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Dominik Dahmer has been with the decor sales team since November 2018 as a sales manager. We talked to him about handball and the prospects in the decor market.
Editor: You're originally from Lemgo, a handball stronghold. You played there yourself. There are also two former national league handball teams in Ortenau: Willstätt and Schutterwald. Is that why you felt right at home?
Dominik Dahmer: Yes, that's right. I played as a center. I went through all the youth teams of TBV Lemgo and afterwards played in the club league for the second team, until a back injury forced me to stop. There’s 40 Kg between then and now. But it’s not why I felt comfortable here from the beginning. The decor team is great and very well coordinated; they made me feel right at home. The corporate culture at Koehler is very pleasant, which makes work a lot of fun. But life outside work is also important, and the local mentality in Ostwestfalen-Lippe is very much in tune with our own. In addition, the Ortenaukreis is one of the most beautiful spots in Germany. It comes right after my home region, the Lipperland. This is what we’re looking forward to with respect to the people and the life here.
You've been with Koehler for over half a year now. You're already an old hand in the decor industry, however. What fascinates you about the industry?
Thanks for referring to me as an "old hand." The decor industry never stands still and is very creative. I'm thinking here primarily of the changes in printers and the wood-based materials industry. There used to be one- and two-color designs, flat, boring prints. This has changed dramatically, and the print quality today is very sharp and brilliant. Next, the wood-based materials industry followed suit and created haptic and wood synchronous surfaces. The basis for all this is the decor paper manufacturer. Here we also had to adapt to changes and develop papers that could keep up with progress. The industry never stands still and there are almost no standards. That's what makes it so interesting. You only have stop to take a look around in your spare time. We’re surrounded by surfaces all the time, both in our professional and private lives. And their basis is very often paper.
The decor paper market is currently extremely challenging. What makes you feel positive that the industry is about to recover?
The current situation is not easy and also very difficult to understand. In addition, we have many good years behind us and hence have become spoilt. Almost exactly 10 years ago, we had a similar situation, but at that time it was worldwide. I think that demand will recover to some extent after the summer holidays, at the latest towards Q4, and we will return to normal waters.
The trend currently seems to be moving towards real wood floors again. What do you have at home? Real wood or decor paper?
When it comes to flooring, we prefer classic laminate. We have a Labrador, two cats and three children in the household, meaning that real wood is not a particularly good idea for us; laminate, based on decor paper, is much more resistant. And there are now such great designs that only professionals can tell the difference between laminate and real wood.