Cyril Marchiol (Tsume): He Laughs Last Who Laughs Best
A true anti-hero of the Luxembourg economy, Tsume employs 52 people, most of whom are highly specialized artists. Located in Sandweiler, the firm has just passed the €13 million-euro turnover mark in anonymity. A simple milestone in an epic conquest of the world. An interview with its CEO: Cyril Marchiol.
Can you introduce Tsume in a few words?
It all started with a long love affair with Japanimation. I have always fought to make a living in the field of manga and video games. The creation of Tsume in 2010 materialized the fusion of all the walls I had to break down to make a living from my passion and turn it into a business. We market luxury products all over the world: Statues that convey emotions and a real story thanks to the enthusiasts who produce them, the mythology of the series, and our ability to interpret a strong moment in each work. I can give you the example of our first "Dragonball" statue. Often, this type of character is depicted in a powerful way, during an attack. We chose to illustrate the moment when an antagonist, Piccolo, sacrifices himself to protect the son of his dead worst enemy. "Piccolo's Redemption" made a mark on our industry by demonstrating our ability to capture the climax of a work.
“There's not a year that goes by that I don't cry”
How do you produce these works of art?
Here in Luxembourg, we bring together a team of artists that you may have met during our visit. From the designer who sketches the concept of the statue to the 3D artists who digitally sculpt it using 3D printers, not forgetting the molders and colorists. We must constantly find a balance between artistic strength and engineering. Not to mention the demands of the rights holders! The most complex works are made up of several dozen parts that fit together perfectly, with almost total freedom in terms of textures and rendering. After 12 years we are internationally recognized and we work with incredible brands and franchises such as Warner, Batman, Harry Potter, Naruto, or One Piece. We have just exceeded €13 million in turnover and the numbers are going crazy on social networks. 272,000 people are following us on Instagram; our new TikTok account has passed 60,000 subscribers and 699,000 likes in a few days. But it's not easy. There's not a year that goes by that I don't cry: Entrepreneurship is a real obstacle course, and few people take the time to understand our business and measure its potential. We are closing a round of financing with most of the funds raised abroad, which is a shame for a financial center like Luxembourg.
“We are closing a round of financing with most of the funds raised abroad”
What lessons have you learned from the last 12 years?
I see three. Firstly, even when you get to the top, remember that it is ephemeral. You must be ready to reinvent yourself all the time. To me, speed of adaptation defines true entrepreneurs today. Secondly, I think that a key to success is our ability to learn from other environments and to understand our essence. Tsume's essence is not to produce statues: It is rather to materialize a strong moment without putting creative or technical limits on ourselves. The big brands that approach us are, above all, looking for this know-how, which can be applied to many objects. Finally, I think that you should never give up but know how to go into “super warrior mode” to overcome adversity, as manga heroes do. The opening of our new offices in Mondorf-Les-Bains and new own-name shops mark a new chapter in our adventure!