WHAT started as a devotion to paper products has turned into a fun yet profitable business.

Charo Lyn Roncesvalles, a collector of stationeries and other types of paper during her college days, now makes and sells handcrafted journals to friends, online clients, and bazaar visitors.

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After intensively researching how to create journals and what materials compose them, Roncesvalles opened Papersandtschai on her own in 2003 with “minimal investment.”

With her friends as her first clients, she used her income to roll out more products to cater to an expanding client base, which learned of Papersandtschai through word of mouth.

The business’ initial marketing tool was the Internet, through which Roncesvalles would receive inquiries and orders outside Cebu and even outside the country.

The entrepreneur said she refrained from mass-producing her products in order not to lose the true meaning of her journals being customized and handcrafted.

“This is to ensure that no one has the same Papersandtschai journal as yours,” Roncesvalles, an architecture graduate, told Sun.Star Cebu.

Photobooks

Her products include handcrafted leather journals, with prices ranging from P850 to P3,000, depending on sizes, as well as hardbound journals that cost P300 a piece.

She also makes photobooks.

The bestselling item is the hardbound journal. Buyers usually come from the class A and B markets.

Papersandtschai also caters to companies and couples that order leather journals as giveaways and guestbooks, respectively.

Roncesvalles pointed out that she does not limit herself to making journals. She also produces other specialty and novelty items, according to market demand.

She is now planning to offer photobooks to pre-school institutions as their yearbooks.

To continuously innovate, Roncesvalles collaborates with some friends. Papersandtschai recently launched its hardbound artists’ journals series, featuring artworks of four local artists.

The type of paper used in journals is recycled as a way of keeping costs low since labor for handmade journals is expensive, said Roncesvalles.

Bazaar

Papersandtschai also participates in bazaars, the latest of which was the Christmas bazaar in Asiatown IT Park.

Roncesvalles will again showcase her products through the Sinulog bazaar that will start today, still at Asiatown IT Park.

Papersandtschai is now part of the Project Box—a full service creative design and production studio for marketing collaterals and design visuals—which Roncesvalles helped organized along with five architects.

Project Box, formally established last year, is located in Guadalupe, Cebu City.