Stijn (pronounced Stein, as in Einstein) Willemse’s story is thought-provoking and inspiring, and his brand DIS-ORDER even more so.
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Stijn has lived in Canada, Egypt, and the USA. From a young age, he developed a passion for building a business, leadership, and having a positive impact. Taking up his interests in college, he started focusing on his studies, but soon, life intervened. Due to traumatic personal events, Stijn’s mental health took a hit. Battling depression and anxiety wasn’t easy, mainly when honest conversations related to the subject remained ever-limited. But, the more he opened up and talked about it, the young entrepreneur quickly realized that he wasn’t alone. Surprised by how many people were going through the same things he was dealing with, Willemse decided to open up, be more honest, and wear his heart on his sleeve.
Thus, DIS-ORDER was born. Stijn grabbed an old shirt, sketched out his first-ever design, and the idea of an ecommerce apparel brand that focused entirely on mental health took root. Just when the pandemic hit, classes went online, he got to work, and in November 2021, he took the business online. With no prior business experience, he was looking for a print on demand partner with an intelligent business model that could help the new venture take off, given the limited resources at his disposal.
What drew him to Gelato was our uplifting message and the fact that we genuinely care about our partners and customers. When he started working with us, Stijn quickly realized how effective and helpful our customer service was. Issues were resolved quickly and without too many questions, and this made him trust us instantly. Also, the fact that we constantly ask for feedback and continue to support and provide his business with resources motivates him to continue working with us.
Another element that was important to Stijn was how respectful Gelato was towards the planet. Across the board, the message was clear – reduced carbon emissions and a greener approach to business.
DIS-ORDER is already creating ripples in the market, despite being a newcomer. The response has been incredible, prompting Stijn to seek investors for expanding the business, boosting brand visibility, and increasing the marketing budget. Thanks to Gelato's production and distribution model, DIS-ORDER has made successful sales in 14 countries, demonstrating the global impact of their mission to raise awareness about mental health. Fortunately, Stijn collaborates with like-minded individuals who share his passion for making a difference in mental health advocacy.
Dedicating to making his mark and doing his part, 20% of the net profits go to the NGO, “Mental Health Europe”. The team also regularly organizes talks and workshops to promote honest conversations and educate.
With Gelato, DIS-ORDER now has global access to make an impact and grow its business. Our entire team is rooting for them and their message. We are excited to see and continuously support Stijn and his hardworking team on their uplifting journey!