Illustration lovers, prepare to be dazzled by La Fabrique de Dessins (aka Cartoon’s Factory).
After 16 years spent working in the telecom sector, Nicolas Masztaler decided to change his career completely and launch “the first networking site to help graphic artists and art lovers find each other”.
Human contact, chats, the pleasure of discovering new talents… these are some of the ambitions that started him on his entrepreneurial adventure. Pick up your pencils, turn on your imagination… we’re off to meet La Fabrique de Dessins.
How did La Fabrique de Dessins get started?
Nicolas Masztaler left his first career to enter the world of entrepreneurship because he sought after a job with more meaning. But how did he go from the telecommunications sector to launch a start-up boosted by La French Tech?
“When I left my job, I registered with La School in Rennes… but without a true desire to create something, more out of curiosity,” he admits. “Each week, I arrived with start-up ideas but it never really worked out”.
A devoted fan of comic books, Nicolas found his stroke of inspiration during the latest edition of Quai des Bulles, a very popular festival that takes place just steps away from the ramparts of Saint-Malo. He realized that there was a disconnection between illustrators, graphic designers and the general public. That idea was the seed that grew into La Fabrique de Dessins.
To allow graphic artists and illustrators to meet their audiences through an online platform. He submitted the idea to his mentors at the School, and the project was such a good fit that he founded his company right then and there.
For the business model, the guiding principle was already in place: the company would only earn money through sales commissions and the start-up would be developed without investments or fund-raising. A bold choice!
Developing a local presence
“To build relationships with artists, we found our platform’s first users through prospecting,” Nicolas explains. “We are also active on social networks and, surprisingly, that is now how users get in touch with us… which works pretty well.”
But La Fabrique de Dessins is not just a website, it’s also a concept that enables people to see the works at various events held in Rennes and the surrounding region. “À travers le cosmos,” an exhibition that pays tribute to the Space Opera genre, can currently be seen at L’Heure du Jeu, a popular bar in Rennes with board game aficionados.
Learning, meetings and motivation
For La Fabrique de Dessins, Le Booster has been a very enriching experience.
“Le Booster has allowed me to develop the project, test it, and receive feedback. I have had a lot of discussions with the mentors, which really helped me with communications, marketing and commercial aspects, particularly in the practical component,” says Nicolas Masztaler. “We have also noticed that certain doors have opened thanks to the reputation of good name of La French Tech.”
Although the project began as a collaboration with Lucile Charier, as it progressed, certain differences of opinion were brought to light. The two partners decided, by mutual agreement, to part ways. This is also a part of the Le Booster experience, clarify a project quickly and test compatibility!
For the next three years, the future of the young start-up, founded in March 2017, seems to be quite clear: after Rennes, La Fabrique de Dessins plans to expand to Nantes and then, if all goes well, to Brest. A Western conquest before taking on the rest of the world!