Talking with Jeroen Mettepenningen is about getting back to basics. Jeroen is the Managing Director of D&M Depot, a Belgian creator of pottery. D&M Depot, being fully aware of current trends, considers plants and flowers to be the starting point for their creations.
“Pots should be decorative but they must be utilitarian. They have to be waterproof. The original plant pot must fit in perfectly. A pot you create for bonsai trees or Japanese maples has to be weatherproof. And you have to realize that some roots grow deep and others grow wide. So we choose to make pots in which roots can breathe. ”
“Today blue is a trendy colour, yet we do not develop blue pottery. Of course we look at trendy colours for our new pots and vases. But blue can hardly be combined with plants. So no blue pots from D&M Depot. In creating new colours and shapes we visit fairs, we follow the clothing industry and we work with a Belgian trend watching agency. They search for trends in flowers and plants and follow growers in their innovations. We see a growing desire for locally produced, handmade pottery.”
“Flowers and plants are increasingly sold in atypical environments. Plant/pot or flower/vase combinations are sold in clothing stores, coffee shops, furniture and concept stores by people who are not experts in their care and handling. That’s why our creations have to be trendy but also technically perfect.”
“The added value is in the plant, not in the pot. Some pottery suppliers constantly create new products emphasizing the pot. We choose to focus on high-end pottery for people who see flowers and plants as the perfect gift, especially in emerging markets like China, Japan and the USA. Our pottery has to be both trendy and beautiful and has to improve the plants’ or flowers’ life.”
“Communicating with clients is important. Twice a year we share our developments with florists. Our worldwide operating agents often have a background in floristry. At shows we try to inspire visitors with special plant/pot and flower/vase combinations. Inspiring clients has to be our USP (unique selling proposition). We know flowers and plants are the essence of what we create. That’s how people know us and we stick to that.”