Three generations of trendsetting in perfumery
The first generation
1952: Newlyweds, Edgard Lambrecht and Jacqueline Vanderhaegen, open their first drugstore at the Guillaume Gilbertlaan in Elsene (Brussels).
1954: Soon they find their drugstore too small and start looking for a suitable location to build a bigger drugstore. A good construction site is located in the same street.
1957: Opening of the drugstore in a new and futuristic building. The facade of the new drugstore is even exposed in the Belgian Pavilion of the 1958 World Exhibition as “the shop of the future”. This story illustrates the mindset of two people: developing a beautiful store in which a combination of taste, technology, comfort and open mind will play a big role. Jacqueline is expanding the small perfumery section to a bigger section of the store. She realizes perfumery will become a booming business and succeeds to sell the most renowned and exclusive brands of that era. At that time, she already knows, the market will develop into exclusivities.
The second generation
Prehistory: Out of the three children, it is soon very clear that their daughter Christine will follow the footsteps of her mother and as a teenager she already helps out in the store whenever she can. After graduating Christine opens a beauty salon at the perfumery of her parents where she specializes in body and skincare; makeup, manicure and pedicure. However, the institute is not fulfilling enough for Christine and she decides to take another direction.
The nineties: Christine starts a new career in the cosmetics business and joins Estée Lauder Companies. Christine uses her intuitive, open human approach in combination with her commercial talent in the huge international cosmetics business. Whether the brands are Aramis or Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan or Estée Lauder; Christine’s unique approach is noticed. Her major achievement is the launch of Crème de La Mer in the Benelux market.
2003: Christine leaves Estée Lauder and relocates to Amsterdam to work as a Commercial Director for KOH Cosmetics International. She realizes developing this brand in Belgium and Luxemburg could be an opportunity.
1 April 2005: Via K&co is founded. Christine starts her own business, first in Grimbergen, 2 years later in Keerbergen. She starts with only 1 brand: KOH Cosmetics and with the exclusive distributorship for the BeLux.
The third generation
Prehistory: Christine’s daughter Sara Rouffaer grows up in the cosmetics industry. There is no indication Sara will follow her mother footsteps. After High School she goes abroad for 1 year: she works as a volunteer in Costa Rica. One year becomes….six years: Sara studies for the next 5 years English with an option in Spanish and Latin-American politics. She dreams of becoming a journalist, and more so as a foreign correspondent in Latin-America. Nevertheless, after all these years abroad she decides to return to Belgium in 2001.
2001: Sara joins a Swedish cosmetics company, Oriflame Cosmetics where she works for the global logistics department. In December 2007 she leaves Oriflame and joins her mother at Via K&co.
1 January 2008: Sara officially joins the company
There is a new role division based on experience, talent and preference; Christine will take care of the commercial side of the business, Sara will use her supply experience, to organize and administer the growth of the company efficiently. The perfect combination of mother and daughter, of commercial and logical thinking, in combination with creativity and involvement, makes of Via K&co the company it is today! From the start it expanded his portfolio to niche and exclusive brands and to the company you know now!