Sell ideas and you won’t have to bother with customs
You can export not only finished furniture products, but also design ideas, visualized projects that will be implemented outside of Ukraine. It is this form of export activity that the Zhytomyr company Фабрика мягкой мебели BW practices, and its owner Aleksey Chernykh told us about it.
The company operates in the upholstered furniture segment. Huge experience in the development of furniture projects, because for a long time BV Mebel designers did not carry out dozens of projects for all major Russian furniture factories. But, like almost all Ukrainian furniture makers, for whom the Russian market was limitless, this “shop closed” for well-known reasons. However, the authority and experience of remote cooperation acquired over the years by the company were not lost, but rather quickly were reoriented outside of Russia – to Lithuania. However, there are enough orders in Ukraine. Projects that are in demand and which now specializes in BV Mebel LLC, for public purposes – the arrangement of clubs, bars, restaurants. Customers, including the Baltic ones, are interested in and satisfied with the cooperation with this Zhytomyr design company in that it offers exclusive projects, develops author’s furniture – original, which you can’t buy in the store. If the products of a significant number of Ukrainian exporters make their way to foreign markets, attracting them with their price, much lower than the local prices, then in the case of BV Mebel, the price is not a determining factor, it is the proposed unconventional, unusual, truly creative furniture and ideas and projects.
The company provides its design experience to foreign customers in 3D-format. However, Ukrainian, too. But Ukrainian sells not only ideas and visualized projects, but also finished furniture. When Russian ties broke, the domestic market became a salvation for the company. Then it was decided to organize their own furniture and furniture. So now BV Mebel is not only design services, but also the development of finished furniture products.
– From Lithuania, you can understand that you receive regular, not episodic, orders for design projects for arranging HoReCa establishments. Do you have a representative office there?
– Formally, he is not. But there are a number of local designers who have made friends with us and are collaborating. Mostly they find customers for us.
– And why can’t they do without you, cope on your own?
– The reason is that in the post-Soviet space there are practically no (or few) designers, talented, experienced designers of upholstered furniture, in contrast to the cabinet furniture segment. What Ukrainian furniture makers produce is basically copied, in which models are slightly re-rotated. The industrial design of upholstered furniture in Ukraine is only in its infancy, and it is we who are pioneers in this matter. Therefore, our developments are completely original and are of interest to customers who understand this. Therefore, practically we have no competitors in this business. Not only in Ukraine, but also in Lithuania. There would be, I think, tangible in Russia.
– After all, and Lithuania is the European Union. Are there higher standards for quality, originality, prestige of projects than in Ukrainian customers?
– I would say the opposite. And our, and Lithuanian customers, I repeat, mainly require originality, uniqueness in the arrangement of their establishments in order to stand out among others, because this is what attracts visitors to a large extent, gives the owners of clubs, restaurants and cafes reason to increase the cost of service. But the Balts are more compliant, gullible, although not squandering money, economical. Usually trust our tastes, our understanding of trends, experience and accept the proposed project almost the first time. Maybe because Lithuanians order projects mainly not for pompous, expensive restaurants or super clubs, but for modest institutions designed for the average visitor. Ukrainian clients are more demanding, wayward and more ambitious. If you create a restaurant or club, then on a grand scale, it’s expensive to wipe your competitors nose. It is necessary to propose two or three versions of the project, and all the same, they make adjustments with the agreed upon, gathering whole “consultations” for this.
The section “Success Stories” was founded as part of a grant project with the support of the Swiss Cooperation Bureau in Ukraine, the name of the project: “Improving the level of cooperation and trust with joint participation in international and national public procurement” – TENDER TOGETHER.