Friends, hello everyone!
You ask now where are we? We are now in the production of hookahs
Japona Hookah and Conceptic Design So now you have 3 brands that you
boughtfrom the same person?
– Yes Now we will go to visit Stas Oleinikov My investments amounted to
about 2.5 million And we will tell you the whole
kitchen and how they are assembled, where they are made
of, from what materials, etc. We started with 100
hookahs, then 300, now 500 Now we ready to start, now you’ll see
everything for yourself, with your own eyes and if you have any questions, write,
ask, we will try to answer everything Maybe we will give something? Hello Stas! Hi guys! Do you smoke hookah?
Yes, good for work Hi Stas, thank you for agreeing to meet with
us today. We will start with the history of the brand. Acquiring a brand in its very
inception. As I understand it, you bought the brand Japona Hookah
from a person named Andrei Kalashnikov. What
is a brand purchase? Because it is a rather abstract phenomenon
– to buy a brand, you cant touch it. But why? When a brand is already selling its
hookahs, why not buy it, if it is for sale. Have hookahs of this brand been already sold?
Yes, it was already created, I was the official distributor for the northwest
and I was inspired by the brand as much as possible and when I heard that Andrei
wants to sell it – I decided to purchase it What goes into the brand buying
process, any blueprints? Well, initially when the
company is being built, in addition to the
name, at that time the Japona Hookah logo itself
was not registered. Registration has already
happened on my part. This is a brand, this is a blueprint,
this is a supplier, because Japona Hookah consists of many components,
it’s not only metal, it’s wood, it’s glass, so I got a complete list
of these companies that produce it. There was a list of guys who
already worked with Andrei. Customer base? Yes, the customer base, plus the site.
With whom, by the way, Andrei is still helping me, he is
quite a versatile person and does websites too. Naturally, all contacts,
at that moment I understand that this is a good start and the
price corresponds to the company. That is, the price suits you?
Well, of course, she arranged for me. Because in any case, I
decided on this. Of course, in such moments, you always relate
to this, oh it is expensive. Because it’s new for you and
it’s hard for you to evaluate it, but then you understand what
problems this purchase saved you from. What are these
problems, if not secret? Well, for example, the development of a lineup.
At that time, 4 models were sold. Now are they already?
There are 5 of them. But, a mini model, this is
a simplified version of Schuriken. And Standart,
the model that we have now withdrawn from sales, it was
more for establishments, it was slightly simplified
and in price it was slightly lower. Therefore, when you
buy a lineup it is in any case one price, and when you
buy a brand with one model it is a different price, as
in the case with Conceptic Design. And Solomon has the
same thing, that is, it is one model, one brand, and
again the price depends on how much weight it has on the market.
The brand Japona hookah Andrey was engaged in
almost a year. Before you bought it? Yes, as far as I
remember, the first models appeared in the spring or summer.
In September 2015, I met with Andrei and became
his official representative, was inspired by this brand
and immediately began to popularize him in St.
Petersburg in the first place. So now you have 3 brands that you
bought from the same person? Yes. Is it Japona Hookah,
Conceptic Design and Solomon? Yes Well, tell me – why did you decide
to do hookahs at all, how did you start? Well, if, from the very beginning,
then from about 1998 I started working as a waiter, then as a
bartender, and in general I spent 20 years in the restaurant business.
Eventualy, in 2004, I first met with hookahs and then tightened, as they say.
Clear. And when in the first you started to make bowls? Well,
in terms of making bowls, it’s not about me. I am a smoker, like most
guys, except at home with my wife, this is about 2005 already. That
is, my first acquaintance was when I came to the guys and we smoked a
hookah at the Red Club at Poltavskaya street 7, then there were
outsourced guys who worked in the establishment where I was an art
director, bar manager, manager – for 7 years passed from the bottom to this.
The first acquaintance was just so that they prepared my first hookah.
And what did you do past the hookah industry? Well, as I said, I
worked in the restaurant business, started as a waiter, then a bartender,
bar manager, art director, I also had several projects in St. Petersburg
– Club Staff Party, Crazy Afterparty, different theme parties,
that is, I fully immersed in the entertainment industry. In
parallel, I was organizing bartender competitions in the city and in the
regions, therefore, in this regard, I was from within this, in terms of
service, attracting guests to parties and this subsequently helped me
realize my ideas. Because, let’s say, before Japona Hookah, I was the
official distributor of Shapes Design hookahs. SDHookah, then they were
rebuilt, but the first attempts to sell hookahs and advertisements,
at the first Hookah Club Show in Garden City, it was, I still took a
stand, namely, with Shapes Design. Listen, why didn’t you decide to
continue to deal with this brand and develop it further, why did you
decide to take Japona Hookah? Well, again, I’m versatile, speaking of
me, I always lay eggs in different baskets. That is, I was engaged in
promotions, worked as a bar manager, began to engage in hookah outsourcing
in friendly establishments and at the same time I also sold
hookahs, at that moment I met Kostya Sakhno, said that okay, let’s start,
I like your brand. Then there was a trend for such hookahs, it can
be said, a more budget version of the hookah Meduse Design, now,
naturally, such hookahs are no longer popular, but I started from this.
Gradually gaining experience, I realized that the market was changing, as
Khalil Mamoon bought everything, because there were several establishments
in which I worked in parallel, I met Andrey Kalashnikov and I worked
with him as his representative in St. Petersburg and the North
– West for about a year. That is, I understand correctly, you liked
Japona Hookah hookahs more than Shapes Design? Yes Yes. That is,
against this background, you began to delve into this brand, began to
develop it and promote this story? Yes, that’s right, that is, I put
Japona hookahs in my establishments, I sold them, promoted the brand.
What were the first places you sold a lot of Japona hookahs to? Well, the
first establishments are mine, I ordered for myself, this is Arka at
Bolshaya Konushennaya street 27, near DLT. I bought it there, but
in general they didn’t buy them anywhere at that time, at least not
from me. I don’t think 2-3 hookahs are a big purchase, but I knew
from Andrei that this hookah is in demand. He was with his minuses at
that time, but at least I knew what he needed, how to modify it. Andrei
tried to explain what needs to be paid attention to and he was changing
naturally. And let’s say, by May, I roughly understood that I just
needed investments and refined it the way I already see it. And why
did Andrey sell this brand to you, but didn’t he remain to deal with it?
Well, I don’t know, it’s probably better to ask him the reasons,
most likely this is primarily an investment, because it was necessary
to increase both the sales volumes and the hookah is actually very
complicated. That is, at that time, probably, Andrei wanted to create
a simpler hookah, with less cost and less fumes. Because Japona Hookah,
if you completely disassemble it, the hookah itself is about 14-16
parts, plus packaging and so on. Well, that is, about 20 items and
of course all this affects the cost and the hookah came out quite
expensive and problematic, because in the production process I had to
face many difficulties constantly How much did it cost approximately to buy
the brand and all the improvements that you had to make after the purchase, in the
version in which, let’s say, they are now? Well, my investments amounted to about
2.5 million, but, let’s say, it includes a lot of components. Not a one-time waste?
Yes of course. That is, first you acquired a brand, suppliers, and everything
that I listed, then you start looking for other outlets for manufacturers that
can make you, for example, a metal saucer, they can make you a glass flask. To make a
glass flask you need to make a cast iron matrix, the order of numbers there is
very strong … How much does it cost to make a matrix roughly? 120,000 and higher,
if it is official, that is, it can reach up to 300,000, and if, let’s say, we have
guys who can throw your iron form through the fence of the factory and pick
it up and take it to their small glass production. The main thing to know people?
Yes, you need to know … Well, I can tell you so, today I have a completely
different manufacturer. But how do we start and did the forms, that is, there was
one manufacturer. But is the matrix the same? I already have 2 matrix. Well, that
is, we also experimented with different forms of flasks, so, let’s
say, there I normally spent money to come
to what we have now. For samples, for experiments?
For samples, for experiment, well, that is, any modification
of a hookah carries directly financial burdens. But
in general, these changes, what was the most difficult for you?
Most likely this is a flask. Flask? Yes, the flask.
Well, because it is quite simple to make a metal saucer,
well, it’s not easy, let’s say, to make sauser is less
expensive, grind it, harden it and make it what it should be.
But making a flask is quite problematic. Have you
changed it many times, if I’m not mistaken, have you tried
different flask options? Well, let’s put it this way …
How many versions were there? Well … The first one,
probably from … The first Japona flask was from some,
probably Chinese flasks, very thin, which simply cut their
neck, these are the very first flasks that, probably, few
people remember. They were sold in fairly small quantities.
Then Andrew found a man who was able to make a matrix
and make ceramic flasks, at that time, that’s all, we
agreed that this flask would be ceramic. Then, accordingly, glass.
Then black. Then I found guys who, I needed more
colors, we added manganese, a transparent flask, other
people did it already and this is probably the fourth or fifth
form, probably. And then, at those guys that we just
made, we lengthened the neck height because we changed
the length of the immersion tube. Why did they do it?
This is a smoking process, I believe that the volume of air
that is in the flask quite strongly affects the smoking
process, respectively, we measured. Initially, there was
a fairly large volume, we narrowed it down, raised it
higher than the pit, played with diameters, etc. Well,
let’s put it this way, by experience and paid for everything,
I had to do it all … Now at the moment, the flask
suits me as much as possible. Come on, tell me what you have
here in principle, how it is done, how it is assembled, and so on?
Well, here is the assembly place, we get parts
from our partners. In Krasnodar, we have metal production,
well, a metal turning shop, and anadizing. Do you have a pet?
No, this is just for packing our bowls. The next
production, which is already in St. Petersburg, we grind wood,
wood turners, plus our guys make flasks, hoses. Well,
that’s it, that’s it, that’s it. That is, a hookah consists
of a fairly large number of parts, so I have about five
to six companies that supply me with the necessary ones …
All companies are located in Russia, understand correctly?
Yes that’s right. And in what cities is all this being done?
Krasnodar, St. Petersburg, silicone in China,
protective discs in St. Petersburg, we will soon be
doing in Rostov, here … What else do we have? Well, here
are the flasks, in my opinion in the Moscow region. I’m
watching you have old models of hookah? Yes, the hookah
had a fairly large number of changes. How many changes were there?
Somewhere 4-5. So global, massive? Hookah completely
changed gradually. That is, if, for example, you look at
one of the first models of a hookah, the flask was made
of thin glass, in which we just had a neck … We didn’t
have our own matrix at that time, now we spent the money
and made our own matrix. The base was a little different,
a valve, if you see which one. How from a bullet? Yes,
about 6 millimeters and the angle was 120 degrees. And
if you take, for example … Listen, it’s really straight very light.
Light, yes, but it was fragile, at that time, let’s
say, many glass factories were not designed for the
production of flasks in Russia. Later, with the advent of
a large number of hookah producers, there was a request
not only in China to take Here, accordingly, such a base was
with such holes, of course, the hookah was not blown perfectly, I
can show it. Here, respectively, then a … And what is the
diameter of the shaft? The mine itself? 16 millimeters. 16 millimeters?
Now 13. Correspondingly, the thrust has become average,
if at that time it was light. Medium and diffuser? Yes, and now
there is already a removable diffuser and if you look at the
models that we now have … we have changed a lot, that is,
we now have a classic hole arrangement, 9 millimeters valve,
removable diffuser … and … this already a weapon laminate.
The nose under the cup has changed, it has become taller.
We have a metal saucer, it used to be ceramic. For example, here
you can see exactly the hookah, which were even with such saucers,
one of the first models. It is just a drive. That is, coal
was put on him and that’s it? Here they laid coal, and if you …
These are the traces left. And for example, there wasn’t
even a fir tree, there was such a mouthpiece. Well, that is, at that
moment, let’s say, hookah with each version was getting better,
better and better. Now at the moment there is a Christmas tree,
silicone holds better and in fact, if you compare, for example,
with this model, you see, yes, how much the silhouette
of the hookah has changed has become much more interesting. A
little more simplified, thinner. He … yes … I would say more
aesthetically. Yes. Here. The ring has changed. Now we have,
for example, a connector on the o-rings, this is already the trend
for this, it is the connection of the connector to the hose with
the base that changes, because now there are 3 popular mounts,
this is a magnet, grinding and here are the o-rings. We chose the o-rings.
And the flasks changed, they were ceramic, now
they are glass, because the ceramics were made only in black,
now we have glass flasks, but there is already transparent and
manganese and black. 3 types of flask colors and 3 colors of
hookah – red, yellow and wenge. Well, speaking about the brand
Japona Hookah, I can not pass by question about your accessories.
In general, you do not hide the fact that you do
not produce them, but they produced for you by companies
that already exist in the hookah market. That is, the
old personal mouthpiece is Sunpipe, the Blade tongs and
the new personal mouthpiece who makes for you? In a certain
period of time, I realized that the brand needs accessories
and this, let’s say, is what any brand needs. Because
if there is a hookah in the price range of 15-20
thousand, then in order to get acquainted with Japona there
are enough accessories, so that later a person would pay attention.
Brand recognition? Yes, brand recognition. So I
started working with Smokelab on Blade.Tongs? Tongs. I liked
their shape in the form of a knife, a reference to Japanese style.
Sunpipe from Ukraine I liked the completeness
of the product. Where I don’t have to do anything, we
initially finalized what I needed at the start stage, this
is a medal, this is an element of the mouthpiece itself, in
my opinion the basic models do not have a brass ring and
there is no wood insert. Maybe now it’s already, but
at that moment I wanted branding as much as possible,
on the brass ring we made an engraving, on the tape we
made everything and added a medal, now, this was not in
the basic model. I liked the packaging and the third is Artbar.
Are these bowls? Yes, bowls that, let’s say, through
which so many get to know the Japona brand. We directly took
them frozen, let’s call it that, idea it as a braid, a
cord, but it looked, let’s say, not quite the way I
imagined it, that is, now we use the 16-braid waxed cord that
we found, which we tested … As I understand you have tried many cords?
Not that much, but, let’s say, we very
quickly found what we needed. We found the supplier who
could add the color scheme, because, again, someone in the
hookah bowls uses colorful glaze, we decided to use
different colors of the cord. We even had requests, whether
from France or Spain, that there would be a braid
in the form of flags, but let’s say so, then we realized
that it was difficult to do, but at least at that
moment we fixed it. I took the most popular forms of
bowls, this is a mummy, this is a killer, this is a Turk.
We started from these three bowls, then added the
Ego, the Samurai Mask. In general, it is now one
of the most popular forms. Yes, yes, there are certain
basic forms, but there is execution, there is primarily
raw materials that the potter uses and the method of production.
That is, at the moment, the most popular
is slip casting and pottery – hand production. This is
done much more expensive by hands, because each bowl
is made in a circle, but the plus of this bowls is that
it uses very high-quality clay and a professional, a potter who knows how to
work well with clay and do it with his hands … There are only a few of them in Russia.
Basically, everyone chooses exactly slip
casting, because you made the mold once, machined it
and then you just duplicate it in a certain volume and,
let’s say … Just with this method, the scalability
problem disappears, as far as I heard that you have
there are still problems with the presence of bowls.
Until now, already over … It took me only 3 months
to bring bowls into such, let’s say, popularity. Done.
Here are the first 3 months of our collaboration
with Artbar, after that we constantly have a shortage
of quantities, because we connected Europe and they
just take them in thousands. And what needs to be done so that you can
produce as much as there is a need for them? Unfortunately ….. Hands …. And them ….
All our attempts …. Let’s just say …. In the pottery workshop, adding another,
second, third was not successful, because, then how they do it with their hands … It’s
real that a person has more than 20 years of experience, therefore, in this regard,
just take a person for a second, put him in and say – do it, you can’t even teach him
for half a year. Now at the moment we are a little closer to all this, because we found
guys, again from Ukraine, who moved to Russia, to the city of Oryol and are trying
to learn … Well, they also have a lot of experience and they try all kinds of devices. .
. All they need is to start doing the same as he does. He can physically do it, unscrew
150 bowls a day, after a 3 days his fingers come off and he just needs to rest for a
while, that is, he can actually grind there, well, 20 days from the force a month and how
many … Plus not We consider a certain amount of marriage, a fairly common occurrence,
plus the first scrap firing, plus milk cooling, etc. Well, that is, all the factors
reduce the number of bowls and now I have at the moment orders for example 5,000 bowls,
but in fact we give out only 1,500, I hope that in a month we will have 2,000 bowls.
And then it still does not close the need. Do you have such a problem only
with bowls or with hookahs too? Well, not only with the bowls
of the problem, with hookahs, too, because, again, the main
element in the design is the decor. Decor is a wood, respectively
problems with a wood, quality of this wood. I’m still faced with
the fact that you are looking at the board, it seems to be
whole, there are no cracks, no knots. You start to process
it and after heat treatment everything that is inside it, when
you are already turning out a baluster, it all appears and you
have to throw it all away, that is, the rejection is crazy. That
is, let’s say, at the start, if they didn’t deceive me …
And are these your expenses? Mine … So they sawed you 50
boards, so I bought 2, 3 cubes, how much of it will come out –
I don’t know, so I still don’t know how many blanks can be made
from a cube. Only for the reason that from year to year, purchase
to purchase … It seems like working with one is normal –
He provided you with good raw materials, the next purchase is terrible.
As with coal, in short) Yes. The wood, unfortunately, is this …
again, the same . .. We make products from it,
we make a baluster. This board is good for the person who sells it.
Because he can use it anywhere – for the construction
of a house, for decoration, etc. That is, he does not need such
a deep processing. And since we are doing this, we have to deal
with it accordingly, and here it all affects the price, which
we have, let’s say so … The cost of Japona Hookah always jumps,
so you can summarize. But do you have some price for it?
Unfortunately, unfortunately, yes, I have to, let’s say, keep this
price without raising it. Even with the advent of new colors
– red-yellow, red and yellow. We started working with guys who
had a well-prepared preparation of the weapon laminate, they
collaborate with the Kalashnikov factory, make stocks, knives,
well, many craftsmen order from them. Well, at the moment
I have no questions for them. But I needed exactly the red color, I needed
exactly the yellow color in the format of the lineup in order to give the opportunity not
only to wenge and light wood for example, I didn’t really like it, how it looks externally,
again I have to … How to say … I’m always in search of something new, I, unfortunately,
in Russia do not have the opportunity to buy exclusive expensive wood species, as it is in
Europe and … well … the opportunity may be and there is, but the question of cost will
then grow significantly, because the hookah is really from wood, that is, decorative
elements from wood are on the saucer, and on the shaft, and on the mouthpiece. As far as you know,
a lot of manufacturers try to minimize the amount of wood and just use the overlay on the
shaft and as thin as possible. Because the thickness of the bar is 50, you grind it already
43-42, you have to glue it in 2 parts in order to go to workpiece 75 there. You can’t buy a
75 board, it just doesn’t and nobody will cut it like that. If they do, then for completely
different money. You have to glue, RF does the same, Wookah does the same, that is, they
are from two halves. The issue of gluing, the choice of glue, the reliability of this, it all
affects it. Here in the weapon laminate you can order the thickness, that is, everything
is in layers there and, accordingly, as if I need 30 on the saucer, I need 75 on the mine,
well, I order 80 because it is also processed And what are you doing in this
such, not big, but not small production, so to say average,
good, standard production, what are you doing? There are 200 square meters. But we
started with 20. After 20 square meters, we moved right here? Yes, but not right away.
I needed a lock of 1.5 years. In the same building there is
a room of 20 square meters. Near somewhere? Yes, in the corridor there, a small room,
I rented there … 500 rubles a square meter … in general … it was not as
expensive as 200 square meters. What are you doing here right now?
More, at the moment, I’m trying to delegate a lot of my responsibilities, if at the
start I was also engaged in coating hookahs with oil, the wood was processed by assembly, packaging, and advertising.
Now I just give certain responsibilities to my wife and we have … already in November there will be a year,
Evgeny Vasilenko works with us, he is engaged in more Conceptic Design, because the
brand has become more and we are no longer in time. Well,
what would everyone do certain things? Yes, well, probably for many manufacturers it
will be fun to hear what we have in fact … we have … 3 employees. Only. Only 3 employees? Yes, only 3 employees
are here, here. Everyone else is outsourcing. Naturally, we lack, an accountant – I, a logistician – I, I breed all
this in my car, drive to the studio, shoot everything, work through scripts, work out everything from photos,
videos, etc. Well, that is, in this regard, as if, the team is growing, I already have about 4 photographers who work
with us. There is a videographer who constantly shoots us at different times. That is, we are acquiring … The designer,
the same, not an unimportant member of the team, the SMM is still on me. I occasionally turn to some supporter
of the company, but let’s say I try everything myself With regards to the premises, how
much is it, what is the rent? Well, as I said, 200 square meters, 500
rubles a square meter. Was she still like that? Well, small rooms, maybe
there were 450-470, but now it’s 500. There is heating, it includes
light, that is, all at once 500 turnkey. But here there is a very
good floor and the unloading and loading area is very convenient, so
in this regard I like the location itself, I live nearby, 1 km from
here I have an apartment, so … Especially from this area and do not leave?
I’m leaving because I have establishments in the center of Arka
on Bolshaya Konyushennaya and … mmm … Cuba Libre on Sadovaya,
there I still do outsourcing, so I have my own hookahs there and I have
to go there. Listen, and please tell us what you are motivated for,
where you feed knowledge, and maybe there come moments when you give up,
you don’t want to do anything, how do you solve this problem and where
do you take energy so to speak to continue to do this, and, respectively,
new ideas that would be born new models, etc. Listen, my main
motivator is my family, my daughter is already 15 years old, well, I’m 41 …
Therefore … In this regard, my family motivates me to go further,
further and further. Therefore . .. Guys. Marry, start families,
children and this is the best engine in life to move on. Do you say
that you do a lot of things, is there enough time for a family? Well,
since my wife helps me and the child is no longer small … Does
my daughter also come to help? Yes, and my daughter helps, in her spare
time she comes, for example, collects boxes. Well, we have a family
business, in this regard, as if we are trying as much as possible to
economically approach our spending. Let’s just say that when Conceptic
Design already appeared and circulations began to grow, we had
contracts with our distributors and we did not fit the deadlines – I
understood that, okay, we need to take employees and not just one but several,
and now we say so , we are going to ensure that even more more
employees appear, but sales volumes will influence this too and I … Now
my main task is to find, assemble this team and delegate certain
duties to them as much as possible. Listen, do you constantly mention
the European market and as far as I know, now generally, the company Japona
Hookah and all your other brands are focused, probably more on Europe?
How did you come to this in terms of time, 2016 – when did you start
doing this now, in terms of the Europe / Russia sales ratio, how did
it change? Well, again, everything, as they say, stuffing bumps. You
make your forehead and so on. That is, at first you, like everyone else,
probably like so many manufacturers in Russia, sent through EMS, through
the Russian Post 1, 2 hookahs. They saw you on instagram, facebook,
naturally, there are no Europeans on vkontakte, there are more instagrams,
of course. Then they write to you in direct, you make a shipment,
but this is retail. Then I got distributors in Spain, France, Germany,
now …. Then they appeared already in America. And with each of them
you begin to build … already work fully, when it is already necessary
to send whole pallets. That is, the issue of customs clearance,
logistics is added to the cost and this affects the pricing already on
the shelf in a particular country. Because the guys are respectable,
they pay taxes, and …. taxes in Europe from 15 to 21 percent on
imported products. Well, by invoice? Yes, well, for example, our friends
from Spain are always trying to minimize their …. The mentality of
the country? Yes, the mentality … The Germans never do this. The French
at first tried, but basically, in the end, they work honestly and
that’s what the cost is, they pay such a tax. Here, retail sales of up
to 30 kilograms of your weight is one story, and all that is above is
there with pallets, for example, today we sent 180 hookahs to Belarus,
well, the total weight of the boxes was, in my opinion, 380
kilograms, that is, naturally, no EMS. .. Naturally, it’s easier with
Belarus, it’s a customs union. Well, there are difficulties there, as if
they also have certain obligations and taxes, so they have a lot of
difficulties there, in terms of just tobacco … Well, with tobacco
it’s clear … Well, with hookahs the same thing. They are paying. But
at the time of negotiations with distributors, say from Spain, they
all happen in English, or how? Yes, yes, communication in English, which I do
not know at all, here … Google translator, my everything. I can even tell a funny incident
when I went to an exhibition in Frankfurt. At that time, the brand’s popularity was, in my
opinion, already quite high, thanks to ElWano, my official distributor throughout Europe, I
removed all distributors from Spain, France and now I have one. They have a large warehouse
and it’s easier for us logistically there to carry in large quantities all the products
and it already diverges, already with the documents, officially. That is, not every store
separately deals with design, etc., and there is already a product with documents and it’s
easier for them, they just take a commission for their transportation and shipping services.
So, accordingly, at that time I started writing that I was going to Frankfurt, to the
exhibition, we were exhibiting for the first time and many bloggers started writing to me
about how we would like to interview you, chat with you and so on .. And I am like that –
Oooh, how am I going to communicate with them, I don’t know German, English at school level.
Because they had an opinion, in my communication on facebook and instagram with them, that I
was there with them, la-la-la, and about the weather, and about St. Petersburg, and about
Russia, and about hookahs, about tobacco . .. And how did you solve this situation?
Well, the translator was with us … Not bad And for sales, let’s say how much as a
percentage has changed? That is, from your start, how much was 0% there? The first
batch of hookahs I made 50 pieces. To Europe? No, in general, after the purchase
of hookahs, the first batch was 50, then 100 and now 100 – 100 – 100 was probably
during the year, then … Each Hookah Club Show added certain … Customers from
Europe? Volumes, yes … And, accordingly, as if every year there are already 150,
250, etc. That is, for example, now we are more likely, if you take accessories
also from the Japona Hookah brand, we probably sell more to Europe … How much
is this about? Well, probably already 60. Well, it changes from month to month.
In fact, there are such months that in Russia they take much more. Well, firstly,
Kazakhstan also connected, Belarus joined, Arab countries joined, and that …
We have been cooperating for more than two years, in my opinion, with the Buldozer
Group, these are very cool guys who have very cool establishments. Alexander
Orlov, a very famous restaurateur .. Here are the guys who work, well, the hookah
department, they chose our brands and they put it in Moscow, Ukraine, and Hong
Kong. Thanks to them, roughly speaking, we began to work with Hong Kong very
actively. And how is the hookah industry there? In Hong Kong, we went to one
institution, naturally they communicate with each other, a new
product, they came, they tried, they liked it – where to get it?
Naturally, we saw Instagram, googled it, found everything
and started writing, and every month, let’s say, shipments go and go.
So it was with Japan. Well, let’s just say that, always,
in every country there is one or another person who takes the first step.
Well, definitely. In the same way as in another
city in Russia, someone first buys, one restaurant or there
is a bar, or a hookah. He tries as much as possible to advertise
it, to indicate that here come to us in the hookah room we have
got such a model Japona Hookah. Sooner or later, other guys come there.
Are there hookahs in Japan at all? In Japan, yes,
in Tokyo, about 60. Not bad. If not more, because I have been
working with them for about 1.5 years. Well, they do not have such super sales, in
comparison, even with Hong Kong, if we take the Asian market in general, because there are hookahs
in Vietnam and Thailand. Are they banned in Thailand? Well,
at that moment, it turned out even before the strong one, let’s
say so, let’s call it a ban and an active fight against
it and whether it is waged or not, this fight. But at least
we shipped a part, but now, at the moment, we are not shipping.
We will say this, one-time shipments that were still to
Australia, Hong Kong, China, etc. I do not think this is super much.
But it is interesting. But this is in any case an additional
experience, and there I, for example, communicate with everyone
in winchat, because there is a button there right away – a translation. A Chinese
writes to me in Chinese, a Japanese writes to me in Japanese, someone in English, that is, to
me winchat is very user friendly. We communicate with Europeans
in WatsUp, for example, or in the same Direct on Instagram,
where I have to copy the text to Google translator, then check,
well, in general, it’s fun. For my …. Here it is easier for me to communicate
with guys from Asian countries, winchat is super in this regard. Well, for those who do not know
English, let’s say this. Let’s move on, after the Japona Hookah brand, you acquired 2 more brands,
first it was Conceptic Design, then Solomon. Why did you even decide to buy these brands, why do
you still need hookahs? Well, in any case, we are growing, yes, and their appetites, let’s say, are
becoming more and more and in the first place you already have one or another experience. For some
time you understand the needs of the market and when one or another institution opens and they say that
we open and after 2 months we need, please, 5-10 Japona Hookah. So you want to close the need with
these brands? Yes, I can now pack the institution as much as possible. And I ask them a question,
and what else … you don’t need 5 hookahs in the hookah room, they tell me about 30-40 hookahs are
needed, we will buy this or that. I perfectly understand that these hookahs go to the VIP zone
and for good guests, like premium hookahs. And all the other hookahs are not mine. And at that moment
Andrey made Capsule hookahs and I was puzzled, Andrey I really need a hookah in the mass market
segment, there … I would like to sell it about 10 thousand, let’s try to implement something somehow.
That is, he made Conceptic Design specifically for your order? Yes. He originally planned, but
he did two, he did not know what he would do of them. As a result, he sold both Conceptic and Capsule .
.. But why didn’t you want to buy a Capsule? Again, this is a matter of pricing,
the cost of the product, it is enough … it is a little more
difficult to implement and I did not see any variability in it.
Because at that moment, well, so many brands suffer from the
lack of variation of hookahs, that is, the color scheme. For
example, if you make a hookah from polyacetal, you at best make it
from black, classic, you have options for red, blue, white,
but they will not become super popular due to their material.
In Conceptic Design, we directly chose, in addition to the classic
steel model, working with carbon fiber, because at that time we
understood the popularity of this material in Europe. So the
carbon idea came from Europe? I directly understood that the
overlay should be made of carbon fiber, a carbon pipe, because I
saw it, because it is popular in Europe, and we already work there
and, accordingly, it is easier for us there. And let’s just say, at the start, Conceptic Design
hookahs were given life by Europe, sales of hookahs there. We shipped the first 200 hookahs
there, naturally, they dispersed there and we realized that they
were becoming more and more popular on instagram and more, etc. Although Russia had not
tried them yet and say so, the Russian market was careful about this, they waited so to speak high traffic on our part, which
we, at last, have produced. We made variability in choosing a mouthpiece – here you have a
carbon mouthpiece. Actually very cool. Yes, 40 centimeters, he also
has a different color palette, that is, blue, red, green, gold and black.
In general, besides you, who else uses carbon in the
Russian market? Andrey Zhukov, RF, in my opinion, guys with
Shadows, right? Something like that they are called. To be honest …
Well, I know this brand, but I don’t remember … Yes, they just have a black color and
that’s all, that is, they limited themselves to color, and we released five colors at once. And
on the decor of the mine and on the mouthpiece, here, therefore,
in this regard, as it were… We have 3 words that, so to speak,
we take out in capital letters – it is lightweight, reliable, stylish.
Style is thanks to carbon and combinations of steel and polyacetal,
light – it is due, again, to carbon, because it has weight. Light weight, yes.
Lightweight enough. Reliable – this is due to precisely its
construct, because unscrewing the lower immersion tube, screwing it into
the polyacetal or into the capsule that is pressed into it, is again
an increase in the price, because the details are added, well, and
this is the unwinding, carrying . .. It’s so sometimes for me, after
listening and reading publics, it feels like our hookahs are not
standing still and are always randomly moving from apartment to apartment, etc.
Well, some people might. Well, for this there are mini hookahs,
let’s say so. And the Conceptic Design hookah is, let’s say, the
modern Khalil Mamoon, which is not collapsible, which has a central
immersion pipe. To the owner who spent 200-300 thousand he will have
a headache … he will not have a headache, that at the end of the
shift, the hookah-hooker twisted something unscrewed because he would
be forced to dismantle and wash the hookahs. Well yes. Accordingly,
it is quite reliable in this regard, we finally switched, again
due to a time factor, from classical gaskets, which were once popular,
and now they are less and less popular. Now, seals are already …
Yes, seals are, let’s say, this is the past. Now these are magnets,
this is grinding, this is origins. But choosing from these options, I
perfectly understood that I have a difference in materials, a stainless
steel connector, and a base made of polyacetal, respectively, lapping
will not work, what remains is a magnet, well … Then your 3 words
will not work, Sooner or later. Yes, regarding reliability, yes, for
example, I want to send my hookah to Spain and I don’t want to be
called in 3 months, write – send us a package of magnets, because
something happened to your magnets, nothing comes from the orings doesn’t
happen and … Well, they are erased all the same sooner or later?
Lingering time, of course, the question of ease of replacement.
Well, they can be easily changed? Yes, there are many, probably easier to change than a
magnet. Well, in my opinion, it is possible that the company MattPear, for example, has no problems with
this at all and they have debugged the work of an additional service. I will say this, probably due to
the lack of a large number of teams. Well, again, they did so, after the first versions of hookahs,
before it was very difficult to change magnets there and they had to develop a whole port structure
that was easy. Well, this again suggests that the production of hookahs does not stand still, it is
changing, of course, changing for the better. We, as manufacturers, hear what they say to us, we begin to
pay attention to it, we will say this, when you made 1000 hookahs, how many calls should affect the change
in the construct, that is, if they do not reach the critical point, then you leave it on same level.
What do you think, if not a secret? BUT? What do you think of the appeal? This, again, is an internal
feeling, when you start talking and talking, you begin to understand that damn it, blowing in the Japona
Hookah, producing a flask completely from one time is important. And no matter how hard I refuse and
tell everyone, guys, it’s much more important for me to blow a cup, not a flask, but the consumer decides
so at the moment. Market Trends? Market trends. And accordingly, I have to change the base constructive,
make 2 classic holes. At first it was at 120 degrees, now at 180. That is, all these improvements
and Japona Hookah changed based on, here … Needs . .. Now you are satisfied with Japona Hookah and
Conceptis Design, in the format in which they are now? Japona Hookah – Yes. I most likely in Japona Hookah,
maybe from the nearest, what I would like to change is to add options for the colors of the flasks. All
hookahs can be found … Of course. What can be faulted … And Japona Hookah
has the same thing. For example, with the addition
of weapons laminate colors, I am not saying that this is material that is perfect.
The ideal material is heat-treated ash, coated with oil, not varnish. The varnish also cracks, water
gets into it and you can’t change it in any way. In our case, we use the oil that we rub into the tree,
massage such a tree, that is, we rub the oil, thanks to this there is a possibility, even for the guys,
conditionally in Vladivostok, if over time the tree there became more dull or dull, he took a clear oil
, I myself, remotely, bought for 150 rubles, rubbed and restored the appearance of the hookah. It is
interesting. And I’m directly … And if I varnished, he could not have done such manipulations. That is,
this again speaks of the reliability of the hookah, that is, even being in another country you can restore
the appearance of the hookah thanks to a fairly cheap cost. Transparent oil is there, well, a penny,
100-150 rubles and that’s it. For a weapon laminate, let’s say, the reliability of pressing the sheets
that alternate, red / black, red / black, is here at the moment, let’s say so, as long as there are no
complaints. This again depends solely on my suppliers, on their workmanship. That is, if today they put me
wonderfully everything, they did it to my conscience, this does not guarantee me, then after half a year
or at some time they will do something wrong. Listen, it seems to me that in any
business there are such moments when you seem to work, work and
that’s it, tired, tired, I don’t want anymore. It was so? Listen
honestly no. Did not have? Conceptic came to me in 2018, it was a
conscious decision to the fact that I need a hookah that fits into the
mass market, in price, there are about 10 thousand, there are 9900
without a bulb, and japons are 15 thousand and above and Now
we have already taken the third category of premium hookahs, elite,
which cost 1000-1300 euros. These are Solomon hookahs, huh? Yes
Solomon, it is now sold in Russia for 1000 euros in Russia, in Germany
it costs 1300 at ElWano. Cool. Therefore, I always … Solomon
appeared in 2019, respectively, each time I added myself, let’s
say, the difficulties that I added. Well, that is, how did you go into
this business with burning eyes, so your eyes are still burning?
Yes, yes, yes … Actually, it’s really great. The lineup will change
in any case, we did not combine all this under one brand, because
the style of Japona Hookah is Japona Hookah, Conceptig Design
is a conceptual style, minimalism, carbon, that is, the use of modern
materials, etc. And Solomon is such a hookah, which, by the way,
I did not for Russia. Immediately for Europe? Yes, Europe, Dubai,
Arab countries. In Dubai, we have already sold a fairly good
amount of hookahs. How much if not a secret? Well, the last shipment
was 7 pieces, and so on singly, 1, 2 hookahs. That is, he already
started in his circles there …? Not yet … This is not a product
that will be sold in dozens . .. well, hundreds. This is a product
that … Here you have a main brand and there is a luxury that
you can say so, selling slowly, 1-2 at a time, well, they didn’t
take it, so what. And then it fired, they called there,
conditionally, from some night club in Dubai and said the guys are cool
hookahs, we want 10 pieces or 20, I say – we’ll do it okay. By the
way, Desvall is there for 4,500 euros, it is sold in hundreds, so
let’s say it is not Desvall, of course, we are still far from this,
but we are striving for this. Okay, we haven’t talked about just one brand
now, this is the Solomon brand. Which costs remind me how much? 1000 euros in Russia,
that is, 80 thousand rubles, well, 70 … 73. Yes. Well, again, yes. It turns out, I
recently found out, it costs 1300 euros in Germany. Well transportation, taxes. Yes,
transportation, taxes, appetites and anything else can be said, but again, when you find
out that a mummy bowl is sold there for 35 euros, and the main bowl is 25-30, and your
bowl is 5-6 euros more expensive due to your popularity and it does not lie there. That
is, only we sent, a week later, again applications for the site. This is actually
interesting and cool, because in Europe there is no such hard dumping as we have for hookahs
and that’s it. Everyone is trying to lower the price, bring down the price, but there
it is vice versa. Design is important for them, here the Europeans have this taste for
things, it is completely different. But back to Solomon, how many were produced in the
first batch? You only had one? Initially, there were 5 pieces, now it is done 12. Maybe
next time we will be able to make 20, but so far there is no such … Demand? He just
something, it turns out, we officially presented it in April in Frankfurt. 1.5 months
we needed to start, that is, there were 2 prototypes, a small batch. And for the
whole summer we sold it turns out 35 and now we still need to calculate the orders, somewhere
around 45 pieces. And how many of these 45 were sold in Russia? In Russia …. m …
in my opinion, 4 … Well, hookahs were bought in Kazakhstan, the guys have in Ukraine,
in Belarus … But the bulk is Europe? Not only Dubai, for example, is mostly Arab
countries, because it is marpuch, but, if I noticed, we don’t have simple mouthpieces of
sticks, cheap sticks, which some people probably fan of. That is, take a Japona Hookah
mouthpiece, take a Conceptic Design mouthpiece, they are both different and I believe
that a person contacts a hookah through a mouthpiece and what you hold in your hands,
well, a personal mouthpiece or just that . .. That there is everything through it …
Tactile sensations? Tactile sensations, that is, if you were given just this cheap
stick with engraving or with rings, or even without. Well, okay, that doesn’t say that
it’s good or bad, we used to use mouthpieces made of plexiglass and were happy. Then they
gave us Amy painted aluminum mouthpieces, they were also considered super mouthpieces
and rejoiced, but it does not stand still. I believe that if we stood out before, well,
each manufacturer tried to surprise with the structure of the mine, some design, the
use of certain materials, but now it’s the basis, if you don’t make an interesting
saucer and mouthpiece, friend, you’re late. You haven’t finished your hookah, you just .
.. As I call them, shaft-saucers who made a shaft and saucer and thinks that
it’s a hookah. No, here in Europe you definitely don’t have anything to shine if
you don’t have your own bulb and if you don’t have your own mouthpiece. And this
makes competition, that is, the number of manufacturers is more and more and you
have to stand out with something. And … I’m not saying that everything is fine
with me and I have something to work on, of course, that is, I will still change,
add a lineup. Soon we will have Conceptic Smart, we’ll even differ in the name,
all have Mini, and we will have Smart. Please tell me how much do you rate your
company in general, well, approximate figures. Let’s say today is such a day that you
decided to sell your business, sell your company. By brand? Not at all. Oh, in general .
.. Well, you decided to leave the hookah market, to leave the hookah business … Well,
if this all happens … I think that it is there … Well, you need to take it …
Approximately? Approximately, that would be enough for me for 3 years … To be engaged
in completely different. Well, I think it’s about 300 million. Not bad. And let’s,
roughly speaking, summarize how you see your company in the future, in 20-30 years? We
are already participating in international exhibitions, in addition to the Hookah Club
Show, this is Shisha Messe in Frankfurt, maybe it will be in Spain soon, maybe we will
get to Brazil. I am sure that the company will feel confident already in the Arab
countries, because there is a request for this. Therefore, strategically I am more
focused specifically on that market, because the Russian consumer is aimed … let’s just
say, focuses more on the lower segment, so Conceptic Design will do great, they
will also try it on what we bet on, namely carbon, this will gain momentum, as
happened in Europe, we are a little late in this regard. The consumer himself will try
this material and understand what it is. Therefore, if we talk about my
company in 2025, this is probably most likely 2 such premises, about
10-15 employees, and finally, maybe the sales department. That
is, you want to say that in 5 years you will already have two rooms?
I’m sure that we won’t fit here, I’m sure that we will
be a more global and more serious company and we will have a
much higher turnover, and the lineup will change. If I am
currently experiencing a shortage of certain colors, then I don’t
have it there, I have to speak, now at the moment there are some
models that can’t be bought and I need some time, now I just
need to invest more working capital and invest .. Investments?
Yes, investments, so that I have a stock of goods. Here the
main problem is that it would be available stock. This is exactly
what happens with japona Hookah, unfortunately. And according to
Conceptic Desogn, everything is always there. It seems to me
that this problem will be just solved if you arrange all
production right here. Wasn’t there such a plan? Or will it be too
much on investment? See if you are talking about the production of
a full cycle? Yes. Again, the question of responsibility. If
there Maklaud, as they say, has 30 employees in the company and
the investment is much larger than mine. But then again, feed
30 people – you need to sell a lot more … That is, I do not
sell so much yet. And you don’t give the same money for outsourcing?
Yes, I wouldn’t say it … Come on, I probably didn’t
figure it out so that I could directly declare it, but for myself,
I determine if my sales will be in thousands, of course, I
will think about it, while this figure no, most likely it is not
relevant when there will be thousands, 3-5-10 thousand hookahs
I need to make, of course, I will understand that this is a
completely different figure and the economy will be such that it will
be easier for me to buy 4-5-6 machines in park, leasing or at
their own expense, or at the expense of investors and build a
turning and milling workshop. You probably calculated at yourself
how long you will have such a volume? Have you ever considered?
Yes, of course not. Well, of course, I dream .. And set a goal?
Suppose there is such a goal, for example, after 10
years to do 10,000 hookahs per month? You know, every year …
We have a 100% growth, we started with 50 Japona Hookah hookahs
and each Hookah Club Show gives jumps – 100, then 150, 200, etc.
That’s why Conceptic Design appeared, we started with 100
hookahs, then 300, now the 500 production cycle is sort of … I’m
sure that Conceptic Design will be sold in thousands, it’s a
little easier than Japona Hookah. Will Japona Hookah be sold in
thousands, maybe yes. But I can’t say how long this will happen.
But Solomon will certainly be sold in the minimum amount of
20 units per month. Well, who knows, if this hookah will go
very much in the same UAE, where, in principle, solvent people.
Well, this hookah is more likely to be for home, in order to simply ….
Interior? Yes. This is an interior hookah, this is the
hookah that really … m … cool to give. Well, yes … I do not argue.
As Sasha Nuahule did now, he presented a hookah to his
subscriber. Yes, if you want a very cool gift that will cause
a wow effect, then Solomon is probably that gift. I don’t
think, but maybe it will be, but not on a massive scale, in some
five-star hotels, nightclubs, there may be a park of several
models, but most likely it will be one by two – no more. So there
is no mass in this product. Yes, and I most likely will not
be able to do it this way using production technology. Because
marble carbon is such a material it is quite difficult to work with it.
There, the carbon fiber fabric is cut by caresses,
laid out with tweezers in the matrix, the matrices are very
expensive and the process itself . .. This, this … Well, sports
cars are made, all luxury accessories, the simplest, probably,
on what you can see these phone cases, exactly marble carbon,
which cost 15-20 thousand rubles. If you take 3 brands in
total, how much is the hookah sold per month? Well now
selling 250 Japona Hookah, 500 Conceptic Design, 10-12 Solomon.
And there is more income, specifically by brand, if,
probably, all the same with Japona? Yes, Japona Hookah,
because they have a larger product matrix, there are
more accessories, bowls and, accordingly, Conceptic Design
is only gaining momentum, he has 2 bowls, well, 2 forms. At
Solomon, the nearest one is probably a personal mouthpiece,
not for 5900, but there will probably be about 10-12
thousand rubles. With precious metals? Yes, most likely they
will be there, maybe stones, well, something is very cool.
In any case, if a hookah costs 1000-1300 euros … Well, yes …
I can even tell you so, the Solomon package
costs 10,000 rubles. That is, can I have a hookah without packaging?
Without packaging? I think you will have those who wish.
Well, no, I do not agree. And if … Such a final
question, everyone loves to ask him, what is the company’s
turnover per month, per year, any convenient figure for you?
It’s difficult to calculate exactly the month …
And … It’s the turnover right? Yes. Well, of course I
would like to hear the profit, but you are unlikely to tell me it.
Yes, it changes from month to month, of course,
and is growing. If the average in numbers, well, 5-6
million per month. It was 10, but it’s … A good month, let’s say.
Well, apparently it was less then, but the average
is 5-6 million? Yes, it was much less. And there were 50
hookahs, it became 250, there were 500 bowls, it became
1,500 and the line was half a year ahead. And we started
Conceptic Design with 100, now 500 hookahs, the same
bowls, Conceptic Design had 50 bowls, now 500. And in general,
if we take the relative figures, by how many percent
the company grows per year? And, in fact, plus 100%. Good rate. Yes,
that is, every Hookah Club Show and a month or two after the exhibition
immediately sales are doubled. That is, my Japona Hookah with 100 stepped into 200
hookahs after the exhibition. From 200 to 300 after the exhibition. It’s just
that now, in addition to the Hookah Club Show, in which I participated in 2014,
like the first one, now there is the JohnCalliano Festival summer and winter,
now there are Frankfurt and Shisha Messe, and in Spain, you also need to visit and
help their official distributors which are. That is, in this regard we are
not standing, and again, I am saying that we look much wider, that is, Russia
alone is not enough for me. Since the exhibition gives the company growth so
much, how much does this stand cost, which is behind us? Well, if so, the
gate is 120 thousand, the samurai are 60 thousand each, well, 240 thousand in total.
Do you carry it with you? Well, this is our entrance group, the gates of Thor
and they are collapsible due to their design, complexity of execution and volumes .
.. Are the samurai also collapsible? Yes, the samurai are also collapsible,
the head is removed from the samurai and the horse, and everything else is
preserved and transported, they are also mobile and samurai will already appear at
the 2020 Hookah Club Show, already with swords. Well, in general, let’s put it
this way, we are promoting the Japanese style in this regard. Well, it has
definitely paid off for you. Yes, again, it all affects brand integrity, marketing
and so on. Yes, it’s really cool … And it works, and if there is an opportunity
it is better to use it. And at the moment this is my competitive advantage,
unlike other manufacturers who are not in St. Petersburg. To transport
this to Moscow or somewhere to the same Europe, to Germany, it will result in a
pretty penny. It is possible that someday we will do it, let’s say that there’s
nothing complicated about it, it’s only in financing and approach. That is,
probably, mine, such … cool … cool participation there with a full-fledged
stand in Frankfurt will probably be decorated in the Japanese style. While we
say so, the hodgepodge, ElWano collects all brands and takes a large stand, it
is 60-80 square meters and each has its own legal 2-3 meters, where we try to
show ourselves as much as possible. Someone can afford a full-fledged stand …
But there are price tags of 20,000 euros and higher, this is only the place.
Building … Well, understand .. Wow Friends, thank you all
very much for watching, well, we just couldn’t
get away from here, we and Stas will play the Conceptis Design
Smart hookah, which just went on sale right? Yes. What do I need to do?
Subscribe to Instagram account Conceptic
Design, Japona Hookah, Solomon, us UgliStuffStore,
as well as write a comment in one or two
sentences the slogan for the company Conceptic Design.
Yes. And, in fact, whose slogan we
like best, the Conceptic Design hookah will leave for it. Guys, I
wish you good luck, I hope that I will like your creative, which you show, and we will
use it in future at exhibitions and on our posters, table tents, etc.
So I wish you good luck. Yes, all the best, see you soon.
Bye Bye! Thank you for watching and we apologize for the inaccuracy of the translation, since this is our first attempt at writing subtitles, do not judge strictly, we hope it was interesting!