About‘What exactly is it you do?’ ...is a question Thorsten often gets asked. ‘Hmmm, I’m not quite sure myself.’ is the response he usually gives, ‘I do quite a few different things that are somewhat linked.’

He producesHe thinks producing describes Thorsten’s first and main activity quite well. It’s what made him set up his business in the first place. As he out-sources all the production, manufacturing would be the wrong description (as he has no factories himself), but as a producer he brings together the designer and the appropriate supplier. These products then form part of the thorsten van elten range and are sold in many shops in many cities in many countries around the world. His aim is and always has been to produce wherever possible in the UK but occasionally he is forced to produce elsewhere in the European Community.

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He distributesDuring his years in the industry Thorsten has met quite a few like-minded people who do similar things in different countries, so he thought it would be nice to make these more easily available in the UK. It made perfect sense that alongside his own products Thorsten would distribute a few select ranges for the UK market only.

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He selectsWell, it’s really just his online-shop which which in its previous format didn’t make sense to him anymore ever since he closed down his actual shop. He will still carry on selling a few of the ‘old’ products but he now calls them ‘essentials’. Alongside this he will have changing themes where he selects weird and wonderful products (obviously based on or around that theme) which will only be available online. There will also be a guest editor appropriate for the theme to pick additional products.

The new format will be launched at the end of September 2008. The first theme will be Deutschland and the guest editor will be André Klauser.

Thorsten cares very much about what he does and thinks his customers will do too. He hopes that his products (produced, distributed or selected) will have a long and happy life ahead of them and will give their owners as much joy as it has given him making, buying or finding them. And remember, buy less and buy better!