TOMDOM founder, Vyacheslav Markov, explains how Mimaki’s digital printing technology makes designing and personalising interiors that much simpler
TOMDOM online store is one of the largest Russian online trading platforms, offering a broad range of home textiles. During its 12 years in the market, Moscow-based TOMDOM has become a leading vendor of ready-made curtains with a diverse clientele throughout the country and abroad.
The concept of TOMDOM begun 12 years ago, when the future founder of the company, Vyacheslav Markov, went curtain shopping for his grandmother. There he faced a serious issue – the range of curtains was incredibly limited, and those that were in the medium price range were particularly hard to find in store. A long search eventually resulted in a purchase and a realization that this consumer niche is virtually empty – with very few Russian or foreign vendors. So, with a little effort and education, one could create a business with guaranteed success and high demand for its products.
“People enjoy refreshing their homes or offices with new and exciting pieces every so often; and, on top of that, housing construction was already quite intense in Moscow, and many people were moving into their new apartments, which urgently required home textiles,” explained Markov. “This is how the idea of opening a specialized online store came about. Initially, TOMDOM only sold ready-made products, but eventually we expanded production and became a major supplier of our own home textile products.”
Russia had very few online stores selling custom-made textile goods with digital print, and so TOMDOM’s realisation of the advantages and prospects of fast-fashion came at just the right time. The company followed the trends and integrated sales within its own print production facilities, thanks to the hard work of their coordinated and customer-oriented team.
A high-quality, flexible production line all sewn up
The TOMDOM factory, which currently employs more than 20 staff, produces curtains, furniture cases, bed covers, decorative pillows, bed linen, tablecloths, and various textile gift items. The production meets the highest quality criteria and uses cutting-edge sewing and digital printing equipment. TOMDOM constantly monitors global interior design trends so that it offers its customers only the most stylish and best-quality goods manufactured using the latest technologies. Thanks to flexible production capabilities, TOMDOM can meet orders of any style and complexity with the upmost quality and all in a short timeframe. The company ensured they hired a team of true professionals, which is why these carefully made factory products are so highly appreciated by its customers.
Their production site has two Mimaki JV300-160 sublimation printers, chosen for their high performance, excellent print quality, simple controls and stable work under heavy production loads. Finished prints always live up to the company designers’ expectations, in terms of both picture clarity and colour reproduction. Long-lasting colours, no need for complex fabric preparation and finish processes, along with product safety, all played an important role in choosing this print method. Another reason why sublimation technology turned out to be an ideal match for TOMDOM is that most curtains and net curtains today are made of polyether fabrics.
“We took time to look at various solutions in the market, visiting exhibitions and inquiring what equipment others are using so that we could invest in the right technology. Once we saw the Mimaki printers in action, we were keen to have one for ourselves. And, of course, we trusted the legendary Japanese reliability, which has not failed us once in all these years. We immediately reached out to Smart-T, Mimaki’s representative in Russia, and they provided comprehensive help in implementing the sublimation printing equipment, and the digitalization process went without a hitch”, Markov recalls.
The company highlighted another key advantage of digital print: no risk of excess production, as every metre of fabric is printed to order. Digital printing helps keep the company profitable for batches as small as one metre, without the need to stock up on large quantities of pre-made products. With digital printing, you simply need to buy the amount of fabric that is required.
It is important to TOMDOM that digital technology helps them to provide a broad range of products and allows them the flexibility to diversify their collections at any time. This is what customers want, and therefore boosts the store’s profitability.
When creating curtain designs, TOMDOM’s designers primarily focus on Russian consumers’ choices. They begin by analysing the demand, by looking at website page hits and identifying customer preferences. The popularity of certain patterns shapes the primary direction of the artists’ work. The company also looks at interior design projects and takes into account the latest trends in urban apartment and country house design. Global fashion trends are also a key part in influencing their collections, both in terms of design and colour schemes.
TOMDOM has a keen interest in the latest developments of Mimaki’s textile printers. Its business is successfully thriving thanks to utilising modern hi-tech equipment. Today, TOMDOM is seriously considering purchasing a Tx300P-1800 MkII printer for natural fabrics, which are incredibly popular in Russia these days. Expanding the range of designer fabrics by adding natural materials will allow TOMDOM to start its own independent production of bed linen and various textile products for the kitchen and dining room. This progressive attitude towards business development is what helped the company overcome all economic challenges and maintain the growth it achieved over the years with its digital printing facility.
TOMDOM believes that as the competition in the e-commerce market expands and new opportunities in textile printing appear, it is vital to uphold high product quality and avoid delays in delivery times – the customer should get exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. The company also values the importance of a well-refined online store; how their collections are presented, how informative the photos are and how accessible the navigation is. Having an easy to use online storefront is key to retaining existing customers while also engaging new ones.
“Digital printing technology makes designing and personalising your interior that much simpler, especially since our collection has such a great variety of designer patterns. I believe curtains with photographic print will see a boost in popularity, as the demand for personalisation becomes greater. We expect that our fleet of Mimaki technologies will increase in the near future, and our reliable, time-tested partner (Smart-T) will help us take our company to the next level,” Markov concludes.