Handmade Stories – Designs Tandem
Where to begin! Okay so, this is a great piece we have for you! Below is the story behind Designs Tandem!
These handmade superstars do wonderful self branding ideas and stationery!
We have a really soft spot for makers who do this kind of work. Have read through – gives you a great insight to what makes these guys tick and get out of bed in the morning! Then jump on to their store and check out their beautiful work. You won’t be disappointed!!
Eloi Moli and Gemma Fenol are Designs Tandem –handmade notebooks and journals since 2014. Self branding ideas and stationery.
WHO WE ARE
We are two creatives who are both from Barcelona, Spain. However, we didn’t actually meet each other until three years ago by chance at a house party in Los Angeles.
Eloi is a cinematographer / photographer who came to LA to seek new opportunities, while I came as a student to finish my studies in graphic design at UCLA.
Design Tandem spawned when I discovered a practical solution to a challenge I was faced with in my last semester of school — I had to present my portfolio in a single book! I was so nervous about the idea that I wasn’t sure what to do, but I did know it had to be something special, as well as be extremely “personal”, so that anyone who saw it could connect to me just by looking my book.
I spoke to Eloi about my situation, and he suggested trying to write down the concept, explaining how it will make my portfolio unique. “You have to have it super clear in your mind, so you can actually visualize it. Once you do that, your idea will reveal itself.” I found that his advice was so simple, but really effective, because what I did was actually print my concept on a clear piece of paper and attached it to my window right where the sun shines through at a particular moment in the morning. When the rays of light hit the black inked words on the paper, projecting shadows of the words onto my desk. It was brilliant! And at that moment, I knew what I wanted to do. It was something simple and invisible, but unique and full of meaning.
The book took over two months to realize. There was a lot of research and iterations, but when I finally presented it to the UCLA portfolio review they were super impressed. At that moment, I knew I was onto something special.
GETTING STARTED, INSPIRATION
I love the idea of causality and that things happen by chance. It feels like if you’re open and aware of the things around you enough, you can find your answers in the places you least expect it. This sort of serendipity is what inspires us, and our collections at Designs Tandem.
After creating several handcrafted journals as gifts for our friend’s birthdays, suddenly, we were receiving orders to create more for their friend’s birthdays, as well as wedding gifts!! We were getting so many compliments about how unique and personal our journals were that we couldn’t help but to think how great it would be if we could find a way to share them with the world. That’s when we discover etsy and started our own shop.
And why Tandem, you may ask… because we have a 60’s old vintage tandem, that we restored all by ourselves, piece by piece, sanding painting and repairing, is all original!! The perfect way of transportation here in Venice Beach!! And the best part of it, we both ride it together, as we do with our business!
PHILOSOPHY AND PRODUCTS
We never lost our original idea of making something special that follows a personal interest. We only create a limited amount per design – thirty notebooks, because what we want is to create stationery pieces that speak to each person’s unique identity. That’s why we do not charge extra for custom made orders.
What we want to incorporate is a new way of understanding at the simple and practical things we use daily. Whether it’s a piece of clothing or accessory, it should speak loud of whom you are. It’s a lifestyle icon rather than an ordinary object. For this reason, our products are crafted with the premium materials of the highest quality. We shop locally and the products are eco-friendly. That is also part of us!
What made us want to go further with this project is the fact that other designers and creatives were really curious about what we were doing. They understood the hard work and hours behind the products, but their main question was always, “how do you do what you do? How do you get these perfect finishes by hand?” It’s amazing when people in your field are also your main clients!! We seem to actually solve their needs, as we did with ours when the idea came to us.
It seems easy for them to understand the products, and that they are open to this new idea of incorporating elements into their personal style. Hopefully, we will be able to reach more and more people very soon.
We are currently providing our products to European stores only, but Etsy allows us to have a global reach. However, the USA is mainly where handmade innovative ideas are most welcomed.Our goal for 2015 is to create a full line of stationery products, and build a strong distribution channel sell locally to clients in need of a new brand identity.For all of those that are interested about creating their own brand identity, we will see you at designstandem.com!!