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Crowdfund Your Creativity

Noa Otto is making portraits personal with HUYSZ, as he creates unique house and architectural designs digitally with fine, black lines. In his journey to take HUYSZ to the next level, Noa held a crowdfunding campaign where he raised more than 75.000 euros. Learn more about his story by reading below!

Tell us a bit about HUYSZ, what was the inspiration?

HUYSZ is a company that immortalizes your precious memories into wall art as we create digital hand-drawn pieces of your house or buildings that are meaningful to you. We started two years ago during COVID after I came home one day to my father having purchased something like it.  I told him that I could do it better and he said to me “oh yeah I’m sure you can,” and then I did. I made it for him and he was impressed, and then I made more for other family members for Christmas, and now two years later we have a fully operating business.

Do you create the art yourself? And have you always been creative?

I used to do it all by myself, so the designs are all mine and the style is mine. But now we have freelancers who help out because I don’t have as much free time. And I was always creative, I would love to draw in my free time.

Last Summer you held a crowdfunding campaign, what was the intent of that? Were you successful?

The intention of the campaign was to take the next steps in HUYSZ, and we were held back by a lack of funds. We wanted to go to Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to work on creating new items for our collections. The process itself was tough, it was a lot of hard work. But it was nice because our crowdfunding was based on our community mostly, so friends, family, and of course our customer base all helped out. The campaign lasted for about two months and we were looking to raise 75.000 euros. We managed to reach that goal, and even went above that. We did it, however, in the wrong period as it was during Summer while people were on vacation so that maybe wasn’t the best idea. But in the last week, we got to the goal and over, and most of the time campaigns make it in the last two to three weeks because the urgency is higher. It was really fun to do and great friends of mine believed in what we were doing so it was nice. 

How have you managed to grow HUYSZ while also being a student?

At first, it was kind of tricky, as HUYSZ is basically a full-time job for me. But that’s one of the reasons why I chose Global School because I see Global School and HUYSZ as one thing instead of two separate lives. I grow my business by attending here and enrich my experience at Global School by having HUYSZ. I had some great insight from the past couple of modules, like how we can become more sustainable with the company and go greener. 

How did you decide on a study that would allow you to grow your business?

I first attended the New School when I was two years younger and just wanted to go study. It was a marketing, communications sort of program, and I thought yeah “that’s what I want to do.” But I quickly discovered that it wasn’t my thing. After I learned Photoshop and Illustrator, I felt like I got what I needed. At the same time, I saw that HUYSZ was growing so I decided to commit to that full-time and see what would happen. After about a year and a half though I noticed there were some limitations in my knowledge, and that I needed to get a deeper understanding. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to study again, so I began looking for other studies, and even considered part-time. But I found that the issue with part-time study was that I could work in, say, a clothing store full-time, and then study. But there’s no overlap with the growth I’d like to achieve, so Global School was a much better fit for me.

Where do you see yourself taking HUYSZ in the future?

After our crowdfunding campaign, we started to take new steps as we have new boxes and we don’t use plastic anymore to be greener. We’re now creating a program where we calculate how many wood frames we can sell to plant a new tree. Regarding the drawings themselves, we are in the process of producing collections of famous buildings that people recognize around the world. And while we are primarily focussing on houses and buildings for now, in the future we are looking to draw cars, boats, or other things you’re proud of that you’d like to be drawn. HUYSZ is growing organically, so it will be fun.

Jasper van Kralingen

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