Patrick Avontuur, director of Avontuur-Blachere, is a Master to Watch this week. Avontuur-Blachere provides the ultimate Christmas atmosphere for customers such as De Bijenkorf. These can be companies, shops, streets or healthcare institutions. The dark, cold winter months are coming again. Which, together with lighting, creates a good ambiance. Text: Mical Joseph
Image: Avontuur-Blachere


“I was always in the creative corner with my side jobs. I designed shoes and made my money from commercials. I knew from an early age that I wanted to become an entrepreneur, but exactly in what direction was still a mystery to me.” After high school I visited companies with paintings and decorated these companies with artificial plants and paintings. My current company was born from there.” When Patrick had been running the company for a year, his parents stopped working at the slaughterhouse and joined him. “We eventually had branches in Heerhugowaard, Hoorn and Amsterdam. “It had gotten a bit out of hand and grown. We had something everywhere. In 1997 we moved into our building in Wijdenes, where we are still located, but which unfortunately burned down last year.” Next year Patrick will return to the rebuilt building with his team. “That is the biggest issue for both my colleagues and myself wishlist. In one go, my entire life's work was burned away and we had to start over.”

The Netherlands in a minor key

In 2008, many 'fun' things were canceled due to the crisis, such as company events and restaurants. “It was the tone of 'just act normal'. Everything was taken out.” A holiday at Disneyland Paris with his family was crucial to Patrick's career. “The Netherlands was in a downturn because of the financial setbacks and the events market collapsed by 40 percent. Everyone was happy at Disneyland, it was snowing and the parade was in full swing. After this I decided to let go of all activities surrounding decoration and decor and the people that went with it. I wanted to focus entirely on Christmas lights. Christmas is important to many people. Whether you had a bad or good year: you want to end the year on a good note.”


For Patrick, entrepreneurship means innovating, collecting and improvising. “Entrepreneurship always goes differently than planned. It is therefore important to excel in improvisation.” He refers to the fire that destroyed his business. “That was also something I had no control over. It just happened and together with my team I had to act quickly. We entered survival mode and have only come out stronger.”