Foundation in 2011
In the beginning there was love. Love to Czech films. My name is Martin Valek. I was born in Ostrava, Czech Republic in 1993. I am the owner of the Czech Goods s.r.o. company, which is behind the project and the website “Czech Movie”. I believed that Czech cinema had something to show the world and I also knew that old Czech films were very popular abroad. I didn't have any experience with selling, but at that time there was a boom in the Czech Republic with buying things from Ebay. As I didn't have the capital to set up a website or a warehouse at that time, I set up my sales profile on Ebay. I used my pocket money to buy my favourite Czech classics such as Vesnicko ma strediskova, Pelisky, Tri orisky pro Popelku and a few others.
First DVD sold
The very first DVD sold was My Little Sweet Village / Vesnicko ma strediskova. It was bought by a gentleman from the USA. I still remember the feeling after receiving the feedback. I was very happy. Happy for my first sale to be successful, and I was also happy for the customer being happy too. The next sales did not leave me waiting for long.
The first sales of our company were made from a small room that served as our humble beginnings. Despite its limited space, this room was where we nurtured our vision and laid the foundation for our success. Looking back, we are grateful for this small but significant space that helped launch our business and shape our journey.
DVD sales were slowly increasing, and customers started asking me about more and more possibilities to buy Czech DVDs. So, the logical step was to set up a website. I consider it a miracle and a fate that the domain czechmovie was free. I then transferred the domain to a company called Oxiweb, which had templates for creating websites. Since I had zero experience and I was studying a completely different field than IT in college, I inserted each product manually. It was all terribly tedious, but it was worth it. Especially for the feeling of the sales and satisfied customers.
Amazon, well known and popular all around the world, unfortunately, for the Czech Republic it used to be little used and overly complicated. It was a superhuman task to register as a Czech seller, but after a number of obstacles, both big and small, I managed to do it and to this day it makes up the majority of our sales. It is true that Amazon often puts such obstacles under our feet that sometimes we feel like giving up, but our love for Czech films is getting stronger.
In 2015, my wife came into my life. A woman of incredible determination with an incredible drive. She loves films even more than I do and so a boom began. The boom of really everything and anything. The contracts I had with suppliers up until then started to be used to the maximum. To her standard job she worked in the company for an additional x hours and to this day I don't understand how she was able to upload all the available old Czech films to Oxiweb manually. It was hundreds of them.
The website started to look completely different and by the end of the year I realized that we needed a website that was modern. A website where the work and effort we both put into would stand out. So, we said goodbye to the Oxiweb provider and switched to the popular and still our favourite Shopify.
We have introduced a new logo that has since become a permanent part of our brand identity. The logo was designed to represent our core values and mission, and it has been well-received by our customers. We are proud to have a visual symbol that reflects who we are and what we stand for, and we look forward to continuing to grow our brand with this iconic logo.
12/2016 Bohemian Beauty Care alias Fabledlook
My wife communicated frequently and still does with customers. During the calls, she began to encounter more and more requests from our customers. The most frequent request was to include Czech cosmetics on our website. Why not? After some consideration, we decided that putting cosmetics on a DVD website was not a good solution, so the Bohemian Beauty Care website was born. Yes, a very long name, so we have renamed it to the much shorter and more memorable fabledlook.com
1/2017 Tescoma, KOH-I-NOOR
At the end of 2016, my wife got pregnant. Which was another important step for the company. Since she was staying at home and couldn't go to work, she had lots and lots of time. Of course, she used this time to further expand our company.
In the film world she secured cooperation with other suppliers and DVD producers. She started to meet the demand for other film related products like Vinyls and CDs. Outside of the film world, she started cooperation with the best Czech companies, well known also abroad - Tescoma and KOH-I-NOOR.
Tescoma is a Czech company founded in Zlin in 1992 and is a manufacturer of original kitchen utensils. A number of products carry the world patent label and many of them have received prestigious awards such as RE DOT, DESIGN AWARD and German Design Award.
KOH-I-NOOR company was founded in 1790, and since 1848 its roots have been linked to the Czech town of Budejovice, from where the entire company is still managed today. KOH-I-NOOR is a manufacturer of office and art supplies. Several important innovations in the field of writing instruments have come from the KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH factory. For example, the actual production of graphite pencil from graphite and clay, patented as early as 1802, the principle of machine production of pencils and the division of graphite pencils according to the hardness of the graphite into individual gradations 8B-10H, which was soon adopted by other manufacturers as a worldwide standard.
Our business is doing great, so it's time to register czechmovie as a company. Czech Goods s.r.o. is being established at the end of 2017 and at the same time our team is expanding with additional staff. In this year, we are establishing a cooperation with Czech Games Edition, a producer of Czech games.
Czech Games Edition was formed in 2006 by a group of people who enjoy board games. The first game released was Through the Ages and they immediately became famous for it. In 2007, a company called CGE was founded and other titles like Galaxy Trucker and League of Six were released. Now, the company has released more than 40 games and expansions. These include Codenames, Alchemists, Tzolk'in, Letter Jam, Pulsar 2849, Dungeon Petz, Space Alert, Last Will, Tash-Kalar and many more.
The spaces used until then seem small and we need to grow. We are therefore moving our company from the main street Hlavni Trida in Ostrava - Poruba to the current address of Madarska, Ostrava - Poruba, where there is more space for our employees and warehouse.
We are starting to sell film merch and long demanded Czech food. Previously, we used to send customers their favourite Horalky, Mila or garlic potato crisps individually, but the move has created additional space to store other products.
In 2019, we welcomed our second child - a daughter, joining her older brother. Excitingly, we also started a new cooperation with toy manufacturer MU Brno. As fans of Czech cartoons like The Mole, Krtek, Kremilek, and Vochomurka, partnering with a company that has licenses for these beloved characters was a natural fit.
We are excited to announce that we have partnered with DHL Express as our new delivery option. As a trusted name in the logistics industry, DHL provides fast and reliable worldwide delivery that aligns with our commitment to exceptional customer service. With DHL's expansive network, we are confident that our customers will enjoy a seamless delivery experience, regardless of their location.
In the past, we often sent Czech sweets or other products from the Czech Republic to accompany film shipments. There were so many requests for Mila wafers, Kolonada spa wafers, fidorky, or garlic crisps that we decided to offer them directly on our website.
The demand for Czech toys has increased. We are lucky to have a wonderful company Rappa literally around the corner. It was only with our children that we were able to appreciate the sophistication of the Czech trains
, cars, and trams
that this company produces.
The end of 2023
What's next for us?