 20 meters long, he seems to have been a bold and not afraid sailor. Coincidentally, his ship was made on the shipyard of the boat from Delft, family of Trudie Zuiddam Bood, wife of the second generation Evert Zuiddam. Grandfather Cornelis sailed everywhere and again, as long as he could get cargo to pay for his ship. Dirk, originally from South Holland, also sailed as far as Maastricht. The story goes that he met his later wife Evertje van de Broek there. Evertje sailed on 1 of the 2 inland vessels of her father, who also had a grocery store in Putten. Because Putten had no port and Nijkerk did, ships that wanted to load, unload or were simply imposed were forced to the port of Nijkerk (or Harderwijk).
As a result, “Uncle Wout” chose to go ashore in Nijkerk and look for another livelihood there for the war years.
December 1, 1941 the Fa. Zuiddam brothers established. Consisting of the brothers Wouter and Hendrik (Henk) Zuiddam. Henk was the father of Evert and Bart, and grandfather of Sebastiaan and Barry. It is war. The brothers come from a skipper family with 5 sons and 3 daughters. Hendrik sails as a skipper on a cargo ship of the Fa. Bakker from Amersfoort. He is experiencing the attack on Rotterdam while sailing. “As children we thought it was cool that father had a hole above his lip, he suffered this through a shrapnel that caused a rain of glass,” said Evert. It was enough for a while, also because the transport was almost stopped in this way. Jannus v / d Wal from Nijkerkerveen who told Henk as a skipper’s assistant that a brush contract was for sale in Nijkerk. Henk went there with his older brother Wout, who had a poultering company in Nijkerk and lived with his family in Nijkerk. The contract was canceled because Jannus had bought it herself afterwards. Of course he also wanted to get off the water. Nijkerk was now on the Veluwe, due to its favorable location with regard to raw materials, beech wood and heather for heather brooms at that time, rich in brush makers. Therefore, another contract was quickly found. Wout Zuiddam’s motivation to stop the poultering trade was motivated by the deep hatred of the occupying forces. He did not want to feed the occupier, even though it was lucrative.
The war years
In the war years the brush factory provided a hiding place for many people in hiding. At the peak there were around 30 at work. Some of them disappeared in the evening, or stayed overnight in the factory. It is known by tradition how this was done: Right next to the factory was the Wehrmacht, where many activities took place during the day. At the canal (the Westkadijk) there were always 2 or 3 men fishing during the day, when there was a danger of danger, one fisherman would slowly walk back to the factory, whistling a certain song. Before it arrived, all people in hiding had already disappeared to permanent hiding places or fled into the polder.
Among the people in hiding there was a certain Piet Ossewaarde. Piet worked at a Nijkerk company where he had to leave because they were looking for him. Piet was someone from a well-to-do family from the Gooi region, but a bit rebellious. The family admitted him on the condition that he would not actively participate in the resistance, because it would not be unsafe for the other people in hiding. This Piet Ossewaarde remained with the Zuiddam brothers until his death.
The Zuiddam family also suffered losses as a result of the war of 1940 – 1945. The Grandfather’s ship was bombed in the early years of the war, killing him. The youngest daughter was seriously injured but survived her injuries thanks to various operations. The oldest son of the family, Dirk Zuiddam, was arrested with the Putten roundabout transported to Germany and died there in Ravensbruck in a concentration camp. The whole family had to go into hiding themselves in the aftermath of the war. They had heard that there had probably been talk. A traitor, someone who wanted to save his own skin.
The van de Boom family on the Zeedijk offered shelter for all family members.
Evert; “Years later I met Henk v / d Boom on the water, who sailed around in his self-made soap box while I was there with my” luxury “sailing boat. I offered him (without knowing him or the story) to sail in my boat. Henk later made the switch to the sailing club and we became friends. With his parents, having coffee with an incredibly thick skin, for the first time I really heard more about the hiding period of my parents and the family ”.
Production in the first decade
Products that are made include pile drivers and broom brooms. In, these are made by hand. You can see how that works in the video above. In those days there are day laborers who “harvest” after the heyday of the heath. On high carts it goes towards the customers. The still young company turns it into brushes.
At the end of this decade the 1st machines start to come into the company. There is still little and what has to be paid dearly after the war years. There is demand for everything. At the end of this decade the 3rd brother joins the Cor company. For me Uncle Cor. During this period, the company cancels twice. The 1st time uninsured, the 2nd time insured.
A new direction
The brothers do both domestic and technical brushing. With the housework they get into the water of Jannes v / Wal (the old servant of Hendrik Zuiddam) who set up the brush factory v / d WAl’s BRrstelfabriek in Nijkerkerveen. This later becomes the Brush Factory WABO. He invents a washing-up brush that he will call Lola washing-up brush. Because each other is in the water, the brothers decide to concentrate more on technical brushing. If you Google, you will come across the name Lola.
Products made by Gezu during this time:
- Household: Veluwe clothespins, boenders, brooms and dusters
- Technical: Polishing discs, fiber brushes, for surface machining of metals.
The products are made on brushing machines, there is a complete sawmill and a paint shop, where the wooden parts are supplied with paint and varnish.
A period of prosperity has begun
Post-war years the business bloomed. There is a demand for everything and the mechanization is well underway. The Zuiddam brothers will be converted into a share structure and will in the future be called N.V. Polijstschijven- en Borstelfabriek GEZU v/d Fa. Gebr. Zuiddam.
- hand upholsterers, vacuum cleaner brushes made of wood and the end of this decade strip brush.
- polishing discs, fiber brushes, abrasives and abrasives.
- shaver brushes for Philips.
The number of employees rises to 60. 2 supervisory directors are appointed to manage the expanding company. These commissioners, I can remember, were received with all respect.
Mr. W. Van Veelen, director of the Rotterdamsche Bank, later ABNAmro and Mr. G. Van Schuppen, chartered accountant in Amersfoort.
The Zuiddam brothers are hard workers, but must have Pieter Ossewaarde’s office because they themselves had 3 and 4 years of primary school respectively. in the meantime the 2nd generation is joining, first Cor Zuiddam WZn and later Jan W. Zuiddam WZn. Meanwhile, 5 family members work in the company.
Cor Zuiddam (the brother of H and W.) is responsible for sales. Get into the car on Monday at home in the evening to drop by the shop in the morning to hand in the orders. And that until Friday. In that period, work is also still done on Saturdays. Important customers are Philips, Holland Electro, United FAM factories, Servicom in The Hague, Electrolux in Zeeland. “Uncle Cor” does a good job. Professor Horowitz invented the shaver for Philips with rotating blades and Gezu can supply the brushes. There is another Dutch company that also does this and also in France there are 2. It sometimes involves large amounts. At the office there are 2 people operational and there is 1 telephone. The telephone number at that time is 210.
Establishment of KHZ Kunststoffenindustrie v.o.f.
As a result of the price pressure at Philips in Drachten, the costs must be reduced. The supplier of plastic products does not want to come along. He says to Henk Zuiddam; “If you can do it better yourself, then you have to do it yourself”. That idea finds its place and Henk Zuiddam starts with plastic machines at home. The children can therefore help to keep the machine running day and night. It is the start of a learning process in which Bart already gains practical experience during his studies. Later we also make our own internal letterbox draft flaps (with brush strip), toothbrushes and also vacuum cleaner parts.
Construction & relocation
Construction of office, relocation from Westkadijk 20 to Ambachtsstraat 11 i.v.m. construction bypass.
When, in the ’80s, I decided to build a new warehouse, the old sawmill, paint shop and garages had to be demolished. During the demolition, a grabber was about to pick up a number of old crates and then “crash into a waiting car.” My father Henk was there looking more or less by chance (in retrospect, I think it was not at all accidental). The crates contained ammunition and hand grenades! My father laughed it a bit.
Start production draft protection
- Vacuum cleaner brushes die cut and – strip brushes. Wiper brushes
- Weatherstrips, letterbox flaps, seals
- Polishing discs, fiber brushes, abrasives and abrasives.
- Brushes for sweepers
Purchase: Weber – Kalube, producer of sweepers.
Take-over: Chemprox factory polishing discs
Brand Z-products Doorline
- Vacuum cleaner brushes die cut and – strip brushes. Wiper brushes
- Weatherstrips, letterbox flaps, seals
- Polishing discs, fiber brushes, abrasives and abrasives
Sales: machines for sweeping machines to Danline – Boston / USA.
Sales: machines for polishing agents department at Bos – Hilversum.
Creation: brand Z- Products Doorline
GEZU MOB = Materials for Surface Processing
Importer Klingspor abrasives for trade.
Start sourcing in China
We start sourcing products in China for our customers. At a given moment we run our own purchasing office there.
Acquisition ABC (Accrington Brush company)
The takeover of an English colleague ensures an increase in turnover. The machines are brought to Nijkerk from where the customers of ABC are served.
Launch of RiZZ mat and international breakthrough
In 2004, the business landscape in which the family’s brush factory operated quickly changed. It was time for the Zuiddam family to reinvent themselves. Loved for their high-quality household brush products, produced for the local market, it was decided to focus on their strengths; make customers happy with simple, effective and well-designed consumer products.
Owners of the second generation Trudie and Evert Zuiddam had been the driving force behind the development of household products. They insisted on creating beautiful designs for all products, “because there is no joy in making ugly things.”
During this period the idea came up “to make the best doormat in the world”. The factory produced superior quality brushes that could be used for a brush mat with qualities like no other product, while the emerging market for exclusive garden furniture created a customer base for such a high-quality product. In September 2007, at the Maison et Objet design fair in Paris, the RiZZ experienced its international breakthrough. Since this overwhelming success, thousands of satisfied users have been serving the world.
While the family business flourished with the RiZZ doormat, Trudie Zuiddam struggled with health problems. She eventually died in 2009 and left her family with beautiful memories of a good life and a proven effective and highly original product development philosophy. Evert and son Sebastiaan have dedicated themselves to the expansion of the range and the development of RiZZ into an established brand.
Name change Gezu to RiZZ
On October 28, 2013, the names of our companies changed Gezu B.V. and KHZ Kunststoffen e.g.
in RiZZ B.V. and RiZZ Plastics B.V. The activities of both companies are merged under the brand name RiZZ.
Over the past 72 years, the various Zuiddam family members have each contributed in their own way to the creation of the company as you know it today. The development and production of brush applications and plastic products are still central, but we are now more than ever a market-oriented company. With our strengthened identity, we make it clear that we are committed to sustainability, smart solutions and high quality and service for our customers.
Our new identity brings you a greater degree of transparency and more insight into our other activities. All disciplines are under one roof, which means that we may be able to do much more for you in the future.
RiZZ B.V. (formerly Gezu B.V.) focuses on the following activities:
1. RiZZ | Brush & sealing
- Customer-specific and standard brush solutions
- Seals for door and window factories and facade specialists
- door-line, (decorative) draft protection for consumers
2. RiZZ | The entrance collection
A sustainable collection of products for the design of the entrance in a formal language.
RiZZ Plastics B.V. (KHZ Kunststoffen, for example) is the right place for you to realize and produce your plastic injection molded product as efficiently as possible. A wide range of competences is available for this, including:
- Plastic injection molding
- Product development
- Rapid prototyping3D Printing
There is a lot of experience in the use of (sustainable) materials with very many different applications.
The RiZZ name not only represents who we are and what we do, but also reflects our promise for further innovation. From RiZZ | the entrance collection to the in-house developed windmill, but also the continuous pursuit of better solutions for our customer-specific customers.
In addition, in the new situation we make even better use of the skills in the field of technology, logistics and marketing that are present in the family.
Evert says: “There is a wide choice if you want to design your kitchen or bathroom in one style. But this does not apply to the entrance, both inside and outside, where it is impossible to capture the various functionalities in one style. ” As a logical extension on the doormat, they decided to make this their goal.
So the search began for a designer who would not only understand philosophy, but would actually embrace it and devote himself to the task they had taken on. Finally, in April 2011, during Il Salone di Mobile in Millaan, they found the right person in the young Dutch designer Teun Fleskens.
Teun graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven. “The most important thing in my designs is that they are not only functional, but above all meaningful”. His ideas regarding sustainability and conceptual design were welcomed by Evert and Sebastiaan, and the assignment inspired Teun. He soon became part of the RiZZ family.
April 2013 RiZZ | The entrance collection was ready to be presented to the world. The perfect stage for the presentation was found at Ventura Lambrate in Milan, the Dutch design hotspot during Il Salone di Mobile. Sebastiaan: “Our area of expertise is the entrance, the central place that accommodates many daily activities and where first impressions are gained. A design philosophy was developed that improves the various functions of the entrance, both inside and outside, while always maintaining the sleek and timeless design language. ”
A sustainability vision was also developed. Evert Zuiddam: “We believe in timeless pieces that you want to keep with you, regardless of how often you redecorate or move your house. That is why we make products that stand the test of time and even fit in different styles and in different places. Surrendering to luxury with a clear conscience; that is possible with RiZZ. Each product is designed to minimize the environmental footprint.
The traditional production company of yesteryear has grown in recent decades into a very market-oriented company. Lessons learned from consumer marketing are applied to customer-specific industrial customers and vice versa. This way RiZZ is able to sell its high-quality production capacity from Dutch soil well. (online) marketing via websites and other channels is now part of almost every customer process. With the establishment of its own online marketing department, the next step is taken to be able to communicate directly with the customer and thus improve the service.