Business holds New Zealand together
Peter and Ineke Thissen bolted themselves in for a ride which would take them to the top.
Today the Thissen’s still own The Boltholder a multi-million company in Matamata which the couple started in 1983.
The products they distribute literally hold the country together.
Having emigrated from Holland, the couple discovered Auckland wasn’t the place for them to live and so looked for alternative locations.
The couple fell in love with Matamata and set up their business selling bolts and fasteners.
It wasn’t easy as every entrepeneur knows and within the first few months Peter Thissen recalls ‘‘it came close to having to close the doors’’.
To get started Thissen had to purchase $40,000 worth of bolts from the Australian Ajax Fasteners Company, the main suppliers of bolts, and in his first month of trading had only sold $620 worth.
As the months continued with few sales, the couple were nearly forced to close.
But a phone call from a major Tokoroa forestry company saved the day. The company wanted a particular size of bolts and The Boltholder had the product.
The company wanted the bolts ASAP so Thissen drove to Tokoroa to make the delivery himself.
‘‘When I arrived there were no pleasantries, thank you, I was instructed to just put the product on the bench.’’
Next week Thissen received a call from the same company but this time it was for five tonnes of bolts.
The company started to make inroads and expanded on its current site. The Thissens built their business model on service which includes manufacturing or modifying bolts for specialist jobs.
The company employs 16 staff from the Matamata catchment. Responsibility of maintaining and building on the success of the company now lies with Thissen’s son-in-law, David Hulme.
The Boltholder continues to sell components to engineering and construction companies. It is now a multi-million dollar enterprise but one which retains its sense of being a corporate neighbour by supporting community events clubs and charities.