Bycopala – Manufactured Bags From Cork Wood Leaves and Paper

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Home and Living
Shop link :
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Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?

In 2015 I have started with just a handful of designs, no experience but at least with a vision of what I would like to do with my own brand in the future. I was a bit tired of working for companies to maximize the business of someone else. Instead, I wanted to do something that’s sustainable and fair. So I created BY COPALA.

What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?

From laptop cases made from paper to wooden pens – today I got more than 60 different handcrafted designs in my shop. They all got two things in common: They are made from natural products like cork, paper, or leaves – and they come in simple, smart designs. Oh, and by the way: they are all useful:0) I felt the world doesn’t need another decor brand for things without functions.

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What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?

Sizes are our biggest problem – especially with our cases and sleeves. There are so many laptops and tablets on the market. It’s impossible to know them all. But that’s what some customers used to expect from us. As questions like „Will my laptop fit this case?“ were increasing like crazy, we came up with the solution to ask everyone to check it themselves. That’s why you will find me asking in each description: „Plz compare the size of your laptop with this case before you order.“ Since I have done this I have the time to focus on the important things for my brand again.

What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?

The freedom to do what I want is the best – and of cause the opportunity to travel through Europe and Asia while developing BY COPALA. I am spoilt with what I do: for me, there is nothing hard to be an entrepreneur, it’s a privilege I do enjoy.

What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?

Mistake: Wanting too much in a short time. Advice: Chillout, breathe in, break down big jobs into small tasks, and start with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Oh, and most important: don’t work with assholes – never.

What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.

Traveling – and definitely the exchange of ideas with all the creative people I am surrounded with.

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?

I have studied mathematically. I used to deal with numbers and codes in the past. Today I really enjoy working with all these crazy creatives. It’s my job to create something sustainable out of our wild ideas. And it´s important to me that my designs are crafted under fair circumstances by people I know.

What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?

As BY COPALA is still a small, independent brand with limited budgets, we choose very well. Instagram collaborations with influencers that we like are very useful for us because we exchange what we can afford: a laptop case for a social media post – for example. We like to do small collaborations with people we like instead of spending the whole budget with google ads.

What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?

A great idea (for the users, not only for you), passion, patience, and acceptance to fail, at least sometimes.

How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?

Someone said: “Success is the best revenge.” I don’t think so, because I that revenge is something useful. The best moments are: When you realize that this idea you had on a dusty road somewhere in Asia is something that inspires other people later – like a pencil made from twigs for example.

Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?

Of cause I manage my day-to-day business, just like everyone else has to. But actually, I think and work in inspiration, creation, and daily business periods. Inspirations mean traveling and exchange with creative friends and designers. Creation means also traveling and discussing with our production team about the realization of new designs. Daily business means, in our case, an office in Bangkok or Hamburg to make sure that at least some of these crazy ideas work out financially in the end.

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How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?

I want to grow slowly, that’s why I don’t do much marketing. The success I have with BY COPALA is already more than I have ever expected. That’s why I am able to look into the future with confidence and grow with every new design, every new collaboration, and -my goal for 2021- a shop relaunch that will be sustainable for the next years. A well-made shop that allows me much more storytelling might be the base for the development of BY COPALA as a brand in the future.

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Eat more vegetables:0)


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