How business started (In 2021)

How business started (In 2021)

You might be wondering how does a business-like CBJ International Trading Corp start in times of a Pandemic. In this blog, we will take you into the story of how this business started with three entrepreneurs and has developed over a couple of months.

The different businesses

CBJ International Trading Corp. didn’t start their business out of thin air. It all started with two separate businesses with two different products and one connection between each other. These businesses were Hangaray and Keyleaner.


Hangaray was founded and developed in 2011 by Conrad Praamsma, who discovered a new and innovative way of storing your keys and accessories. The product was founded when the issue came to the surface of always losing earbuds, keys, and other accessories.

Hangaray found that it was really important to use high-quality materials this is why a lot of research and development went into searching for the best leather (and leather supplier) to use in the product. To make the Hangaray TRULY different from other key chains, it uses rare earth disc magnets to hook to anywhere you want to. Hangaray grasps anything you like air pods, headphones, keys, sunglasses, and much more.

It is important for Hangaray to stay ahead of the competition, That means that we have included all small improvements in the product during the sales and feedback cycle. The Hangaray got bigger and stronger; it uses the same leather as the most luxurious brands in the world. Hangaray also developed in a way that is interesting for companies to use as a multi-functional promotional product.

Hangaray can be carried and worn everywhere. This is an opportunity for companies for promotional branding purposes. By making it possible to customize the Hangaray keychain with our client's logo we are able to satisfy the most demanding needs.

Conrad also invented and developed a new product, The Hangaray but with trace functionality using a Bluetooth tracking device: Hangaray Trace During his exploration of Bluetooth Trackers he has met Bastiaan van den Berg, this is where the story continues in the next chapter (The discussion)


Keyleaner was founded and developed in 2017 by Joey de Vries and his fellow student partners when he discovered a new innovative way of storing your keys. The product was founded by thinking ‘why did the traditional keyholder stay the same. Everything is changing but the keyholders always stay the same. Boring!

The product needed to solve the issue of struggling with hooking the keys through a hook, and it needed to be easy to use and install. When development started it began with research on what kind of magnets are needed to be used to make it easy to unhook but makes it strong enough to hold an entire set of keys.

When the magnets were selected it was time to decide on the design, this is where the team came up with a material that is used everywhere WOOD. However, deforestation is a huge issue in these times, and this is why the production is always done with FSC graded wood. Using FSC Graded wood makes sure that new trees gets planted.

When the magnets and woods were decided upon the testing phase started making sure to keep the strengths of the magnets as strong as possible, whilst keeping the solid oak wood intact. This is where Keyleaner makes sure they are different from their competitors.

Now the Keyleaner was a full-on product but how can you install this product? Using screws would mean someone needed a drill and experience in hanging stuff. That’s when the decision for the double-sided adhesive tape was made. It is strong and easy to use and when you're done with the product easy to remove.

Keyleaner started to develop in a business and became one of the best start-ups in the competition of Jong Ondernemen The Netherlands. Eventually, Joey de Vries continued alone and developed the business more, and started researching new alternative products. This is where he met Bastiaan van den Berg, this is where the story continues in the next chapter (The discussion).

The discussions

When both parties were introduced to Bastiaan, opportunities came to the surface. As Conrad got the opportunity to become a minority supplier for a couple of the biggest promotional companies in the USA and Canada, that’s when Conrad offered to work together with Bastiaan to develop the business he started even more. There was immediately a good business relation established. Sometimes you can judge on the energy!

When working on the deal with one of the promotional companies Bastiaan decided to reach out to Joey and discuss how his product could be used in this channel, that’s when the business started to take shape. Conrad and Joey got along with each other, and Bastiaan and Joey already had a very good business connection.

This is when all three decided the opportunity would be best to take on as a team. This is when the merging began, and the two startups changed into something new. This process took about a month.

The merging

After deciding to work together the biggest part starts, MERGING. This is easier said than done, both businesses and partners have different systems and ways of working. The initial decision was what is the name of the business going to be? CBJ International Trading Corp. was one of the first things that popped up; it is a reference to all the founder's first letters and referencing to the trading role they will fulfill for major companies in the USA, Canada, and Europe. Eventually globally, but three steps at a time.

The name was decided and the strategy was formed: “To deliver (customizable) everyday useful products, using extremely high-quality materials & innovative features, while keep offering an affordable price to the end client”

With the potential at hand in terms of product match and sales channels; this could be one of the quickest and fastest-growing start-ups any of the partners worked in. This means that we are investing all of our skills and time to merge as quickly as possible and find a route to market.

Legal, planning, developing, setting up multiple supply chains, research &development, sales, marketing, certifications, testing, and much more. When the business was finally registered, and the minority supplier status was acquired the business could fully start. This entire process took around two months. 

The growth

CBJ International Trading Corp. was formed and now the important task is to grow. The connections and products already were there. The first step in this process was understanding the needs of the customer. When this was understood CBJ International Trading Corp. continued their development and got in touch with production facilities and suppliers.

Working for a couple of major parties in the USA and Canada is challenging in terms of requirements but also improving the growth potential of the company. Startups normally take a long time to start selling products and a lot of research want ahead of that. CBJ International Trading Corp. has developed their products at the same time while we were merging the companies.

On this date of November 2020, a lot of growth plans are going on. In various fields such as online, retail, and promotional channels. You might see some nice updates coming soon!

The goals

CBJ International Trading Corp. has many goals this is a list of goals:

  • Compete in competition of startup companies and win!
  • Grow to a globally recognized supplier.
  • Give opportunities to minority groups in regards to growth and work
  • Stay ahead of the competition by using new materials in existing product categories
  • Develop their catalogue to above 50 products

Get in touch

Want to know what CBJ International Trading Corp. can do for your business, contact us using this form. Check our shop to see all products we currently sell, we are able to develop and create new products on request.