About UsThe Fortunabeads story
FortunaBeads was founded in 2015 in the Netherlands by Conrad Vissink and Giovanni Calamita.
We started the company with one mission: “ Providing you with a distinctive way to express your personality through unique hand-crafted wrist wear”.
Scroll down to read our full story and find out everything you need to know about how and why we started FortunaBeads!
Giovanni & Conrad
The Early Days
We both grew up in Apeldoorn, a small city in the east of the Netherlands and met each other at the age of 12 when going to middle school together. In the early days, our friendship was mostly about fun, although we both knew we wanted to do something big with our future. Giovanni, being Italian, always had an affection for design, while Conrad with his German roots admires practicality and functionality. A match you don’t often see these days.
After middle school, we both went our separate ways. Giovanni attended TMO European Fashion Business School to learn more about different aspects of design and fashion. “At the age of 18 I moved to Zeist and I studied at this applied university for 3,5 years. At the age of 21 I completed this Bachelor and I started working at several high end fashion boutiques in Utrecht and Rotterdam.
Conrad however did something completely different and studied Biomedical Sciences in Utrecht. “I received my Bachelor in 2012 and started my Master in Drug Innovation in 2013. Next to being one of the co-founders of FortunaBeads, I’m still active in the medical industry as a PHD student at the Clinical Trial Centre/UMC Utrecht.”
The Spring of 2014
Although we both went our own separate ways, we stayed good friends throughout the years.
One day in the spring of 2014, Giovanni spotted a new trend in the men’s fashion industry. Beaded bracelets became a new item in menswear. “I was active at a men’s fashion retailer in Rotterdam at the time, when these bracelets were first released. Several brands released different styles and designs that summer and there was a big and still ongoing interest for them.
I really liked the versatility of these bracelets, the design made it possible to match these beaded bracelets with different outfits, from jeans to suits. At that moment I decided to do some research and bought a few bracelets from different brands. As excited as I was, I presented my new findings to my friend, Conrad. Conrad immediately fell in love with this new trend. However, after testing out some new bracelets we both found a few difficulties.”
After extensively testing and wearing the bracelets we bought from different designers, we found several difficulties with these bracelets:
Most of the bracelets we bought where highly overpriced. With starting prices of around €59,95 to €99,95,- with some of them up to more than €200,- we both where convinced that the price of these bracelets was just too high. Fancy retail space and expensive sponsorships drove the price up and this made it difficult for the average hard working man to own one of these designer bracelets.
The second issue we faced was the durability and the flaws in product design. The quality of the beads was often the issue here. Some gemstone beads turned out to be plastic, instead of real gemstones, causing the color to fade and revealing the plastic inside of the beads. In many cases the elastic cord, that holds the beads and metals the bracelet is made of together, was not strong enough. All of a sudden the elastic would snap, resulting in a broken bracelet with beads all over the place. Not a good look when you’re on a date….
Most brands made their bracelets in a variety of different sizes, from 16cm to 23cm. However, every centimeter being a different size made it hard to choose the right size out of 8 different sizes. This resulted in a bracelet that was uncomfortable because it was often too big or too small. But not only the wrong size made it difficult to wear these bracelet, also the use of toxic alloys like Lead, Cadmium and Nickel made these bracelets bad for your health.
The start of FortunaBeads
That’s why we decided to start FortunaBeads in 2015, bringing men uncompromised and affordable style to wear around their wrist on a daily basis. From that point on, every FortunaBeads bracelet had to meet 3 absolute requirements:
We want to make you look good. That’s why our bracelets are made of a variety of different colors and designs, making them versatile enough to match with your outfits. We continually keep improving and developing our bracelets, so they are suitable to wear with the latest fashion. To make things even easier and more practical, we design our bracelets in two different sizes. For men: size Medium up to 18cm wrist size, Large from 18cm to 20cm. For Women: Small up to 16,5cm wrist size, Medium from 16,5cm to 18cm. Make sure to contact us if you need a different size, some models are customizable
Natural materials, like gemstones, leather and rope, make our bracelets comfortable to wear. We use Nickel, Lead and Cadmium free copper and zinc alloy beads for our Basic collections and 925 sterling silver or gold plated vermeil for our Exclusive collection. Everything is held together by high quality 1mm thick pre-stretched elastic cords. With our Italia an Nautical collection we use durable stainless steel clasps, which also passed the European REACH agreements for Nickel, Lead and Cadmium release. Resulting in a collection of bracelets that are comfortable, safe and easy to wear. Leaving you with more time for important things.
No unnecessary costs. We don’t believe in expensive sponsorships or retail-space. That’s why our basic gemstone bracelets start from as low as €14,95. Just high quality bracelets, without breaking the bank. And yes, we provide free shipping to the Netherlands with every bracelet, worldwide free shipping from €49,95.
Mix of Elements
With these requirements, we brought our own ultimate mix of elements of what a good bracelet should be like to the table. We design each bracelet with these requirements in mind, not forgetting our customer’s needs. And there is more. All of the different styles and designs of the FortunaBeads bracelets are made by ourselves in the Netherlands. The full gemstone bracelet series of the Basic, Exclusive and Candy collection are all still made by hand in the small city of Zeist in the Netherlands. This way we can assure you with a high quality bracelet that is always true to its size. If you need a different size than standard, please contact us. These series are fully customizable, so send us your requirements to design your own!
The Italia and Nautical collections are ready-made, therefore they are not customizable. All of our bracelets arrive in either a cotton/linen bag or a dark blue logo embossed box for safe storage.
We’re always trying to innovate and listen to our customers. Because we had such a great demand from our female fans for a dedicated women collection, we decided to add the Candy Collection in 2017. A colorful and playful collection, especially made for her. You can read all about our Candy Collection here.
Next we successfully launched our bracelets at the biggest online retailer of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Bol.com. You can find all of our bracelets available at this online retailer by clicking here.
In September of 2018 we’ve completely redesigned this website! We felt like the previous website was limited in its functionalities, like payment methods, social linking and blog posts. So, we needed a new one and here it is.