We've come a long way since we started business in 2001, overcoming adversity, making mistakes, gaining experience and navigating our our business through military coups, floods, relocation, divorce, accidents, pandemics and staying lean and flexible to take advantage of all the technological changes we've seen in the past decades.  

 

You often hear of inspiring rags-to-riches stories online, usually a guy from the streets with an unusual idea who, through sheer determination, pioneers a new industry and becomes a billionaire.

 

Well that’s not me, unfortunately.

The Humble Beginnings

After university I travelled round Asia, visiting local craftsmen along my journey. I arrived in Thailand in 2001 and visited a local market here. Im a guy, I dont shop. Ill wander around some stall, perhaps to glance at the impressive collection of flashlights, hunting knifes and pirate DVDs but the moment I find myself surrounded by female accessories I find it hard to breathe. Im a functional shopper priding myself in the fact that I last bought myself trousers 5 years ago, buying 6 identical pairs and being out of the store in just 15 minutes.

Despite my abhorrence of all things shopping, there was one exhibit which quite literally blew me away (well perhaps not literally). In the far corner of the market, hidden well away from the tourists, there was a single statue. It was about 8ft tall, an Alien statue from the Hollywood movie. What floored me was that it was made entirely from scrap metal; nails for the teeth, pistons, connecting rods, springs and all manner of bits and bobs Im far too dumb to name. The Alien grabbed my attention immediately  its not every day you encounter a giant monster with razor-sharp teeth standing in a market thats otherwise preoccupied with selling silk ties, fake handbags and belts.

What was more fascinating though was how the other shoppers treated him. Tourists ran over to take photos with him, men would cross the busy marketplace and spent sometimes more than 10 minutes inspecting and identifying every component. Children would tiptoe up to it, fascinated yet too scared to get close.

 

I was certain that this work would be a huge success overseas. I had to know more and, with the help of my girlfriend we worked very hard to locate the artist.

Close Encounters

After university I travelled round Asia, visiting local craftsmen along my journey. I arrived in Thailand in 2001 and visited a local market here. Im a guy, I dont shop. Ill wander around some stall, perhaps to glance at the impressive collection of flashlights, hunting knifes and pirate DVDs but the moment I find myself surrounded by female accessories I find it hard to breathe. Im a functional shopper priding myself in the fact that I last bought myself trousers 5 years ago, buying 6 identical pairs and being out of the store in just 15 minutes.

Despite my abhorrence of all things shopping, there was one exhibit which quite literally blew me away (well perhaps not literally). In the far corner of the market, hidden well away from the tourists, there was a single statue. It was about 8ft tall, an Alien statue from the Hollywood movie. What floored me was that it was made entirely from scrap metal; nails for the teeth, pistons, connecting rods, springs and all manner of bits and bobs Im far too dumb to name. The Alien grabbed my attention immediately  its not every day you encounter a giant monster with razor-sharp teeth standing in a market thats otherwise preoccupied with selling silk ties, fake handbags and belts.

What was more fascinating though was how the other shoppers treated him. Tourists ran over to take photos with him, men would cross the busy marketplace and spent sometimes more than 10 minutes inspecting and identifying every component. Children would tiptoe up to it, fascinated yet too scared to get close.

I was certain that this work would be a huge success overseas. I had to know more and, with the help of my girlfriend we worked very hard to locate the artist.

Meeting The Artists

In 2001 there were 6 main workshops in Thailand specializing in scrap metal art. Over about 18 months I visited them all, as well as showrooms and stores throughout the country. We spoke with shop assistants who had be selling the large statues on a limited basis in Thailand and selling small statues to the tourists. Beyond the occasional souvenir shop (and a large showroom near the honeymoon islands) it didnt seem like anybody here truly appreciated just how incredible this art was.

Most shopkeepers werent keen to discuss bulk orders. Despite my most charming smile they felt like I was trying to compete with them. Other artists were scared to deal with a westerner here, they were content making perhaps one large statue every 2-3 months and selling it locally. Anything more seemed like too much work.

Thankfully one artist seemed different, he was at the time the only artist to have an email account and despite my limited Thai we persevered for 2-3 months discussing how we could work together to develop his creations overseas. Unlike other artists, Phairote loved the idea of working with us.

He relished the idea of making his art available overseas and for every obstacle that other artists gave me, Phairote offered a solution. I will always remember one of the most reassuring communication Ive ever had... Well find a way he said.

Art From Steel

Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simple drag and drop elements like text, images and links, or connect to data from your collection. Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simply drag and drop elements.

 

Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simple drag and drop elements like text, images and links, or connect to data from your collection. Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simply drag and drop elements.

The Accident!

My close friend was involved in a terrible accident in 2007. He was rushed to hospital in a coma, eventually awaking with severe head trauma and he was unable to leave his hospital bed for nearly a year; in fact he was barely able to move for much of this time.

We rallied round him, determined to find ways to lift his spirits and to furnish his room with visual reminders that we all cared about him.

It was then I realized how hard it was to find novel gifts that would cheer him up. The hospital gift shop had colorful balloons, flowers and some over-sized cards but we all knew that my friend, an avid athlete who prided himself on his physique and mental focus would never have chosen these items himself.

Why is it that theres such a limited variety for gifts that cheer people up? Why are the symbols of our affection so often reduced to buying chocolates, flowers, balloons, cards or fluffy teddy bears?

At the time our workshop had about 450 statues in their portfolio and yet none were appropriate to gift to my friend. Granted hed have loved one of our menacing Alien & Predator designs but his frail mother really wouldnt have appreciated something so unwelcoming to be by his bedside.

The frustration inspired me to design my own line of unique gifts and with the help of Noi we created The Be Better Buddies collection  a set of 6 cute animals, all comically injured which people could gift to sick friend. I saw then how we could make our scrap metal artwork beautiful, personal, romantic and fun. From this tragic accident we chose to expand and to create new designs especially for sharing the love around.

Truepot Distribution

We still have a fantastic relationship with our Art From Steel workshop and we realize that we can offer so much more to our clients. We are now reaching out to other manufacturers, designing more products that the market is woefully lacking and were working as designers, agent, importers and distributors depending on the product.

We are largely a business-to-business venture but weve not forgotten our roots nor our loyal customers who helped us to grow. We are focused on matching up a select few manufacturers with our sales reps and retailers.

Our goal is to become the leading provider of unique awesome-ware, to help fledgling artists reach a larger market and to provide retailers with a single resource where they can fill their store with hot-selling products they can grow their reputation from.

Martin's Curations Ltd.

Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simple drag and drop elements like text, images and links, or connect to data from your collection. Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simply drag and drop elements.

 

Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simple drag and drop elements like text, images and links, or connect to data from your collection. Tell people more about the services you offer. Use this repeating layout to display content. It's an easy way to keep your customers up to date with what's happening. Want to make this content your own? Simply drag and drop elements.