I was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but spent most of my life in The Netherlands.
I returned to New Zealand in 2009, where I found my home in Kapiti.
Ever since I was a young teenager I was interested in collecting items and helping people who collect things. It formed the basis for the rest of my life.
For more details about my background you can read 'The Story Of My Life' below.
THE STORY OF MY LIFE...
45's - I started collecting 45's in the eighties when I was still at school. As a teenager I was mostly interested in sixties music (The Beatles, Hollies, Searchers etc.) and eighties alternative music (The Alarm, The Church, New Model Army etc.) as well as pop (Duran Duran, Michael Jackson etc.)
CD-Video - In 1988 I started to get interested in LaserDisc, which at the time got re-introduced in Europe as CD-Video. As I was still at school, I couldn't really afford the new and expensive format. I thought that if I would start an LD-business as a hobby I could buy them cheaper from wholesalers and if I would sell a few I would even make money to buy more for my collection.
CD's - My little business had a bad start, because CD-Video wasn't a success in the Netherlands. I started buying and selling CD's instead as a delivery service around town. This turned out to be a bigger success. After I left school in 1989 my company called Ro-Disc was not big enough to make a living, so I started doing all kinds of temporary and part-time jobs. In 1992 I finally got a full time job as an accountant for a French/American offshore company during the week. This made it hard to do the CD deliveries. I had to stop this part of my business.
LaserDiscs on Record Fairs - Apart from my job as an accountant during the week I continued Ro-Disc in the weekends by selling my LaserDiscs on Record Fairs. Music fans were starting to buy the LaserDiscs more and more. Especially my Japanese import items were very much wanted. Even Records Fairs were visited outside the Netherlands like Paris and London. Stock was growing rapidly as well and this got too heavy to carry around every weekend.
LaserDisc Shop - In 1994 it was time to quit my full time job and open my first LaserDisc shop in Rotterdam.
Customers in the shop were more interested in movies instead of
music and instead of Japanese versions people were buying more
Within 2 years I needed to move to a much bigger place. It didn't take long before I needed to hire staff.
LaserDisc Distribution - The expansion went on in 1996 after my company Ro-Disc started to do distribution as well and got the exclusive rights from Pioneer LaserDiscs (Universal Pictures and Paramount for instance). I bought out my biggest competitor in 1997 and all of a sudden Ro-Disc was the largest LaserDisc company in Europe with over 100.000 LaserDiscs in stock.
DVD Introduction - In 1998 DVD got introduced, which made the sales of LaserDiscs drop drastically. Many thought this would be the end of Ro-Disc. A single, specialized shop could never compete with the large national chains like Blokker (more than a 1000 shops) and Free Record Shop (more than 300 outlets). On the internet the powerful Amazon.com was about to rule the market.
DVD Influence - The Dutch DVD industry however was not prepared for a new format and they had no idea how to deal with it. Ro-Disc took advantage of this situation and became the number one source for information about DVD products and market development by releasing a weekly magazine with many articles and reviews. Kiro's company grew even more and started to open more shops, organized events, like a DVD Award Ceremony (broadcasted by MTV Holland)
DVD Quality - When Ro-Disc got to the height of its popularity, the industry started to fear the influence Ro-Disc had on consumers as well as competitors, who used the information of Ro-Disc for their own strategy. Ro-Disc stood for service to its customers by offering as many titles as possible with the highest quality. This meant that Dutch poor quality releases were reviewed as such in favour for better other European versions. Instead of improving the Dutch products, the Dutch distributors preferred to offer Dutch consumers cheap and therefor poor quality products.
DVD Court Cases - In 2001 Hollywood decided to end the international and quality approach by Ro-Disc by forcing Kiro to sign contracts, which would limit Ro-Disc to Dutch products only. Kiro refused, which resulted in many legal threats, intimidation and court cases to get Ro-Disc out of business. The Dutch Hollywood distributors were giving Ro-Disc worse conditions and were making it harder to get products. This made Ro-Disc even more relying on legal import from especially the UK. With the support of the Dutch media and customers Ro-Disc won every battle against the Hollywood studios for years.
The End - In 2005 Kiro got diagnosed with cancer, but Kiro had to go through one operation to get a tumor removed and that was it. It didn't do any harm to Ro-Disc as a business, but it made the bank want to withdraw their support.
It was just one of their rules for a guarantee.
As a warranty for the support of the bank Kiro had taken a life insurance, which couldn't be extended. Kiro fought against this rule, but fighting banks is impossible.
After 20 years of business the bank finally made Kiro stop Ro-Disc in 2008.
In 2009 Kiro returned to New Zealand, where he was born and started to sell his collection to prepare for his new adventure: Mini-Kiwiland.
P.S.: After 5 years of having had no complications at all Kiro got officially cured in 2010.