Niels VandecasteeleCo-Founder

Niels - Quote

Personal interview

What inspired you to start Merchandise Essentials?

It actually started from my own needs. I was a big fan of Avicii and I wanted to buy some of his merchandise. He was the n° 6 DJ of the world and he had huge hits, but no merch to be found. Not even a T-shirt. After doing some research I understood that artists in nightlife didn’t really thought about selling merchandise. So I contacted Steven and together we checked whether it was possible to offer merchandise to artists ourselves. And that’s how it all started.

What is the best moment in your ME career so far?

The recruiting of our first employee was a fantastic moment for me. Until then, we worked for ourselves but from that moment on, we also created work for others. That was an amazing feeling.

Was there ever a moment you wanted to give up?

Yes. There was a moment when we put a lot of time and effort in our company but we didn’t get much in return. That’s when I called Steven, my business partner, and asked him: “Are we going to do this or do we quit?”. We decided to go for it and that turned out to be a great decision.

What were you like in high school?

I wasn’t the best student. School did not interest me, so I didn’t try very hard. I was more of a joker and liked to create a nice atmosphere. Eventually I graduated but I became a bit more serious when I started working.
A nice anecdote: During a reflection moment at school, we had to vote what was going to happen to our fellow students in the future. I was going to become a millionaire or end up in jail. My fellow students already knew me well, I’m not the one who follows the structured path.

Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.

When you buy clothes from a textile production company, there is hardly any price difference between premium quality and poor quality. It’s really sad to see that some people still opt for poor quality, non-ecological and non-ethical clothing for a very small price difference.

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Justine Cambier - Customer Care Assistant