Company history creoven

Brief overview: creoven milestones

2004 Selling imported goods on eBay and
2008 Shop name creoven for fans is established on eBay
2009 Recruitment of the first staff member
2010 Own website for ventilation technology:
2014 Professional approach to international sales
2015 creoven website gets a makeover
since 2016 continuous improvement of the purchase process and online advisory service

creoven Krist
Hello! I am Tobias Krist, founder of creoven. Let me tell you how it all began… It’s quite funny actually… the first product really had nothing to do with ventilation – but still caused a stir – in a cup! What it was? Find out : )

In 2003 I first got the idea to sell products via the internet. eBay had just started to become more and more popular and during my training as a specialist for stock management I saw the quantities of goods that were shipped on a daily basis. As I favoured business simulations over other PC games when I was younger, I was tempted to try out my knowledge in the real world. I spent 250 Euro of my apprentice wage on 300 milk frothers from China. I sold them on eBay through auctions with the attractive minimum bidding price of 1 Euro. And that is how it all started! However even this small business faced its challenges, e.g. the batteries that were included in the delivery had wrong labels and were not fit for their purpose. In the end I decided it would be better to state in the item description that the item comes without batteries. Back then eBay was not as complex and easier to understand for beginners. For example their guidelines regarding shipping were not as strict as they are nowadays. For me it felt like a big playground and I was able to gain experience with the handling of orders. I kept one of the milk frothers, like Scrooge McDuck who kept the very first coin he earned, the Number One Dime – it always brought him luck!

Milk frother
The first sold product literally caused a stir!
Online auctions worked out so well that I build my own website based on my eBay name. I looked for other products I could sell and decided to settle for ventilation technology. I chose this, because I had previously bought a ceiling fan for myself, which is still hanging in the bedroom of my apartment. It was made by Encon, which later merged into Angelo International. The quality impressed me so much that I contacted the address given in the instruction manual. I received a response from a manufacturer based in the USA, known today as Westinghouse Lighting. The business relationship that developed from this initial contact inspired me to make fans popular in Germany as well. I really believe they are useful products, because they are not only much more inexpensive that air conditioning systems, but also more environmentally friendly. At that time there were not as many providers on the market and I saw a good chance for my plan to succeed.

After finishing my training I went to Heusenstamm in Hesse where I gained more work experience in customer service, office duty and order taking for a year. In the evenings I dealt with my own orders and emailed UPS shipping labels to my parents in Altenburg, Thuringia. Thankfully they have always supported me and helped further my professional career. In the beginning my parents carefully packaged the goods after they came home from work. That means the parcel service was quite busy the next morning. In September 2005 business went so well that I decided to make it my main job. Half the day I worked for the shops and afterwards I studied for evening school. I did have another dream: Stemming from my interest in culture and history I wanted to study History in Leipzig. Encouraged by this goal I finished my A levels in 2008. Before I enrolled into classes however, I continued working for another year to promote the shop. I was soon able to convince other manufacturers of my idea, long-time partners are for example CasaFan, Vortice and Hunter, shortly after Mo-El and DeKo followed.

Old creoven Logo
Original logo
In 2008 I separated ventilation products from the hirsch15a account and chose the catchy term creoven which is a word made up of creative and ventilator. Hirsch15a was dedicated to spare parts and auctions. That was the moment my professional future took a clear shape. Yet creoven did not exist as an independent onlineshop at that time, the web presence was only established in 2010.

hirsch15a Screenshot 2004 in 2004, in 2011

Thankfully internet aesthetics quickly evolved over the last ten years. The site has long outgrown flash-animations and basic shop structure, however there are some classics that are still around today, such as the all-time favourite Westinghouse Turbo Swirl ceiling fan that has been part of the range since the beginning.
creoven Screenshot 2011

webtotrade logistics warehouse
The independent business webtotrade GmbH for warehouse and logistics management was founded by me during the particularly hot summer of 2009. Prior to this goods from my shops were shipped by an external provider who was not able to handle the increasing volume of goods. Since I had gained enough experience in stock management during my training, it only made sense to me to take this step towards independence. This is the best way for me to keep track of outgoing goods, and I can even offer the service to other actors on the market. In 2014 I also received my master craftsman’s diploma in logistics.

Lunch break at creoven
Rarely a time to relax: Employee Martin enjoys his lunch break

In September 2009 I began studying and therefore was not able to be work full time for the webshop. That is why I recruited my first employees Jan and a sometime later Martin to deal with customer service and sales. There was still a lot for me to do though, which I had to make up for after the lectures. However, due to the increasing amount of orders I was not able to finish the semester. I studied in Leipzig until 2012 and then decided to dedicate myself fully to the online shop. As I personally know from experience how hard it is to manage academic studies and a job, I am now supporting other students with scholarships.

In 2014 a phase began for creoven that we are still working on today: Internationalisation and Professionalisation. I recruited two new employees as product manager and international sales management. Together we are stengthening our domestic as well as cross-country online presence. By now, creoven is available throughout Europe and Australia! We are constantly adding new countries, France for example was added not too long ago. I have quite a few plans for the future, one of them would be to expand our range step by step with complete solutions and ventilation systems.

As most of the orders are made directly on the website (only about one third can be alloted to online marketplaces), we started concentrating on improving the search function for customers in 2016 The entire experience of the purchase shall become better, easier and faster. To achieve this we generate comprehensive guides , detailed product pictures, and are even planning a virtual sales advisor. An honest presentation of the goods and responsible manufacturers are very important to me personally. Read more about this in our creoven mission statement. I will try my best to have you leave this shop with a satisfying experience and hopefully come back!

Best wishes from beautiful Altenburg,
Tobias Krist and the entire creoven-team

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