"We always want to surprise people!"

Interview with Anneke Snijders, Managing Director of Silk-ka BV

Silk-Ka - Showroom in the Dutch Hengelo
Like in paradise: Showroom in the Dutch Hengelo

What wonderful flowers and plants! And so natural! What at first glance appears to be a perfect creation of nature is only an illusion, as the deceptively real-looking plants and flowers of the Dutch Silk-ka BV outcompete their 'real' rivals. But only those who pick up and closely examine the artificial flowers of the company from Hengelo can realize that they are perfect imitations.

When flower merchant Patrick Oudegroeniger started having stronger reactions to pesticides on his flowers in the 1980s, he looked for an alternative. In 1988, he founded Silk-ka BV and began selling artificial flowers. The fledgling company flourished magnificently and has developed into an internationally operating player to this day.

"We want to be trendsetters, different from others, and constantly surprise people," describes Managing Director Anneke Snijders the secret to success. "In doing so, we proceed very professionally." The flowers, mostly designed by the company's own designers and produced by about 20 suppliers, are made to mimic nature as closely as possible. The only aspect played with is the colors, which also pick up on current fashion trends. "We release new collections twice a year and continually renew our assortment in this way," says the Managing Director.

Anneke Snijders, Managing Director of Silk-ka BV
Anneke Snijders, Managing Director of Silk-ka BV

Wide Range

The assortment of Silk-ka includes between 3,000 and 3,500 different flowers and plants. Here, the variety ranges from noble roses in the most diverse colors, orchids, and Strelitzia to succulents and ferns, and all the way to lush green palms. In addition to the flower trade, furniture stores, garden centers, event organizers, and decoration shops are among the purchasers of the floral splendor. A large part of the products goes to the Netherlands and Germany, but the artificial flowers are also very sought after in other European countries.

In the Benelux countries, the company's own field service takes care of the customers, in other countries, the innovative company works with agents. In the showroom in Hengelo, new creations are constantly presented, and business customers can order directly online via the webshop. Moreover, Silk-ka presents itself at trade fairs such as Paris's ‘Maison et Objet’ or ‘Christmasworld’ in Frankfurt.

"It must be easy for customers to do business with us," explains Anneke Snijders. The open culture and the family-like atmosphere at the company are certainly helpful in this regard. The company, which has been largely owned by a Swedish investor since 2022, now employs 33 people and achieves significant sales increases every year. "In the coming years, we want to make the Silk-ka brand even more well-known among end consumers," the managing director describes her goals. "It's fun to have success and satisfied customers and to see Silk-ka grow."