How did you end up in the adult goods industry?
My wife has been working in this sphere for more than 20 years, so I changed my job and joined her.
What's your profession by training, if I may ask? What sphere did you work in before? Your general background, please.
I used to work as a cynologist, a computer specialist, etc. I tried many things.
What's your position now?
I am the Head of Manufacturing.
Do you mean you work with all these items directly?
I do. I supervise the recipes. I am responsible for the equipment and the on-time distribution of orders.
Who designs the whole stuff?
It is a product of collective mind.
I imagine the factory counsel sitting at the table and discussing the idea of launching this kind of...
Yes, we design everything together. Some ideas come from one person, others - from another. One single person is incapable to control the whole thing.
Is your manufacturing big?
We have recently moved in to a new place, it has got more than 700 square meters. This is a big bay divided into specific zones.
Tell me about the manufacturing process, please.
Ok, let me tell you how we set up our sewing unit. This is a new type of work for us. As for the dildos, we have been making them for ages. The technology is clear and has been tested. But when we decided and aimed to make the slings similar to these ones, we sat down to study the matter thoroughly as no one of us had ever known anything about sewing. We could hardly fix a button. And the task was to explore a whole new technique. It took us pretty long to select the material, the supplier. It may seem easy to find one: once you found a wholesaler, you are free to do business. But their wholesale prices for the same items turned out to differ three or four times. Again, the accessories: D-rings, buckles. We wanted to make something durable and good-looking at the same time. Other manufacturers also fail in this relation, because there are poor-looking average-quality semi-rings but they are always in stock and are therefore easy to buy. Those beautiful, durable ones at a reasonable price also exist but you have to order them separately, place the order in advance- two months before you need them and you must not forget. We did great deal of work in this direction, we managed to cut the costs down 2.5 times. We did this by having settled down the supplier issue, exclusively.
The needlewomen happen to cause headache at times. There comes a girl saying she knows about sewing and is ready to work. And we have got a great number of units apart from the sewing one. We hire the girl, she starts sewing and watches what's going on around her. Two weeks later, she announces she wants to sew no more and prefers to do another kind of job instead. We have had three needlewomen acting in this way. Imagine our irritation: 'We hired you as a needlewoman, we need this kind of work, if you do not want to sew, who will? We ourselves can't sew'.
Sewing is a rather monotonous process, I see, there is little creativity in it, you receive everything designed and developed. All you need to do is cut, put the stitches, fold and that's all. These were the troubles we have faced.
As for the slings, the models, we try everything on ourselves, I mean the durability, not the usage. We think it is important to prevent our items from falling to pieces in client's hands. One day the slings were just my size, we tested every item and if I failed to tear the stitches or the buckles, in this case, we proceeded to launching.
So, you have got a big space and there is a place inside this space for casting, sewing, haven't you?
Yes, we have. Our plan is to open several additional units, since the new space allows us to do this.
What kind of units, if I may ask?
There is no big secret about it. We want to try working with leather, without competing with this business' old-timers. We want to make items for people who feel like trying yet are not prepared for a serious BDSM career.
Is it going to be something similar to the mass-produced Russian articles?
Yes, it is. Imagine a person coming to a shop. There, he or she can see 15 good leather whips, with the gravity center being correctly adjusted, and some models that differ in the stuff's hardness. If this person has never used a whip, he or she is unlikely to make a good choice. They can be rather offered something simple and cheaper for their first time.
Is it your first Thaifest as a participant?
No, it is not.
But you were absent last year, weren’t you?
Yes, I was absent. I took part in the very first Thaifest.
Can you compare the events, the previous and the actual one? What was Thaifest like at that time? What has changed?
Let's try to make a comparison. The organizational part has improved a lot. The first Thaifest seemed to be a kind of draft. Naturally, there were hiccups, it was a test event. Here we can see the difference, the guys work with expertise. And those who come here, take the event in a business-like manner. The first Thaifest hosted founders and owners, exclusively, and few of them took a purchaser or a senior vendor to join them. Today there are people who have already understood the sort of format the event is following and they try to look deep into the matter. I believe, this is a reasonable format update: if you are an owner who obviously take no part in shaping the commodity grid, you have no reason to listen to the manufacturer as you are unable to pass this information on to your purchaser properly.
So, you generally like the format, don't you?
Yes, I do, I think this format is very advantageous.
As the manufacturer, have you got any useful information or experience out of these trainings?
We generally analyze the feedback we get at every meeting. From these trainings, in particular, I have got less feedback, as I have brought nothing but novelties, they are not on sale by now, in fact. I can expect any feedback from them a year later.
How do you see you collaboration with "Astkol-Alfa"?
Well, our cooperation is so intensive that I can talk about it for ages.
Would you say some words for your products' end customers, please?
We strive to control and provide good quality, we have a QC line, but still we can't discard the possibility of a factory defect. We always take on responsibility for the defects and replace the product as we attach high importance to the public perception of our trademark. Express delivery to replace the defective product is always at our expense. There is an e-mail address indicated on every item we manufacture, people can contact us!