At the end of 2017 I start the search for a manufacturer for leather wallets. So I go to the internet and just ask the big search engine. The first supplier looks serious and so I get in contact and order a sample of our Slim Wallet Tallinn. I transfer the costs of 50€ for the sample to the given bank address. Months go by and I hear nothing more from the manufacturer. So I decide to make a hook to the producer and go again on the search. With a second producer the communication fits and so I give there again an order for a sample production. This time two different ones. With the German representative of the production I plan a common journey in January to examine the two samples and to visit the production.
So, at the end of January. For the first time I'm flying alone to a foreign country with a foreign culture to avoid going on holiday. With great respect I board the plane and start my first business trip. Already the following morning I meet the representative and we drive together to the manufacturer in the showroom. Once there, we first drink a traditional tea. Afterwards we look at the samples of our Tallinn wallet. The disappointment is almost unbearable. The workmanship is ridiculously bad and the leather of inferior quality.
My only thought is, "And I flew all the way out here for this?"
As I sit in the Holiday Inn in the evening, completely in self-pity, I examine the samples and think about how it will be to fly home and tell friends and acquaintances about my failed journey. "It couldn't have been," I think. So I decide to put all my eggs in one basket again and contact the first manufacturer. I write the e-mail in the evening at half past nine. So I look for the manufacturer's address, and with a firm intention to go there the next day and knock. After an extensive breakfast I go to the reception and order a taxi. Already at the exit my self-confidence is fluctuating. The hotelier inspects my handwritten note with the address of the manufacturer. "In Shallah", he shouts, which means "God be with you". With mixed feelings I get into the taxi and drive half an hour through the city. Arriving at the destination address, I ask the taxi driver to wait until I have located the entrance to the production. I finally find him and give the taxi driver the "Go". When I push the door open I squint into it. A middle-aged gentleman looks at me in surprise at first, but then comes unerringly towards me. I introduce myself briefly and explain to him that I once commissioned a sample months ago, but have not received an answer until today. He tells me to wait in the entrance. In his office he talks to his staff about our sample and why it hasn't been produced. He is obviously uncomfortable about this and so am I. We both feel completely unprepared and unprofessional. He doesn't know that I am only visiting him out of necessity and so he has to think: "Who flies halfway around the world for fifty euros?
This fleeting encounter has resulted in a solid business relationship, during which we enjoy the personal visit as well as the regular exchange of ideas and enjoy thinking back to our first meeting.
Founder of ETAVI