What do you make? How did you get into it?
Sketchnotes: We make handstitched lined and unlined notebooks. I really love papers and notebooks. Back in college it was really hard to find unlined notebooks, so when I saw the paper we are using for our notebooks I tried to make one with the help of my aunt and my mom. We tried selling it in a school and luckily, people wanted to try it.
Diyalogo: So far we’re known most for our stickers, but we’ve done shirts before and we’re planning to make more in the future along with other products as well. The stickers were actually kind of a happy accident. The first time we joined a bazaar we only had 1 shirt design on display. To fill in the lack of products, we decided to randomly include a couple of sticker designs in different colorways just so the space didn’t look too barren. From there, the number of designs just kept piling and eventually the stickers would become the trademark products of the brand.
Are you a full-time crafter? If not, what is your day job?
Diyalogo: Nope. One of us is still a student, while the other just graduated last June and is filling in his free time by being creatively productive. Eventually, one of the goals of Diyalogo is to become an independent design studio and merchandising outfit, in which case we’ll be working on it full time.
If you’re a full-time crafter, what made you take the leap and pursue your craft?
Sketchnotes: The day job I had took so much of my time. I wanted to create more artworks and focus on the notebook business.
Diyalogo: If this takes off, going full time is definitely worth considering.
What motivates you in pursuing this business?
Sketchnotes: It may sound cliche, but my clients motivate me to pursue this business. It’s amazing to see all their beautiful artworks using our notebooks.
Diyalogo: We get to be our own bosses while doing something we love and enjoy. We like having fun with Diyalogo, and it really doesn’t take itself too seriously. Also, the extra income on the side is always a plus.
What are some of the challenges of maintaining a craft business?
Sketchnotes: It’s hard when people order in bulk. Since everything is handcrafted it takes time to create. Another thing is being able to create something new every time we join bazaars.
Diyalogo: Coming up with new material is always a challenge. Going forward, it’s always tough having to sustain the success of past work and keeping things fresh.
What’s a new skill–craft or business–that you’d like to learn?
Sketchnotes: I’d love to learn how to print on shirts or tote bags.
Diyalogo: Precision manual-die-cutting skills. We need it in our sticker products.
What’s your most recent craft business milestone?
Sketchnotes: We recently celebrated our first year anniversary and we have also gained sort of a good following on our social media accounts. Another thing is being acknowledged by known artists really overwhelms us.
Diyalogo: No specific milestones yet, but we’re seeing the brand grow as we speak and its exciting to know that it’s going places. Looking back at day one, we’ve got to love all the progress that the brand has gone through and we’re excited to know what more it will achieve in the future.
What is your favorite lesson in your experience of your business?
Sketchnotes: Never stop exploring the limitless possibilities.
Diyalogo: Establishing a warm relationship with the people and treating them as ‘friends’ really goes a long way. You’ve got to extend the brand experience beyond the products themselves, which is why we go the extra mile in interacting with our customers. It makes the business seem less like one, and creates a more enjoyable environment for us to work in.
What craft business advice can you share with other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Sketchnotes: During bazaars, you should smile and try to communicate with people who drop by your booth no matter how they look. On social media, show your clients that you appreciate their posts. In our case, we share their works on our account. Have fun and share the fun.
Diyalogo: You’ve got to have a big idea, and you have to be its biggest believer. Your idea won’t take off if you, of all people, don’t have enough faith in it.
Um, if you were a craft tool, what would you be? And why?
Sketchnotes: If I were a craft tool, I’d be a corner cutter. It’s a simple tool but it makes the final product look a lot better.
Diyalogo: We want to be the upcoming iPen. Because it’s very expensive and everybody wants one.
What can we expect to see from you guys at the upcoming Maker’s Market?
Sketchnotes x Diyalogo: We’ve prepared more stocks and new designs.
Where else can we find your work?
Instagram: @sketchnotes and @diyalogo