ASK any WA massage therapist the brand of their mobile table and it’s almost certain they’ll say “it’s an Azima”.
Or sigh that they wish it was an Azima.
“We have three quarters, if not the whole market [in WA]. We supply all the TAFEs,” Suryo Wilson says.
More than 25 years after his dad Azima started the company, the tables are sold nationally and internationally, but its origins are humble.
“[Dad] started in the back shed of our South Fremantle house.”
The company was bought by an eastern states firm some years ago, but the O’Connor factory remains a “largely autonomous” unit.
“Because the brand is so strong, I get paid by them but work for myself. The O’Connor unit is a stand alone business,” Mr Wilson says.
The tables’ popularity is down to a lightweight construction that is sturdy, with no squeaking joints to distract the therapist or client, and the company motto is “the strong silent type”.
“The tables weight 12 kilos, and carry 200 kilos — and they do it silently,” Mr Wilson says.
“There aren’t many manufacturers that can do it. We are one of a few in the world, possibly the only one,” he adds proudly.
In line with a growing demand for ethical, non-polluting products, the company is about to release a table which is a “game changer” when it comes to upholstery.
“It’s essentially food grade, solvent free, and entirely water based,” Mr Wilson says.
“It’s also oil resistant and alcohol resistant; it’s resistant to all the significant chemicals.”
It’s also softer and elastic in both directions: “You can work directly on it without covering,” he says.
Months were spent researching the fabric, with numerous trips to Asia to find a reliable source, and a company that could be trusted to do the right thing.
Many of the staff at the O’Connor factory have been with the company from its days on Rockingham Road in Hamilton Hill, including one who’s been with the firm almost since its inception.
The company continues on a steady path, Mr Wilson says, but complacency isn’t an option.
“People and things change and technology changes,” he says.
“There’s a danger in having a lot of experience and thinking you know everything.
“We are keenly aware of that.”
by JENNY D’ANGER