Since he first moved to Spain some six years ago, Dirk Van Mol has become one of the leading kitchen furniture designers and suppliers on the Costa del Sol. Most of us on the Costa have heard of Â“Ilwa KitchenÂ”. ThatÂ’s not bad going from anonymity six years ago!
In the course of an exclusive interview with Dirk, he told us that he was born and raised in Belgium, between Antwerp and Brussels. Incredibly enough, his education has very little to do with kitchen design; his degree in chemistry should really place him in a laboratory, testing and possibly Â“creatingÂ” some new form of tablets rather than a kitchen cabinet.
Apparently the significant change is down to his passion for scuba diving. It is in the course of practising his favourite sport that he met and formed a strong friendship with the MD of ILWA the Belgian kitchen manufacturer who, some 26 years ago, convinced him to join their factory. It is there that he learned all there is to know about kitchen designing and manufacturing, starting from the shop floor to directorship to learn the ropes, from manufacturing to management.
One of the projects was to market the product in Spain and after due deliberations, and some travelling back and forth, Dirk finally decided that he would like to open his own business on the Costa del Sol, rather than selling via other retailers. This eventually resulted in a major uprooting involving his wife and daughter.
Dirk nor his family have ever looked back, he find more scope for his designs here on the Costa and he prefers the relaxed atmosphere and closer relationship he can have with clients here as opposed to Belgium. The only reason to visit Belgium is to see his parent and his in-laws, particularly on special occasions like Christmas.
Although his fondness for Spanish food is limited, he is not too concerned as his favourite hobby is Thai cooking, and he loves to see his family and friends enjoying it.
He never gave up Scuba diving, which he still does whenever he has time.
We asked him if he had a message to give to people considering a new life on the Costa and he said:L Â“DonÂ’t rush! Take your time to look for genuine people because they are here!Â”