A place where people can inspire themselves
If you walk into Rombouts Pottery & Flowers, you are welcomed with open arms by Ineke Rombouts and her beautifully handmade home décor.
“If people come here it’s an experience. I want them to feel at home I want them to feel comfortable,” says Ineke.
Located south of Salford, Rombouts is a place where you can find original works of pottery and flower arrangements made by Rombouts, mouth blown glass imported from Ukraine, cooking experiences on Arteflame grills, pottery classes and so much more.
“This is a place where people can come, and they can inspire themselves.”
Ineke herself has always been inspired by pottery and floral design.
Ineke went to school for floral design and landscape design and became a freelance floral designer for weddings and events in her home country, the Netherlands. After visiting a pottery business, she was inspired to return to school part time to learn pottery.
“I saw how they made the pots and I was like ‘Oh my god, this is amazing. What a match, flowers and pottery. I’m going to make the best pots out there for floral design,” says Ineke. “My teacher laughed at the time, but he found me a few years ago and was amazed to see I really went into pottery.”
After immigrating to Canada 16 years ago, Ineke wanted to do pottery and floral design on a smaller scale.
“The first thing I did in the first week I was here was start up my Rombouts Pottery & Flower business.”
When opening her business, Ineke was met with the unexpected challenge of Canadian and Dutch cultural differences.
“I thought that people would have the same idea about flowers as they do in Europe… You go to the store on Thursday or Friday and you pick up your groceries and a bouquet of flowers for your table. That’s one of the things Dutch people do. And if you go and visit somebody, you bring them a hand-tied bouquet or plant,” says Ineke. “They don’t do that here. Instead, they bring potluck.”
To overcome this challenge, Ineke had to shift her focus to holiday arrangements and has expanded her store to include other products and events.
Ineke likes to connect the indoors with the outdoors through her work.
“I love natural structures, and trees falling over and things. I get my inspiration out of nature a lot.”
When driving, Ineke will often get distracted by nature. She recounts once seeing swaths of beautiful moss on the side of the road on the way home from a family trip to Quebec.
“Everybody fell asleep and I was driving so I was like ‘oh whatever’ and parked on the side of the road. I step out and I see this whole thing of moss… I’m picking it up like ‘Oh, this is cool.’ So yeah, I took a bag of moss home.”
When designing her products, Ineke likes to see where her creativity takes her.
“If I start something with my flowers or my pottery, I don’t always know what I’m going to end up with.”
“I love it when you’re done with the pottery and you have to stick it in the kiln… Every level in the kiln can be a different temperature, or sometimes certain chemicals become a glaze at a certain temperature, or it will reflect the piece beside it,” says Ineke. “You think you know what’s going to come out but its always different. I really like that.”
Ineke helps run Rombouts Ag Service Inc. with her husband so she doesn’t get a lot of time to work in her studio but tries to every chance she gets.
“This is my happy zone, and this is where I charge my personal battery. I see that with everything. I always need to come back to my pottery and my flowers to charge myself up to deal with the rest of the world,” says Ineke.
Ineke says she is glad to base her business in Oxford County.
“I’m proud to be in Oxford County. I look at the Oxford Studio Tour and I see all the local people I met and how many people came out and came back after again… people say I’ve inspired them.”
“I like those other owners out of Oxford County – that we collaborate and that, together, we both grow our business. You can learn from each other and inspire each other. I really enjoy that part.”
Ineke’s goal for the future of Rombouts is to see the ecommerce site take off so that more people have access to her products. She also wants to host more workshops where people can learn to make pottery, floral arrangements and have cooking experiences on the Arteflame grill.
Rombouts Pottery & Flowers is a recipient of our Rural Oxford E-Business Grant, which was utilized to create their ecommerce site. To learn if you are eligible for the grant or to apply click here or email Crystal Van Rokel at email@example.com.