Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meet Monsana!

...no..Monsana is not the name of this bear...but the creator of B (that's the name of the bear, if you were wondering) and the owner of the lovely shop called Brand Appliqué. She just opened it a few months agot and got some new listings yesterday, so be sure to visit her and give her some love! I called her shop, which is stuffed by wonderful letterpress cards and papers, not to mention their neat packaging, clean and modern, in a design-y kinda way. On the contrary, her style still somehow reflects a homy feeling too, when other design-y shops seem to lack of. (Oh just look at B the bear!)

Monsana is taken from the word Manzana in Spanish, apparently, the mis-spelled one. But it sounds catchy and the dear lady decide to go with the name. I really love talking to her, as she seems to have many things to share (and indeed she does), so I chat her a little more..but if you really really want to know here, just visit her lovely blog, or you just want to skip our chitchat and start ordering those high quality letterpress for yourself ? Head to her website for more info. If you're here for the coversation, here it is...

What's your main source of inspiration?
Anything that opens my eyes to the new experience.

When and how did you decide to sell handmade stuffs?
When I was in college. I wanted to use my free time to make some extra money, which turned out to be a huge success and later had become my serious business for a while until I decided to pursue my other dreams. I think part of the success was because I was young and bold and willing to take a risk.

I noticed that you do some design works as well, how to balance those two acts; designing and making handmades?
Design is one thing, craftsmanship is another. Although I wanted to have it all but in reality it's impossible. I used to make everything by myself but later got burned out that I felt drained of creativity. At a.angkana, I positioned myself as a creator, I design, select the right materials, and have my team made it. My secret is to have great teamwork.

In designing, which comes first; the clients' satisfaction or your creative idealism?
I have to say clients' need come first. The clients know their business better than anyone else. Besides, it's their budget they're spending. I won't abuse their money to fulfill my creative idealism. I do that to my own brand. :) Brand Applique shop is my creative outlet. I get to do anything I wanted to do without having to concern about demographics, target audience, and trend. Although the sales're not skyrocketing but so far, I'm enjoying it.

Do you have any works that you can call your "masterpiece" so far?
I loved every piece I created, yet won't call them 'masterpiece'. I'm looking for a way to put my skills to good use... you know.. like designing something that improves our society and people's lives. I would call that my masterpiece.

On the contrary, any works you wish people wouldn't find out about?
Yes I do. But if I told you then people would find out about them. ;) Let's keep the skeleton in the closet.

What new skills you wish to master right now?
Networking skills. I'm always envious of people who know how to build and keep up their social networking.

If you're not a designer, what would you do now?
If I weren't a designer, I would do what I'm doing now. I've been living my life. The sky has no limit and I LOVE exploring new territories. Currently, I'm into marketing and branding. I'm also looking into MBA program.

What's the best tips/suggestions/ words of wisdom you have ever received as a designer?
I'm not sure I can call it the tip or suggestion, it's more like a hint. And it came from a design legend who was one of the greatest designer in the 20th century. I got to sit down and had a meeting with him, back in Chicago. At that time, I had already been doing great in my career. My work had been recognized but I was looking to have more exposure. So I was excited to meet the guy. We talked about work, trend, his work ethic, and his life. He gave me a hint as to what I was about to get myself into if my desire was to become a design legend. It's going to be long hours of work, no days off, no vacation, and no life. If that's my goal, he asked me to go back and see him.

And that's my turning point.

I spent a few days contemplating his words. Then decided that's not how I see myself living it. My priority's not my work, it's the people I love. I can live without fame. So I stopped working long hours and started paid attention to people around me. These days I'm doing well with my work-life balance. I've been living my life and enjoyed every moment of it. had I not met up with him then, I won't be where I am now.

Any tips for new designers/ Etsy sellers?
Etsy folks, you're doing good already. We're in the same boat though as I'm new to Etsy as well. As long as we stay optimistic and work hard (don't go extreme on that, would you?) good things will happen to us.

Design folks, I may not be in a position to give you any tip as I'm a rebel one :) Ok.. one thing I can say from my experience. Ever since, I stopped and smelled the roses, I've been doing even better than before!. The secret is I spend more time being out and scouting new territories than sitting at my desk flipping through design magazines. New experiences're great sources of my inspiration for creating great work.

Lastly, thanks Babalisme for having me here today!
(well, your welcome, Monsana! My pleaseure to have you here! )


  1. i like what i'm seeing! checking out the shop now!

  2. 'Monsana' sound so sweet.. just like the bear she made! ^.^


  3. He work is beautiful! I love B the bear, I just want to cuddle him. Her photography is impressive too. It's very simple and clean.


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