By Shannine Daniel
“I love the way we can collect memories through pictures and tie them together into a beautiful album. I also love that it’s in the form of a book, similar to a traditional photo album – but presented in a much more creative, detailed and personalized way according to personal preferences, ”says Shamarah Fazeel, 22.
Shamarah is the founder of uniqorn.lk, an online craft store that focuses on personalized craft gifts such as scrapbooks and photo albums.
Albums have been around for a long time, and even in 2021, this method of collecting, preserving, presenting and organizing photos, artwork, notes and other keepsakes is still popular. Albums are ideal gifts for loved ones and can be given on a variety of occasions – birthdays or anniversaries.
Shamarah has been interested in arts and crafts since the age of eight and has been making scrapbooks and other crafts for family and friends for a few years now.
She primarily uses a range of boards, cardstock, and paper – handpicked from local bookstores and stationery stores, as well as online craft and stationery supply stores on Instagram, and through apps like Ebay.
Currently, Shamarah is doing her business full time through Instagram (uniqorn.lk). She started this business in 2018 and is satisfied with its evolution; To date, she has been able to fulfill around 800 orders.
“A friend of mine had an online business when I was starting mine, so I learned a lot about how to run an online business with her help. I researched how I could market my products, who my target audience or clientele was and how I could reach them. I also looked at the delivery and payment options I could use for the business, ”she said.
With a variety of albums in different sizes, varieties and characteristics, Shamarah offers “scrapcards”, explosion boxes, “scrapframes” and hexagonal craft boxes available in various sizes and designs. To give us a taste of her innovative designs, Shamarah said that cutting cards are a sophisticated type of greeting card (essentially a cross between a card and a scrapbook), while scrap frames are hand-made frames. hand with pictures and drawings and explosion boxes and hex boxes are shaped crafts. of 3D cubes or hexagons, also decorated with photos, drawings and drawings.
Guiding us through the process of creating an album, she says, once she has received an order for an album, she first takes the customization requested by the customer, such as colors, theme and l ‘opportunity. With that in mind, she selects patterned papers, colored sheets, and card stock. Then she roughly sketches the layout of the pages in a notebook.
“This is when I try to come up with ideas. Once I have planned the layouts for all sides of the album, I add all the mini crafts and create the pages according to the rough sketches. Finally, I attach the images and quotes sent by the client. I choose places that would make the images attractive, according to the color code of the album. “
“There were two instances where I had slightly unusual requests. One client asked me to make a gigantic album of about 60 pages for an unusually large budget and another asked me to make a replica of the Harry Potter “The Monsters Book of Monsters” cover in the form of an album. I couldn’t meet both requests because I couldn’t find the necessary materials, ”she said.
The cost varies for each individual project, depending on the size, design and features, and the cost of Shamarah’s products between Rs. 2,500 and Rs. 15,000.
Nazma Fasmil, the owner of Regal Crafts, says that on average the cost of making an album or any other item can vary between Rs 2,500 and Rs 12,500. It all depends on the materials and content.
Nazma runs Regal Crafts and makes personalized handmade gifts such as scrapbooks, boxes, and explosion cards, as well as personalized party decorations such as cakes, party banners, centerpieces, and party favors. wall decorations since February 2019.
“I started making albums for my husband for birthdays and anniversaries, and when I posted my designs on social media, people encouraged me to start a business,” Nazma said.
Nazma’s bestseller is the Explosion Chocolate Gift Box, which contains chocolates, notes, photos and other items chosen by customers. She uses different types of boards, cards, patterned papers and other items for her designs, and sources materials locally. She also tries to use recycled and recyclable materials as much as possible.
Orders for Regal Crafts products can be placed through Instagram (regalcrafts) and Facebook (Regal Crafts). Nazma says customers should contact her at least a week in advance and provide the necessary details that need to be added to a product.
“One of the biggest challenges I face in making my designs is last minute and multiple orders. I used to ask my family for help and plan my time better with a well-established morning routine. Coffee helps me a lot to deal with my stress, ”smiles Nazma.
One problem that Shamarah and Nazma bring up is the lack of quality arts and crafts supplies, as there are only a few suppliers and little variety in terms of products.
“I manage as much as possible what is available here and the rest I order online through Ebay and AliExpress,” Nazma said.
“Most of the time, I can’t find the exact tools or supplies at the local bookstores, so I have to compromise. I think as a small business it’s important for me to find affordable prices – it can get really expensive when buying certain craft supplies, even from sites like Ebay and Amazon, ”said Shamarah.