The grandfather of the current director, Bas Lensen, began trading back in 1928 in paper (Papeterie). On a carrier cycle, he delivered all kinds of paper, cardboard, packaging materials to companies in the region Twente and Meppel (Holland) The first pen order (250 pc) were sold to a music association "Hallelujah" in honor of an anniversary.
Toppoint. For over 90 years a strong brand! Toppoint was founded in 1928 by Lensen senior, The grandfather of current CEO, Bas Lensen. Toppoint stands for its strong mentality and strategy and have achieved this for many years.
It seems an eternity ago when Toppoint started. Lensen (Toppoint) began in a small shed and this has gradually grown into a multinational company with offices in several European countries. The headquarters is still in Bergentheim, where the company has its roots and where the production- and printing offices are.
From papeterie to a multinational company in promotional gifts:
Music association "Hallelujah" was ultimately responsible for the enormous growth of the family business.
The father of Bas, Lensen senior, gradually expanded the business to distribute other products. It was not only the production of ballpens alone that Toppoint sold, the range was expanded with articles such as lighters, gifts and ceramics.
Several times the company expanded too much. After a major fire in the mid seventies, Lensen rebuilt the premises in order to have enough room for more growth and development of the brands.
The division office articles were moved in the early eighties to Nordhorn (Germany) and it still remains under the name Toppoint (Stylex Schreibwaren) who is a major player in stationery items (office supplies).
Gradually Lensen Toppoint exported its products to foreign countries and in the Far East we currently manufacture our own goods. The pioneering of Toppoint in the promotional market has given them a big reputation, consequently making them a big player and influence in the promotional market.
Senior lensen tells...
Lensen senior begins to tell about the past from Lensen Toppoint. One story follows the other. Together with his wife, Lensen was sitting at the kitchen table, a few meters away from the garage where it all started. "The car was moved out of the garage and in to the barn behind our house and this is where the first pens were printed. In winter, a wood burning stove heated the employees who were busy printing the pens."
"Together with the man of the first hour, Henk Snoeijink, it was pioneering. There was not much on the market and so it was all about developing knowledge, keep your eyes and ears open. One evening we received a tip that somewhere in Amsterdam was a machine where you could print pens with foil print. We called Henk around midnight and drove to the capital city of Holland. The next day we bought the machine." Lensen is a fascinating storyteller, with an occasional joke, he tells it in a nutshell the history of Toppoint. Photo albums are on the table, browsing through the albums, he continues more tales and the conversation goes on. "Oh yes, the quest for better and faster machines brought me to Hamburg. I got the adresses for copper letters that I was looking for, through the chamber of commerce. The first companies I visited were specialized in funeral wreaths", a smile can Lensen not suppress. "But finally I found the company."
Lensen senior and his staff are constantly working to develop the field of promotional items. "Sometimes we thought we had discovered the egg of Columbus to find out later that it turned out not to work. We do not let us get put off, if we thought something could work, we bought the machines or sometimes even from our suppliers, if they could not help us we would try for ourselves if it would or not. For weeks tinkering on the machines, adjusting, try after try and eventually after many headaches to come to the result which we thought." He did not have time for the coffee, because another anecdote was told.
"He was almost never home", adds Annie Lensen. "Always working for the company from early in the morning until late at night. But if you want to earn your living you have to do something. I've always been 100% behind him." Since 2002 Lensen senior enjoyed of his well earned retirement. Until his 70th, he was engaged to his business. He still regularly takes a look and has a chat with the guys from the first hours such as Henk Snoeijink and Bertus Olthof and to be informed about the latest situation. Well, the blood is still pumping...