Guus van Zeeland always loved to run. In 2015, his passion for running, combined with his design experience, led him to create Sportymaps; “a simple idea to create something to commemorate sportive achievements in style.”
Guus started experimenting with non-digital products when he was still working as a full-time web designer. Slowly, he started growing his own business - born out of his passion for running.
His mission was to create customizable sport courses displayed on posters, enabling people to display their athletic accomplishments through graphic art and maps, ranging from triathlon courses to racetracks.
The newly founded company quickly grew into more than a passion project. He eventually quit his job and devoted all his time to Sportymaps, while watching sales increase - including demand from international customers.
“I started out doing everything myself. I would monitor the hundreds of orders that came in, send them to my local printer, package and ship them from the post office. It was not only terribly inefficient as the company grew, but it also left me with no time with my family or to pursue the running that has inspired me to launch the company in the first place.”
Guus started looking for ways to automate production and shipping. He was contacted by Gelato in 2020, just as he was about to sign with a local dropshipping company in the Netherlands.
“Gelato’s local production, global reach, fast delivery and low shipping costs made my decision easy. It was a big step - from overseeing every single order and package myself, to not seeing a single poster. Everything from the point of order, through production, shipping and delivery were all of a sudden handled while I was sleeping or focusing on other aspects of the business.” It was wonderful and scary at the same time.
As Sportymaps’ popularity grew, so did their products - initially only offering minimal running course posters, Sportymaps now offers over 1850 courses, adding new courses weekly. Guus’ partnership with Gelato gave Sportymaps a scalable on-demand production solution, as well as the opportunity for seamless expansion of their product line.
“The dream I had of establishing a print shop in any big city in the world has basically come true, except even better. I have done it without having to invest in any real estate, physical assets, inventory or equipment, but with a partner who shares my global vision and that has the persistence to make it happen.”
By partnering with Gelato, Guus was able to effectively scale his business, as well as regain some personal time for what he loves to do - running.
At Gelato we are proud to support ecommerce businesses like Sportymaps, encouraging entrepreneurs globally to pursue their passions. Can we help scale your passion project?