The founders of HES-Tec are Frank van Helvert and Erwin Samuels. Both gentlemen were born and raised in Brabant (a real horse region in the Netherlands). Frank has been an active dressage rider from an early age, where he has competed successfully at various levels. Frank himself was as a child at the Van Bladel stables where he first met Erwin who would later become his partner. Frank also manages his own horse accommodation. For many years Erwin has been active in training young and adult dressage horses, from his international company I.P.S Horse Group BV.
WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Both men discovered a problem in the fall of 2016. While dressage is one of the biggest disciplines in modern competition, to Frank and Erwin's surprise, there was not a single tool available to make horse braiding easier and faster. For decades, if not centuries, horses were braided by needle and thread. Something the gentlemen themselves were not at all fond of and certainly not good at. There had to be a solution to this!
Many start ups have started so-called "in the attic" and for HES-TEC this was literally the case. In 2017, Frank and Erwin started developing the "new paperclip. A concept that should be so simple because the solution was obvious. However, developing a pin turned out to be more difficult than they thought beforehand and it took months to complete the concept. The first concept of the Quick Knot® was finally born in mid-2017 which led to the next problem: how are we going to manufacture this?
After visiting dozens of manufacturers, rejections appeared time and again because the concept would not be realizable by them. The idea could not become a reality until, almost out of desperation, one last option was visited. Setback upon setback almost ensured that the concept of Quick Knot® would never come to life, but fortunately to everyone's surprise, this manufacturer was able to breathe new life into it. Production could begin!
The produced pins were handmade and sprayed in a mesh with colors to offer the Quick Knot® in three different colors. In the morning Frank sprayed them wet in color and in the evening Erwin came over when they had dried to turn them over and spray the other side. Team work makes the dream work.
From the first moment, the inventors believed in the product so Patent was immediately filed for it. After filing and research by the Patent Office, it turned out that no less than 6 patents similar to the Quick Knot® existed worldwide. The oldest was granted in 1899 and the most recent from the year 1923. To top it off, the Patent Specialist immediately stated that he has never seen such a simple product with so much potential.
25 Million Quick Knots
175 Partner Worldwide
In August 2017, we launched the first version of the Quick Knot®. The product for braiding horses quickly and professionally. Whether it would be a success was still a big question for the gentlemen, but whether it would help people with horse braiding was soon certain for them. Within no time, HES-TEC's first social media post reached tens of thousands of people all over the world. From the North in Germany all the way to the South of Australia and from the local Netherlands to the West Coast in the US.
The product proved not only convenient and quick to make the bun, but also very quick and easy to take out. That same year, the Quick Knot® was named the winner of Horses Product of the Year 2017. This marked an immediate and unexpected achievement.
The next milestone that the gentlemen had set to be able to sell the entire stock within one year was achieved within weeks. The orders were almost impossible to keep up with and end users waxed lyrical about the product. The product was praised for its high innovative nature, its simplicity and for making the end goal easier and faster to achieve. When launching online, the gentlemen had set a goal of selling 100,000 pins by the end of the year. More than doubling 20 times, more than 2,000,000 pins were sold that year.
In addition to managing the great craziness of the start-up success, HES-TEC developed step by step with the Quick Knot® Probox in 2018. Which was specially developed for large users, professional stables and organizations. On top of that, in 2019 HES-TEC introduced the advanced lunging system the Quick Lunge®. And shortly after that, it would be time to take the great success to a new level: the Quick Knot® Deluxe.
All the earned revenue from the success of HES-TEC was reinvested in new patents, product development and inventory for the Quick Knot® Deluxe. The product that would once again take beautiful buns to a new level while also considering future features. Everything seemed to be headed in the right direction until the world went on lockdown in early 2020 and horse races were cancelled indefinitely. No fairs, no competitions, no sales. Despite this major setback, HES-TEC continued to build on internal improvements, including an expanded team, new online activities and, above all, a positive entrepreneurial attitude and innovation.
The new version of the Quick Knot® was equipped with a special top allowing very easy application of "features". And with that, the next product was launched.
Quick knot® JEWEL
This product is one such example of a "feature." It features genuine Swarovski elements. The Jewel can be easily and quickly put on and or removed again with even less than a flick of the wrist with the Quick Knot® Deluxe.
Traditional competition outfits have become modern and fashionable in recent years. With the Quick Knot® Jewel, HES-TEC has once again given a new dementia to braiding and modernizing the horse sport and the experience of our beautiful sport.
HES-TEC stands for innovative products for the horse industry and that the mission is to help riders worldwide with these innovative solutions. Made by-and for horse people!