We are very pleased to be able to bring you an exclusive interview with the CEO / Managing Director of Toms Company which produce the wonderful artwork known as Tom's Drag art. We hope you enjoy reading it. 

How long have you been at the helm of Toms Company?

Arno: Tom and I started "our baby" Tom´s Company together in 1988 and he and I were both managing directors from the very start. You know about the tragedy that happened in 2012 when Tom passed away all unexpectedly. Fortunately we were always great "team players" and now I am managing the company business as its sole director but with the help and support of our great team.  

What does your typical day running Toms Company look like?

Arno: As we do almost everything "in-house", from creating new Drags to their production, on to the distribution and marketing, my work is a very vast field. I am the managing director and consider myself a team-leader.

I´m usually at the office at 9 am (I like to sleep in) and work until around 6 pm most of the time. I first say "hi" to all of our staff and check out if everything´s okay. After that there is a lot of office work: checking and answering emails. Then I usually call our studios in different parts of the world. It is very important for me to keep in touch with all our staff and partners, no matter on which level. By then it is early afternoon and it never gets boring with lots of different things that need to be done and organized. 

Moreover my work also requires a lot of travelling: we have around six international trade shows per year, I travel regularly to our studios in different countries and I also try to visit our worldwide distribution partners .  

So you see: working at Tom´s Company is everything but boring :-))))

Which is your favourite piece of Tom’s Drag art?

Arno: Please don´t ask me this question *lol*. I´ve been asked this question many times before and I always find it so hard to answer. I can´t really make up my mind as I love so many of Tom´s Drags. Mayyyyybe, if I really am to choose just one, I would choose Leopard Roy... but THEN as I am a cat lover I also have cat Sissy at my place…and a waiter "Arnaud" (my namesake :-). And of course I own a Drag Chest, one of our "classics" from the very start.  

How do the artists at Toms Company remain inspired?

Arno: It is basically everyday life with all of its often funny and sometimes also sad experiences that inspired Tom and inspires us as well to create. You only have to keep your eyes wide open and you´ll see and discover the most amazing things around you. If then you see them through Tom´s Drag lenses, life becomes all of sudden colorful and positive and becomes the source for many new creations :-)

And then of course there is Tom´s huge legacy which is a huge resource.   

How many sketches did Thomas Hoffmann leave?

Arno:  Tom left an unaccountable number of sketches: some are finished, some just rough ideas, others only words and notes so far. BUT the most important thing is the rich heritage he left with his unusual design which is a huge source for us for the years to come. 

How involved are you in the artistic process?

Arno:  I am involved in all stages of the artistic process: from new ideas to coordinating the different steps such as carving the protoypes, choosing the perfect patterns and designs, choosing the right accessories etc etc …

How many people make up the Toms Company team?

Arno:  The nice thing about TOM´S DRAG is the team spirit that it creates between many people of different origin and from all corners of the world. In a narrower sense, our team consists of around 20 people working in our head office and central warehouse in Germany. Then of course our dear sculptors and painters in our studios.

But in a broader sense there are more dear partners and friends, such as our distribution partners and reps working in many countries all over the world.

So i consider myself as the leader of a grat family-like team working and living all over the world.

Any celebrities you have heard that own some of Tom’s Company art work?

Arno:  I know that Prince Albert of Monaco as well as his sister Stéphanie have some of TOM´S DRAGS. I also know that the royal palace of Suadi-Arabia bought some, just like famous rock singer Suzie Quatro, Simon Cowell of Britain´s Got Talent, the famous Russian singer and producer Filipp Bedrossowitsch Kirkorow, the Italian politician Berlusconi, then German writer Gaby Hauptmann, (German) actors like Dirk Galuba and Christioan Wolff or TC celebrity Margarethe Schreinemakers  .

I usually happen to find out about this by coincidence when our retail partners tell me when we meet for a chat at one of our trade shows…..     

What does the future hold for Toms Company – any exciting news?

Arno:  oh sure --- managing Tom´s Company is always exciting :-) However life has taught me not to make too many long-term plans. It has its own ways and laws, so let´s try to enjoy it NOW.

Apart from enjoying to carry on with Tom´s Drag, there are some exciting short-term goals though: we will shortly move into our new and bigger premises ! This will hopefully be done by March next year.
Then we will participate for the first time in the IMM Cologne which is one of the leading furniture fairs in the world.

And we´ll have some GREAT new Tom´s Drags coming for next year …

for the rest: we´ll see :-))))

 

The Sekretza team would like to thank Arno Muller of Toms Company for allowing us a glimpse into Toms Company through his eyes. Thanks Arno!