Interview with Stanislav Oleynikov
How long have you been acquainted with the hookah industry?
In 2014 I worked as a bar manager at Red Club & Cadillac R’n’B cafe nightclub, the hookah outsourcing guys came in, from that moment I started to slowly get into this business.
Tell us about the projects you’ve created
1.Japona hookah is designer hookahs, cups and accessories in Japanese style. Production in St. Petersburg since 2016.
2.Conceptic Design is a hookahs and accessories made of steel and carbon in tech style. As of 2018.
3.Solomon hookah is our modern take on the traditional hookah with marpoocheme marble carbon. From 2019.
Where do you get your inspiration for creating such, cool brands?
For Japona hookah, we get inspiration from Japanese style and Asian culture.
For Conceptic Design we are inspired by the work of conceptual wear designers in the tech wear style. Lightweight, rugged and stylish.
For Solomon hookah, we were inspired by oriental hookah design, but used modern technology that wasn’t available to our ancestors.
How are sales during and before the pandemic?
Sales have increased for export for all brands, domestically only for cups and accessories.
1.Accessories Japona hookah
2.Accessories Conceptic Design
3.Accessories Solomon hookah
Tell us about your plans for new products? What will it be and when?
We will be releasing three new models of Japona hookahs this summer. New models of Samurai personal mouthpieces. Conceptic Design will have new cups and accessories.
How do you see the market changing over the past couple of years? What are the trends right now?
Definitely the growth of the industry as a whole. New hookah manufacturers with interesting designs. Many new cups and hookah accessories have appeared in Russia. Chinese manufacturers continue to lose market share. There is now a steady trend in the world for Russian hookahs and cups.
Which brand do you like? (Not including your own).
Sympathy for Aeon products.
What do you think will happen to your brands in a year?
An increase in production by 2 times for hookahs, 3 times more for cups and accessories.
How many people work with you?
At the moment four employees in the warehouse and about 70 on outsourcing.
What countries are you working with abroad?
The most stable countries in terms of sales are Germany, Spain, France, Turkey, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and the USA. But in general, we are represented almost everywhere in the world, except Australia and Brazil.
Would the cost of your products decrease if the dollar falls sharply? (If I’m wrong, correct me, but as I understand it, the necessary components are purchased from abroad).
Our share of imported components is small, no more than 10%. We are almost totally dependent on the prices of raw materials in Russia. I doubt that there will be a reduction in the cost of production.
What advice can you give to first-time producers?
In order to become a successful manufacturer, pay attention to design and a clear style of your products and company as a whole. You need a stylish and memorable image that will make you stand out on the store shelf.
Are there certain specifics of caring for your hookahs?
The only product that requires more care is Japona hookahs. The wood is a beautiful material, but excessive moistening of the decor can lead to loss of appearance. The rest of the products do not require much care.
What do you do in your spare time besides hookah business?
I try to devote all my free time to my family. I have a 17 year old daughter.
What is your prognosis for the hookah market in 2021?
Weak players will slow down their development or disappear at all, big international brands are strengthening their market share, the trend for Russian producers in retail will continue to grow.