Frame Holland – the only spectacle manufacturer in the Netherlands
When the father of Menno, Saskia and Hans Borsboom got the opportunity to become co-owner of the Preciosa spectacle factory (formerly ENFA: First Dutch Manufacturer of horn, turtle and doublé frames) in the 1960s, he grabbed it with both hands. He expanded the collections and encouraged his business abroad. From an early age Hans’ children were involved in the company, so they got prepared early for the take over that took place in 2007. In the meanwhile, Frame Holland – as the company is called nowadays – is the last remaining spectacle manufacturer in the Netherlands and the Preciosa collection is their flagship.
The current owners of the company, Hans Sr. ‘s children, all have their own expertise: Menno designs the glasses, Hans makes them and Saskia makes sure that they are placed on the shelves at specialized opticians all over the world. The joining of these three forces and the employees both inside the company and, outside in the field, ensure that the frames are made and being sold.
The frame making process
The creation of a frame certainly is a special process. Before the frame ends up on the nose of the customer, about eighty to one hundred and twenty actions take place. Although part of the manufacturing process has been taken over by machines, a lot of manual work is still involved. The frames are made from bioacetate – a plastic made from cotton and wood pulp – from the Italian firm Mazzucchelli. The acetate enters the factory as large plates that are then cut into smaller ‘slices’. The base of the frame is milled from these slices. This basic frame then travels a whole route through the factory, from placing the hinges for the arms, to polishing, so that the glasses get a nice shine.
Apart from the delivery of the raw materials, everything is done in-house; a sustainable way of working. Menno and Saskia say: “The bioacetate of Mazzucchelli always comes our way over land, never by plane. Indoors we produce on Dutch wind energy, we use individual workplace lighting – so that the entire production area does not have to be illuminated – and a separate system for cooling the machines. The residual products are separated and offered for reuse. ”
Another aspect of sustainability is the lifespan of the frames. Because quality is of paramount importance to the Borsboom family, no frame ever leaves the door before it has undergone considerable testing. The owners know exactly what they deliver, which guarantees constant quality. A frame from Frame Holland will last a long time. Broken Hinge? They will replace the part free of charge. A service that keeps many Dutch opticians happy.
The frames from Frame Holland are not only a valued product within national borders, but the factory can count on customers outside the Netherlands as well. They sell on five continents and are always present at important trade fairs in Milan and Paris. Selling abroad is not always easy. For example, the size of the heads of the spectacle wearers differ in various places in the world, trends vary from country to country and the controls to enter a country such as the USA are very strict. Nevertheless, the owners of Frame Holland are happy with the foreign attention, because once you cross the border, you have the chance that Snoop Dogg will wear your design!
And then that many years of experience – partly transferred by their father – is a huge advantage. It’s not for nothing that Frame Holland is the only remaining frame factory in the Netherlands. With a pair of spectacles, from Frame Holland you not only get a quality product at home; you put a piece of Dutch heritage on your nose.