Once your attention is drawn to the unique candles and dolls in the shop window you will enter Zinderin. Once inside, you discover that there is literally a hidden world behind the facade. Those of special employees.
Fox candles, embroidered cloths and cats made from paper-marché. All Zinderin products are handmade by people with a mental disability. At the back of the shop you will find their studio, including a candle and textiles department.
They feel good because they feel that they participate in society this way.
Susan Roegies, team leader, says: “Our employees are very proud of their work. They are often pleased to give the customer a guided tour. I am always proud when I see our staff smile. They feel good because they feel that they participate in society this way. I think we created a beautiful store. We provide seasonal products in a way that moves with the current trends. Christmas for instance is an incredibly busy time. We always test our new products extensively. We have surpassed a simple craft or hobby, it is real craftsmanship here.”
Gonny and André are experienced staff at Zinderin. Gonny: “I think it is a super fun job. Especially when I’m in the store. I am glad to see happy customers and I love to chat with them.” André agrees: “The best day of the year is ‘the yearly candlelight night’ in December. Then the shop is packed with people!”
To help customers as best as possible, the employees participate in regular trainings. Susan: “At their own request, we are starting an English course. They also want to talk to tourists.” André and Gonny practice during breaks. André: I know an English word: gift. Gonny adds: eat “that’s also important!”