Find here answers to the key questions often asked by novice entrepreneurs and product developers. The bare truth about entrepreneurship, a bitter taste of failures, the sweetness of triumphs, and first-hand experience – everything is blended here into a cocktail of product design and development insights.
Conducting interviews with founders of product design and development companies, we gather their incredible brand growth stories.
Today we meet with Dima Venglinski, Founder and CEO of Fireart Studio, a boutique design and software development company.
Taking the leap into entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint-hearted. Despite this fact, the bravest decide to start their own business.
“You can be a great professional and earn thousands of dollars working for somebody. However, you may face the moment when it becomes boring to you because you want to scale opportunities and move the world toward innovation. Then, you first think of starting your own business.
I like scalable things, so I have tried to scale my design expertise too. I have seen a no better option to scale my skills and ideas than to found my own studio.”
“To work over 16 hours a day was a common thing for me. I just wanted to deliver the best quality without any delays for clients since I knew that they counted on me. So I worked as much as needed to meet the client’s needs.
Fireart Studio was founded very naturally. The orders from my clients were quickly increasing, and I needed the help of other cool professionals who could help me manage everything. That small team became a logical continuation of my attempts to scale design expertise, projects, and opportunities.”
“The story of our brand name is quite funny. At that time, many brands named themselves with random words that sounded cool, so we were not an exception. “Fireart” sounded unique and cool to me, so I opted for this name.
Sure, we didn’t expect that anybody on the web would pick the same name. However, the biggest fun started when we found out that an American 60-year-old retired fireman named his website “Fireart” too. Moreover, it was continuously ranking as the number one search result on the US Google, in spite of all our efforts spent to appear on the top of the Google page.
That American fireman appeared to love art even more than fighting the fire. After retirement, he started creating hand-drawings and selling them on a website named “Fireart.” To buy his web domain Fireart.com was our ever-lasting dream and we tried to discuss it with that man many times, but he always rejected our offers.
The attempts to buy that domain have only resulted in long-year-discussions that are continuing even today. We are like old friends. Our team has even started sending him Christmas and Birthday postcards via email, LOL.”
“Yes, it happened in 2014 when we lost almost all our clients in one month due to the sudden financial collapse in Russia.
At that time, all our clients were only from post-Soviet countries. Dealing with them was easier for me because I was born in a post-Soviet country too and I had a good understanding of their mentality.
In 2014, the ruble (Russian currency) dropped down twice overnight. For our clients, it meant the twice higher price for our services because they made payments in US dollars. That was a shock for both our team and clients because they had no option but to freeze all the projects. Fireart saw the bankruptcy in the face. We stopped even renting an office and started working from home.
The studio continued working for the next 5 months in the hopeless attempts to save a situation. We decided to challenge fate and tried to re-position Fireart on the US market. We threw all our efforts to redesign Fireart’s online presence, created a new website with the content in English, and registered the studio on the US business directories.
In February 2015, we could only cover the employees’ salaries. I was forced to inform the team that they should look for new job opportunities. Being an entrepreneur for many years, I was ready to create a CV and apply for a job in other companies, like other team members.”
WOW! It seems, the company has revived like a phoenix from the ashes.
“It was nothing but magic. The wonder happened the last night before the team was going to stop existing officially. I got an email from Webdesigner Depot, a Canadian design magazine. They ordered 11 illustrations and 6 icons. The promised budget was three times higher if compared with our previous projects.
Walter, if you’re reading this interview, I just wanted to say that your email has been the game-changer for us. You don’t even imagine your contribution to our company. Thank you!
It was a turning point, after which the number of clients from countries all over the globe was continually increasing. That period felt like a complete reset. We rethought our goals, updated appearance, and drastically moved to the next stage.”
This brand revival story evokes wordless excitement. Another big challenge for companies is cooperation with top brands.