Mimaki dealer TTS makes online business happen for Onlineshopz
Onlineshopz gets all its Mimaki printers from TTS and Dimix. Since 2015, TTS delivered about four Mimaki direct-to-textile printers and two Monti Antonio calenders. Dimix supplied the UV and solvent printers. And just recently, the company invested in the revolutionary Mimaki Tx300P-1800 direct-to-textile printer.
Onlineshopz is a production company based in Denenkamp, bordering the Dutch-German frontiers. Its owners are two thirty-something entrepreneurs, Bjorn Wissink and Maarten Sinnema. They started out selling Skydancers and Skytubes under the Airlusion- umbrella (this was the original name of the company they started). Wanting to do something unique with blow-up dolls brought about the invention of the dancing doll, powered by an air blower. Originally, they intended to rent it out. But they ended up selling the dolls and branched out in delivering other printed textile products. Supported by the TTS distributors and the Mimaki printers, their idea quickly turned into a thriving reality.
Direct to textile
Onlineshopz bought its first printer and calender in 2015. Bjorn: “We bought the Mimaki JV33 in 2015 at TTS’. And got it remodeled for direct-to-textile printing. We created the skytubes from spinnaker cloth. That was exceptionally unique in The Netherlands. We completely created the product from start to finish ourselves. We had the equipment, we could print the fabrics and had confection expertise. The printer was just located in the hall, we hadn’t even moved office. We were supposed to keep the printer in a climatized environment, but we had no clue. Printers weren’t our scene, we just knew how to rent and sell.”
A production of their own
Bjorn and Maarten had vision. They didn’t just want to sell, they also wanted to own the production. That also implied printing themselves. They were in touch with TTS about textile. Maarten: “TTS knew it would be more than just skytubes. So, they advised us to use equipment that would enable us to also service other textile markets. We thought that was a tricky decision to make. I’m a psychotherapist originally and Bjorn is a business IT specialist – neither of us knew print. At all. We took a blind leap of faith and put our trust in our TTS supplier’s advice. It turned out really well.”
Expanding the range
The company started out with skytubes, but found itself quickly churning out flags, banners, beach flags and other printed textile items. All available for online sales via different vertical webshops, collated under the onlineshopz.nl mothership.
Each product is produced in house. The equipment has grown substantially in three years’ time, with solutions for sewing, sawing, printing and mounting. The building is filled with all kinds of machines. Bjorn: “If we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it ourselves. It’s the only way we can remain competitive and successful in this market.” The business is running on 22 people so far and it delivers about 100 orders per day on average.
The latest printer TTS delivered, is the Mimaki Tx300P-1800. Michel Prins is the designated account manager. “If you’re looking for Skydancers, there’s only Airlusion. No one else can pull off what they do.” The cooperation between both parties facilitated the complex printing process that is direct printing onto textile. The best validation for Onlineshopz that it chose the best supplier. The printer that is currently installed is designed specifically for printing directly onto textile. “Mimaki is the only supplier that creates printers that are this high-level. They keep innovating textile printing and it shows in the Mimaki Tx300P-1800.”
The only thing holding back the growth of Onlineshopz is its production area. There are plans for a new hall expansion. Up next: new, vertically specialized webshops. A Coolblue inspired business model. And the passionate entrepreneurs have bigger aspirations still, trying to expand business into other countries. They already have online shops active in Germany, the fortunate border location made that the obvious region of choice. Next will be Belgium, France and Spain. Maarten: “We spot so many chances. Get the idea and go for it, that’s our motto.”