Golden years at the University
It all began with a temporary job during my studies at the University of Economics in Prague in the year 1995, as I acted as an interpreter for show swordfighters on their journeys from the Czech Republic to the west. Here I helped to spread awareness about the art of Czech swordfighters, jugglers, dancers and other artists and craftsmen. For most of the artists, and for me, it was kind of fun and distraction from the rather boring city life after the Velvet Revolution.
The swordfighters were easily able to win an audience′s attention even without their language. They showed in their show that they are good mimes, stuntmen and comedians. I remember several cases, when obviously surprised spectators lost their fresh tapped beer, after it was drunk in one go by a sword fighter during his improvisation.
Interest was aroused not only in swordfighters' art, but also in their armor and weapons - equipment necessary for an forceful impression of the show. It was amazing, how easy they could get rid of a used sword, helmet, chain mail, or even of a full-suit armor. The swordfighters were not against - knowing where they could easily get new equipment, or even how to make it themselves.
Genesis of the entrepreneurial concept
During this time, an idea was born, how I can secure my living financially. I began to focus instead on the nomadic lifestyle with artists, on trade with swords, armor and other outfits. Through my first website I came to know several important people who understood not only history, but also trade. But three things were important for success. The third thing was a good technical skill and expertise of blacksmiths, armourers, saddlers, shoemakers, tailors, etc. And right here I found my role. Not that I had mastered all the crafts. Bit I knew the good craftsmen and could offer their rare and original products to the right businessmen.
Time to do things differently
Studying and doing business did not fit together well. Thanks to the support of my parents and warning stories of several fellow students excluded from the studies, I was finally able to bring the studies to the diploma award.
My alma mater gave me fresh knowledge from the field of international trade, commercial law and foreign languages. These were good starting conditions to do things differently: in a professional, responsible way and with full commitment.
Unlike many competitors who sought their success when selling on medieval markets and festivals (not paying any taxes), I established a LLC company and began to sell goods over the Internet. The company name "Wellcrafted s.r.o." was intended to show that the craft is done well and honestly here.
The company name itself was not enough. A forthcoming customer care, reliable service and a straightforward distribution channel were also very important. So the online shop www.outfit4events.com and its version for customers from German-speaking countries www.outfit4events.de were established.
I met Vladana Milfaitova in this time. She started to helped me with her effort and hard work to deal with all the red tape duties. Doing business in the Czech Republic and many EU countries is associated with a lot of paperwork, which is a thoroughly boring and uncreative activity. My thanks, Vladana, that you have taken over this difficult work!
Since I had my hands free, I was able to development our trade activities. The majority of thousands of photos shown in our shop were taken by me. Even if these images were obviously not taken by a professional, their purpose was fulfilled at that time - to show the product to the customer most faithfully, from all sides, not retouching anything. The idea was not to give a false impression of a product, which would disappoint the customer. A disappointed customer never buys again moreover he will not keep his disappointment under his hat. On the other hand, a satisfied customer comes back and perhaps recommends us to others.
By honest approach to gradual growth
The business concept has proven to be viable. The company did not have to worry about big profits. Two enthusiastic young people did not need much for living.
Today we are five, and together we are securing livelihoods for approximately 25 artisans. Our trading activities have grown to onathoer thematic online store intended for Czech customers only (www.mysticum.cz).
An honest approach is not enough
Two things in life can be taken for granted: death and constant change. We go to meet change by putting innovations into practice. You are now visiting the third generation of our online store, which is a result of the above mentioned innovations. It looks simple, but believe me - it's hard work! Hopefully, we are conducting our business well, as is supported by positive customer reviews.
If you, dear reader, have got thus far, I must thank you for your patience. Please keep your fingers crossed for us, so that we will do well in future. Thank you!