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Vertellis: The Story of Us...

Tessa Brennan

We never thought a conversation about personal development over dinner was going to be the start of a journey around the world! But that’s exactly how it all started: a couple of friends who happened to be in the same place at the same time, getting together and sharing their experiences, ideas, and plans for the future.  

And now, we'll share our story: the key moments, lessons we’ve learned, and inspiring moments we’ve had together, all thanks to you - the amazing Vertellis community! 

This is Vertellis and the Story of Us...

“You should meet my friend Bart!”

It was 2016, and an introduction from a mutual friend in Bali led to Lars, Bart, and Liz (who was almost 6 months pregnant in this picture!) spending a week together and then deciding to live a whole month in “top performance” mode. At the time, that meant healthy eating, regular exercise and using tools that can help anyone become their best self...

Lars, Liz, and Bart, the co-founders of Vertellis, smiling and working on a beach in Bali.

“We turned a set of handmade cards into a game for Christmas!”

In 2015, Bart and Liz created a handmade Q&A card game and shared it with their families at Christmas. It was such a great success that, together with Lars, they decided to do a crowdfunding campaign and turn it into a product to be enjoyed by many more families in the Netherlands.

The campaign launched in September 2016 and their target was 500 pre-orders to start production. Three months later, over 25,000 Holiday Edition games were sold in the Netherlands before Christmas!

Large stacks of Vertellis Holiday edition being put into mailers to be sent out for Christmas.

“This would be such an awesome game for Thanksgiving!”

And that’s how Lars, Bart, and Liz met Willem - a fellow Dutchman living in the US. It was an instant connection and the four became fast friends (as well as business partners!).

They got on so well that by the end of September 2017, the Vertellis Holiday Edition was translated into English and available in the USA. By the end of the year, the Holiday Edition made its way into Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, and two new games were launched in the Netherland: the Relationship Edition and the Family Edition.

The biggest lesson they learned that year? THINK BIG! When you think big, you can make incredible things happen!

Lars, Bart, and Willem of Vertellis smiling on a hike

“When you work with great people, you make great things happen!”

Having the Holiday Edition, the Relationship Edition, and the Family Edition available in 5 countries and 5 languages meant the Vertellis team started to grow.

A shared love for personal development, connection, and honest communication was what brought us together and made our team work so well from day 1. Having the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, learn new skills, expand our knowledge, and experiment and create our own journey is what makes us happy.

We are grateful to have met one another and to make so many great things happen together!

Entire Vertellis team outside restaurant in Barcelona on a team retreat

“What went well today? What could go better? What motivates you?”

These were some of the daily self-reflection and mindfulness questions we were asking ourselves while working together...and that’s how the Vertellis Chapters was born! Created from our own habits and daily practices we naturally developed as a team, we knew this product could help people who, like us, were interested in personal growth and development.

Chapters launched in the Netherlands in 2017, and by 2018 it was available in 5 countries and 5 languages. Later that year, the Holiday Edition and the Relationship Edition were available in 3 other countries: UK, France, and Spain.

Our mission was to inspire 1 million people around the world with our products and guess what? We reached that goal by the end of 2018!

Photo of Liz sitting at table, writing in Vertellis Chapters, and smiling.

“Surprise someone!”

And so we did... Translating from Dutch into 6 languages hasn’t always gone smoothly. Missing the nuance of one word in Dutch meant that a whole order of the English version of the Holiday Edition had a question card that read: “Who would you like to burn?” instead of “Who would you like to surprise?” Ooopss! 

Translation hasn’t been the only obstacle we've faced or lesson we've learned from...

In addition to constantly tweaking inventory, quality, delivery, natural disasters such as the three big hurricanes of 2017 in the USA - Harvey, Irma and Maria - meant that our team had to pull together and make things happen for our customers, fans, and the Vertellis community. And so we did.

A BIG THANK YOU to you and to our team for all the support and love you have shown us!

Group of women laughing and playing Vertellis Holiday Edition at restaurant.

“Teach mindfulness to our KIDS!”

The idea to launch a mindfulness journal for kids was driven by the fact that today's education system is mostly focused on increasing knowledge (or maybe just passing tests) and doesn’t spend much time on personal emotional development.

And so, in 2018, we ran a crowdfunding campaign in the Netherlands to bring Vertellis KIDS to life...and it was a great success! Seeing the powerful impact that Vertellis KIDS had on parents and kids in the Netherlands, we decided to take Vertellis KIDS global!

Earlier this year, we hosted crowdfunding campaigns in the USA and Germany with a goal to get 500 pre-orders to start production. We reached that goal, and our dream to help kids and parents connect while increasing positivity, confidence, and emotional intelligence in kids around the world is becoming a reality!

Mother watches son writing in Vertellis KIDS.

Thank you for being part of this fantastic journey!

Lots of love,
Team Vertellis

P.S. Want to share a fun or touching moment you've experienced with one of our products? Drop a comment below. :) We can't wait to hear from you!


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