Michael Nowak and Regina Bauer founded a small marketing agency in Munich, Germany. With Christian Doblinger, they established CMG Traders GmbH in 2011, to offer an online service for personalized products.
Six years ago, creative personal smartphone cases were not that easy to find. So, the team launched swook! and developed www.swook.de to support online ordering. After moving into new premises last year, the business now has eight employees.
Helping customers create products that people love
The team looked at sublimation after first selling printed foils with mixed results.
“We bought our first 3D sublimation oven and printer but had problems with the cases and the ink," said Nowak, the company's CEO. "After selling these cases for a few months we thought about it again and started to look for a new supplier. We didn’t want to believe that this was the best quality possible.
"That is when we came across Sawgrass and decided to invest in the Sawgrass VJ 628 Printer equipped with the 8-colour SubliJet-HD Pro Photo inks," he continued. "Suddenly, for the first time, by using Sawgrass inks, we saw that we could print the correct colours the way we wanted to. Over the next 18 months we concentrated on improving the production process and we were so happy with the results that we decided to invest in a 2nd VJ 628.
"We built our own oven and created our own colour profiles but the ink was one of the most important elements. That’s possibly one of the biggest differences between us and all our competitors. Sawgrass’s inks are the best on the market and the only ones which work for our products. Today we are selling mobile cases and especially individualised mobile cases but we are looking to add flip flops and Universal Woods products like key rings and Chromaluxe aluminium panels.”
Nowak said working with Sawgrass ink provides consistent print quality, reliable colour and good colour profiles plus effective support for the Sawgrass VJ 628.
“We have fewer problems with customers regarding the quality of the printed mobile cases,” the CEO said. “Now, black looks like black and red looks like red.”
Added Thorsten Jung, Sawgrass International sales manager: “Swook.de is an exciting personalisation platform and we are delighted that Sawgrass inks are helping the operation deliver high quality results that keep customers coming back for more.”
“We are a bit different to our competitors," Nowak said. "We have proved that you can run a successful business and achieve natural growth without an investor and without debts. Of course, it won’t increase that fast and each month you need to fight, but it is possible with the right technology and the right partner.”
Featuring the VJ 628 printer, this award-winning system offers a best-in-class high-speed Mutoh print engine with i2 print technology that virtually eliminates banding. Designed specifically for larger format and high volume sublimation production, this system is ideal for interior signage, fine art and photographic reproduction or high volume production of personalised gifts and promotional products.
Sawgrass SubliJet-HD Sublimation Inks are high-yield formulation inks in reliable single-use cartridges. They are available in dual-CMYK or 8-colour pro photo configurations delivering expanded gamut up to 548,000 colours. SubliJet-HD enables rich blacks, neutral grays and dazzling, photo-quality reproduction at the lowest cost.
Photo courtesy sawgrassink.com