Madalina Nistor, owner of SILKDOM, a business focused on silk products, told us about her passion for the precious fabric, dating back in her childhood, about her source of royal-related inspiration and her future plans.
How did the SILKDOM story come to life? When exactly and what made you have this turning point to the fashion entrepreneurship?
The moment I launched SILKDOM was the moment my childhood fairy tales finally caught up with me.
I grew up in a house where Beauty was Queen. Every member of my family was an artist to a certain extent, but my maternal grandmother was the one who gave me this love for silk and the courage to pursue my dreams. She was fortunate enough to be close to Queen Mary of Romania when she was very young. She was so impressed by the beautiful, elegant, valiant Monarch! During those times she begun to admire and treasure beautiful, rare things, to love silk and the Romanian traditional costumes. I believe SILKDOM is somehow the legacy my grandmother left me. Every single gift she offered me during my childhood and later on was made of silk, gold or silver. Thanks to her I own an impressive collection of Romanian blouses, all beautiful, handmade treasures embroidered with gold thread or silk or beads.
Coming back to your question, SILKDOM was born at the precise moment when my past crushed back into my life and found me available and willing to venture into new territories. I started this business while on maternity leave with my son. It was back than when I realized that I needed a story of my own, built around what I love most: precious things, arresting stories and silk.
How did you feel the pass from journalism and communication to business? It was like a shock or not precisely?
Just pure pleasure, no hint of shock there! My father has been an entrepreneur for the last 20 years so it somehow came natural to me. My communication background has been of great use brand wise. It helped me develop SILKDOM’s communication directions, rhetoric, key messages and storytelling. The PR work does give someone certain social skills that are necessary for anchoring and developing a business. Working in PR for quite a while makes it easier for me to understand the value of a well-established brand. I have been assigning important resources to every communication aspect and I do believe that this is an important part of a successful brand.
We would say it is. At least for the SILKDOM silk clutches. Women appreciate rare, unique, valuable things. To own a silk clutch that is unique seems to be very appealing for our customers. More and more we see silk as street wear and we are happy about it. There is nothing wrong in wearing a silk shirt with a pair of jeans or silk accessories with casual outfits. Actually, most of our clients come asking for day to day silk clutches, that they can integrate when going out for a coffee, for example. That is why we also produce oversized silk clutches, which accommodate all the belongings of a modern woman.
Where do you produce the items, do you have your own workshop? Where do you bring the silk from?
We produce our collections here, in Romania, in our workshop. The silk comes from around the world. We buy from France, Italy, Thailand, China, even Romania from time to time. I was telling you that silk has been my long time passion so I already knew a good part of my suppliers long before I founded SILKDOM. They know what I like so whenever “something SILKDOM” appears in theirs stock, they let me know.
What are the best sold silk items from your portfolio?
The Silk Ladies of SILKDOM have a strong appeal for our clients. With their silk outfits and semiprecious stones finishing, these jewels are much appreciated. But the first option for our customers is our flagship product: the silk clutch. We receive a lot of customized orders and a fast increasing segment of clients is that of the future brides’ whit exquisite, elaborated tastes and a penchant for all that is embellished and sophisticated.
What is your customer’s profile? What kind of women is usually buying silk products?
We mainly address affluent clients, both women and men although in order to facilitate the access to our products we implemented on www.silkdom.com solutions that allow installments by credit card.
During these 6 months of activity we gladly acknowledged that our customers come from all over Romania: Aiud, Bucuresti, Craiova, Valcea. We were also positively surprised to find out that men are great shoppers with exquisite tastes and great generosity.
And what’s worth mentioning is that the SILKDOM customers are either very young, or people in the thirties, who commonly use social media and enjoy the online shopping experience. That is why, in April SILKDOM joined e-mag Deschide Romania platform, a marketplace dedicated to Romanian designers and producers.
How do you promote the brand? Are you visible at fairs in Romania and abroad?
Our communication strategy uses a lot social media and media relations. We participate at relevant fairs in Romania but also promote our brand through our selling partners, well established outlets that have their own communication channels directly with the potential clients.
The Romania Journal is mainly addressing the expat community in Romania. Are expats among your target customers? I am thinking the expat women, female ambassadors, ambassadors’ wives, businesswomen, etc could be potential clients. What would be your message to them to get to know your products, considering Romania is not a traditional silk market and foreigners are usually attracted by a country’s pure traditional items?
Anybody who appreciates beautiful, exquisite treasures is among out target.
I would tell these wonderful women, although I would not exclude their husbands from this communication, that gems can be found everywhere around the world and that SILKDOM is such a precious, unexpected treat.
And to settle the matter of traditions, I would like to tell you that we are currently working on a collection that will beautifully embrace tradition and give it a new shine.
Describe three different outfits that can be assorted with silk clutch.
My absolutely favorite one involves jeans plus silk shirt and silk clutch. I adore the mix and match of casual and silk. I would also wear a silk clutch with a silk kimono, very en vogue now. And let us not forget the red carpet gown that should always be completed by a spectacular silk clutch.
What are your short and medium targets for SILKDOM?
2017 comes with an “E designation”. We seek expansion both in terms of product range and sales channels. We are currently working on launching new collections in order to respond to the needs and requirements of our customers. We also put a lot of work in developing our sales channels. Up to now a selection of SILKDOM creations can be found in Azay Boutique, a prominent luxury boutique of special, precious gifts but also at Molecule F Concept Store in Promenada Mall, where our SILKDOM clutches are proudly displayed among the creations of the most relevant Romanian designers.