Many roads lead starting a business and every business has real people behind the curtain. But who are these people and how did they get here? We've found more times then not it starts with a passion, an inspiration and somewhere along the road a mentor may have played a part. A father and son building a model together, locked in pitched toy soldier battles with a brother, a group of friends getting together in a winner take all in duel on the gaming table. Like we said there are many roads along the way and from time to time we like to peel back the curtain put a name and face on the products we offer.
With that said it's time to...
MEET YOUR MAKER! Krzysztof (Chris) Obarski of VMS Vantage Modeling Solutions
Tell us a little about yourself?
Name’s Chris I’m 35 and live in Poznan, Poland. I’m a college graduate with a Master’s degree in Communication. Studies and a former office worker, now self-employed and owner of VMS brand.
When & how did you get interested in hobbies and modeling?
I got acquainted with the hobby as a kid, I believe I was 8 or 9. It started when my father first bought me some 1:72 planes. Then came 1:72 soldiers + AFVs and some 1:72 dioramas. Along the way there were fine German HO trains involved and even some sail ships. I would build whatever was available in Poland at the time (80s). It was quite a hassle, models would appear in the few stores at random and when they did the lines were quite long. When you finally got to the counter you had to grab whatever was left on the shelves! It was like: “Sorry the bombers are already gone but here, you can buy this fine sail ship. In mid 90s with Poland regaining its independence and the iron curtain gone 1:35 armour (mainly Italeri and Dragon) has become widely available in Poland, I fell in love with the scale and made it my priority, though if I had the time I would build just about anything I guess. :)
What led you down the path to being a manufacturer? How did VMS come to be?
Funny thing actually, I left my cushy office job to join land forces military academy in the city of Wroclaw. I trained hard and got to top of the list during the exams just to find out that due to political changes (shift in power) Polish Army was no longer enlisting until further notice. It was quite a let down, hundreds of capable young people were denied the opportunity to join the service for several years to come. But that’s life and one needs to adapt. Being temporarily unemployed I had plenty of time on my hands between job interviews and I devoted this time to my plastic tanks as the real ones were out of reach. Job market was brutal at the time and I realized that becoming self-employed was a viable option. After some consideration I started the process.
Do you have any other interests beside this hobby?
Anything military and sports, I’m runner and a kettlebell enthusiast. I also like to tinker with my PC enjoy a good movie or a sitcom like my all time favorites “The Office” and “Everybody loves Raymond”.
Modeling is a tough business. Tell us a little about the process and what goes into creating your products.
There are two things I believe crucial for anyone trying to launch any kind of business. One needs to solve problems and add value. While creating a product one needs to look for a problem people are facing, for example a dirty airbrush. Then one needs to solve such problem but not just that, one needs to do it better than people before him by adding extra value to benefit the customer in this case higher volumes via concentrated fluids. After an idea is born one needs to create a chemical formula, extensively test the product, design labels, decide on type of packaging, shoot photos, make videos and put together a product page. Quality of both the product and it’s packaging is paramount.
What does the future hold for VMS?
We want to be solving modelling problems around the world. Raising brand awareness and presence in top modelling stores are our priorities. We will be introducing new product lines as our operation expands in fact several new products are due to launch in a month or two. :)
What are some of your favorite web sites?
I like to visit the following sites:
Do you post on about your hobbies on Facebook or any other social media outlets?
We do have a facebook page: www.facebook.com/VantageModellingSolutions