What inspired you to start Merchandise Essentials?
My ambitious plans as DJ Audiophonic to conquer the world. Besides the gigs, I started creating my own T-shirts, caps, stickers, cd’s… as promotion of my artist name. It gained popularity on very short notice and my fanbase kept growing. That way, it got the attention of BIG international artists and event organizations. For me, that was the key to start with Night Essentials. Merchandise for the nightlife scene: artists, festivals, events, clubs… Everyone in the scene wanted the same and as a pioneer I’ve built the platform to make it easier.
What is the best moment in your ME career so far?
July 1st in 2015! From that moment on, I started working full time. Before, I was combining my current job with my DJ career while I was trying to build a business. Those were 2 hard years of working weekends and after hours… But then in the magical summer of 2015, it was finally there: working full time for my own company. So I’m very proud!
Was there ever a moment you wanted to give up?
Everybody always sees the success because we won an award, we hire a lot of people and our business is growing rapidly. But there have been and there still are difficult moments. My partner Niels and I are the managers, so we take a lot of stress and troubles with us back home. But giving up… no, never! Just hear out my favorite quote: “Either we become world-class or we leave the business”.
What’s the secret behind the success of Merchandise Essentials?
There’s no success without passion, hard work and a clear vision. That’s for sure, but if you ask me an insider tip… A lot of people forget this: 1+1 can be more than 2! Surround yourself with great people and go for the extra mile.
What are you known for?
I’ve been building this business for some years now, but a lot of people still know me as DJ Audiophonic. So, I’m still known in and outside Belgium for throwing awesome parties. However, my agenda is so filled up with Merchandise Essentials to do’s, that I don’t have a lot of spare time anymore to play a DJ-set.