Alexander is our client and co-founder of Udomi, a custom kitchen and home furnishings company. Alexander told us about current trends in furniture production and how quarantine has affected business development.
My specialization is carpenter-machine operator. I specialized in woodworking. Later I studied management and administration. With future colleagues Yaroslav Rozumny and Evgeny Slutsenko, co-founders of Udomi, we collaborated while working on various projects and, having accumulated more than 10 years of experience, in 2013 decided to create our own company.
In the beginning it was a small rented space, where we took small private orders. Over 2 years of painstaking work, the number of orders has increased, as a result, we were able to significantly expand the staff. The next important step was cooperation with designers. Then we developed a brand book and naming. The turning point in the development of the company was the opening of a showroom in Kyiv.
We love what we do, because custom-made furniture production is not a mass production, it is a universal (and most importantly - exclusive!) Solution that is suitable for any room. For example, for smart apartments, when it is important to use every free centimeter of space; or for rooms with non-standard sloping ceilings. The main advantage of custom-made furniture is 100% realization of a dream. The client gets what he wanted. The same shape, size and color.
ORDERING FURNITURE ON AN INDIVIDUAL PROJECT, THE CLIENT GETS DETAILED SKETCHES AND VISUALIZATIONS
It's good when the client knows what he wants. But even if he does not have a clear vision, we conduct a consultation, discuss the preferred styles, colors and the main tasks that the furniture faces. Then the process goes according to a clearly outlined plan:
- Departure to the object. It is important to assess the scale of the work even at the stage of repair and in the future to avoid such mistakes as incorrectly connected plumbing and electrical communications.
- Preparation of sketches. On the sketch, the client can see how the furniture will look indoors. This is the main argument in favor of custom-made furniture: on the sketch, the client sees where the sink and hood will be installed, how wide the passage will be, and so on. All this can be done online, if the client sends us a photo with the layout of the room.
- Miscalculation. After the approval of the project, we make a final miscalculation and send 2-3 options to the client so that he chooses the one that suits him best for his budget.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US THAT THE CLIENT REMAINS SATISFIED
The most important thing in furniture production is quality. But deadlines are important (if not the second most important after quality). The problem of many domestic manufacturers is in the non-compliance with the production deadlines, from which the reputation and the business itself suffer. We pride ourselves on always keeping up with the terms of production and installation. It is important for us that the client is satisfied.
TIMES AND PREFERENCES CHANGE
The main trend in the production of furniture, I would say, is the desire for practicality, so that the furniture will serve for at least 10 years, and preferably more. Some more interesting trends can be identified.
The design has become laconic. Simple, concise, practical - a worldwide trend in design, so more and more customers are abandoning pretentious styles and ornate decors.
Naturalness and natural beauty in trend. If earlier kitchen countertops were made mainly of quartz and porcelain stoneware, now we also offer natural stones (granite, marble, etc.).
They are more whimsical in care, but their environmental friendliness and natural beauty is a strong argument for.
The working area has come to the fore. People began to pay more attention to the working area in the living space. Many people equip a mini-cabinet on the balcony - they insulate the floor and make the necessary lighting. Also a popular solution is bedroom zoning, when a small corner is allocated for the working area.
Lighting has become an addition to furniture. If earlier the lighting was used mainly for kitchen furniture, now we can use it for any furniture, creating several lighting scenarios. In addition, technology does not stand still, and you can adjust and change the backlight using your smartphone.
DURING QUARANTINE WE CONTINUE DEVELOPING
The first month and a half after the introduction of quarantine, the number of orders decreased, but then people, getting used to the new rhythm of life, resumed repairs. We started to see an increase in orders, and 2020 turned out to be an unexpectedly positive year for business. Now we are working as usual, modernizing and improving production facilities in order to positively stand out against the background of fellow furniture makers.
Today Udomi is a brand with officially registered trademark, which is very important for us. We comply with global certification standards and legal obligations to our clients.