WAALWIJK IS BOOMING BUSINESS
In the early years of the previous century, business was booming in Waalwijk.
At the time, De Langstraat was the centre of the fast-growing shoe and leather industry in the Netherlands. Blacksmith Frans van Wees feels at home here. In 1905 this mechanic starts a forge and repairs numerous machines for the large and highly mechanised shoe manufacturers because “nothing may disturb the normal course of business”.
A VITAL LINK
Frans van Wees
Frans’ workshop is situated in the Stationsstraat, in the centre of Waalwijk. The company will continue to operate from this location well into the 20th century. Frans van Wees gradually expands his activities. In the 20s he develops entire machines and devices for the shoe industry and becomes a vital link in the industrial life of De Langstraat.
Jo van Wees
In the years after the Second World War, son Jo van Wees rapidly modernises the company. A large factory hall and an extensive showroom are added. The company is growing quickly: in the 50s about fifty staff work for Van Wees. Production was in full swing because in those years, nearly every shoe or leather factory in the Netherlands possessed a quality machine from Van Wees Waalwijk.
Ad en Jan van Wees
The grandsons Ad and Jan van Wees successfully manage to change the course of the machine factory in the 70s and 80s. The Van Wees Waalwijk machines are now also used in other sectors than only the shoe industry. In the 80s the company relocated to the industrial zone ‘Haven’ with a larger production hall and better accessibility.
THINKING ALONG AND CUSTOMISED PROJECTS
ANDRIES VAN DER WERF
Van Wees Waalwijk focuses on the future as high-tech machine manufacturer and construction company. Thinking along with the customers and customised projects are the key words; every project is developed in accordance to the customer’s specifications. When Andries van der Werf takes over the company in 1998, this approach remains unchanged. After more than 100 years, the company is still very much alive and sparkling with ambition.