TATAMI FIGHTWEAR (Port Talbot)

Origins

Motivation was a multitude of things. The world’s economy had crashed causing savings accounts as well as stock portfolios to collapse which, in turn, had an adverse effect on employment in the area so the founders thought they had a better chance working for themselves in an environment where they had an idea of what was going on and therefore had a little more control. Also at that time it was difficult to get high quality products for the sport, at a reasonable price and here in the UK. Tatami likes to think that it was instrumental in plugging that gap very well from day one.

Our main challenges when starting the business

The major challenges in the first three years were perfecting and improving the range of products to make the business competitive with international brands. Plus trying to reach out to the international market was difficult but this was achieved when it sponsored a high profile name on his return to the sport. This was to give the brand international credibility.

Success Factor

The rapid growth is probably down to looking after the grass roots level of the sport. The up and coming academies were able to get access to discounts on all products, so this encouraged academy owners and instructors to stock products in their in-house shop. Another break was being the first British brand to appear in stores in the US. Once one store agreed to stock products, the other major stores were queuing up to place orders that were very unique to stock a British BJJ brand. This helped the rapid growth in the USA along with further sponsorship of established US based grapplers.

The Future

The firm has recently launched Tatami EU where its European cousins are able to purchase products in Euros, and the same is applicable in Australia. It is also launching Tatami USA very shortly where all orders are fulfilled from either the west or east coast of the US. Tatami also sponsors the world’s most prestigious tournaments in Los Angeles, Lisbon, Rome and many other cities, to ensure it keeps brand awareness. One thing it is very good at is never resting with its product range. The firm has a very committed creative director and he is passionate about making the best quality and most diverse range of products it can. This allows customers plenty of choice from affordable every day training equipment to premium high end and durable kit. This is what sets the business apart and helps it to grow at a very good rate.