We’ve been happy to have Francis and Francine of Tienda Wabas as regulars at our different Maker’s Market events through the years. Get to know more about this bookbinding superduo.
What do you make? How did you get into it?
Tienda Wabas is the brand that we use to sell several products, especially crafts, to help support the studies of our crafter. Right now, our main focus is on handmade notebooks, which can be customized and personalized depending on what the customer wants. We are also looking into more ways to incorporate crafts to everyday experiences so that our customers can have handmade items as part of their day to day life.
Are you a full-time crafter? If not, what is your day job?
Not a full-time crafter. Our crafter is still a student working on her Fine Arts degree.
What motivates you in pursuing this business?
We like the idea of making something that people will appreciate and use, knowing that it wasn’t made by a machine in a mass produced way. We also like the fact that the artworks that our crafter makes are carried around by people, and they can show these to everyone who might see it.
What are some of the challenges of maintaining a craft business?
The challenges of the craft business is that it takes a lot of time of produce our product, as well as marketing materials that will help people know about us. We also have to constantly think about how to work with our schedules, so that we give enough time to the business.
What’s a new skill–craft or business–that you’d like to learn?
We’re currently in the process of learning photoshop, and other computer design software, that will help us market our business better. On the craft side, we’d also like to learn felting, including different felting techniques like watercolor felting.
What’s your most recent craft business milestone?
We recently shifted our focus from exclusively bazaars and online orders to having shelf space in some stores.
What is your favorite lesson in your experience of your business?
We learned how to spot red flags with bazaar organizers, especially how to tell if a certain bazaar will be handled professionally or if it can properly showcase our products.
What craft business advice can you share with other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Learn to deal with disappointment. Some endeavors will fail. You have to move on and learn from them.
Um, if you were a craft tool, what would you be? And why?
Our crafter says she would be a needle. The motion of the needle is to go in one thing and come out another, bringing those two things together in the process. It can also fix things. In that way, our crafter says she brings together different ways of making crafts and solves problems as she goes along.
What can we expect to see from you guys at the upcoming Maker’s Market?
This will be the first Maker’s Market where we will be selling our Perfect Bound notebooks. These come in painted and unpainted varieties, so customers can buy one that has a artwork on it or they can make their own work of art.
Where else can we find your work?
We currently have our product in Hello MNL store near UST, Empire in Maginhawa St. near UP Diliman, and Kendo Creative in Cubao Expo.