Architect mom earns from love for paper

By: CNU Intern June 24,2018 - 09:05 PM

Some of the notebooks and planners created by Architect Charo Lyn Roncesvalles and sold through her Papersandtschai business.

Charo Lyn Roncesvalles, 40 loved to produce journals, scrapbooks and photobooks when she was a child.

Little did she know that her obsession for paper would lead her to open her own business which she named “Papersandtschai” in 2006.

Papersandtschai came from a combination of her nickname “Chai” or “Tchai” and paper.

Charo Lyn said that friends would fondly call her Chai while a professor in college would call her Tchai.

Her collection now includes paint brushes, papers, notebooks, pens, gift cards, post cards and even greeting cards. She will soon be adding stationaries and photobooks into her product line.

Roncesvalles and her children.

But since she does not own a store, Charo Lyn said, she markets her paper products through her Facebook and Instagram pages for now.

She is also working on developing a website for her business to strengthen her online presence.

Aside from this, she also joins fairs to introduce Papersandtschai to the Cebuano community. Her products can be found at the Casa Gorordo and the Cebu Lit Fest Komiket 2018 at the Ayala Center Cebu from July 22-23, 2018.

Charo Lyn said that she is also partnering with Artissimo Art House located along the Ma. Luisa Road in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City to have a display area for her products.

As a long-term plan, she wanted to put up her own an art bar that will serve as a avenue for interaction among art enthusiasts and a cafe at the same time.

Love for paper

Charo Lyn finished architecture at the University of San Carlos main campus in 2000.

Although a licensed architect, Charo Lyn said, is no stranger to doing business.

In 2004, she helped run her family’s food business called “Turrones” which sells Cebuano delicacies placed on display in carts inside malls.

She also partnered with her then boyfriend and now husband Architect Ritchie Roy Roncesvalles in running a graphic designing business before she finally decided to open her paper business in 2006.

“It (Papersandtschai) all started as a hobby to make my first child a baby book,” she said.

Unable to find the perfect baby book for her eldest child Ayrton Michael, she decided to instead create her own baby book using her own choice of materials.

Friends who saw her produce asked if she could also make one for them to be given out as Christmas gifts.

Charo Lyn said she started her business with a P5,000 capital which grew in the last 12 years.

She admitted though that starting her own business was never easy.

But she was lucky to have her husband and other family members for support.

Ritchie Roy thought of her business name while a sister who is a graphic artist helped her design her business logo.

Growing her business

Charo Lyn used to consider her creations as off-the-shelf products which she would normally sell only to friends and acquaintances.

She used to shy away from growth and expansion opportunities because of her fear that it was not worth her time and

Charo Lyn said she had reservations about committing full time to her Papersandtschai business because she only had friends as clients then.

It was only in 2007 when she decided to try a bigger market for her paper products by joining a bazaar that was held in Parkmall located at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City.

Charo Lyn said she was inspired by Paulo Coelho who said in his book “The Alchemist” that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

After reading Coelho’s book, Charo Lyn, she felt determined to make her business a “full time commitment.”

“Business takes more than just time and money, it is also a commitment on being passionate of your craft,” she said.

Since her 2007 launch, Charo Lyn said, she has been getting bulk orders for paper products that were given out as giveaways in corporate events.

To attract more customers, she also started to use medieval bindings on her traveler’s notebooks, planners, and notebooks.

“I was drawn into (using) medieval binding,” she said.

Medieval binding is a kind of traditional binding that does not use any glue to compile the pages of a planner. Instead she would stitch these into its leather cover.

Charo Lyn said she uses Kowhai leather, which she sources from her Cebu and Manila-based suppliers, on her journals.

Giving in to her clients wishes, she has also started putting some artworks on her blank canvass journals. She collaborates with local artists to address their different needs.

“Akong vision is (that) I want the person na mo order sa akong journal would (feel that it) really fit his/her needs (My vision is to make sure that every person who orders my journals would feel that his/her needs are being addressed by our products),” she said.

Having a personalized design also gives her products a distinct look.

Juggling business and motherhood

With her decision to personally attend to her clients needs, Charo Lyn said, she does not employ extra hands.

She would instead turn to her husband Ritchie Roy and their children Ayrton Michael, 15; Ricardo Francesco, 11; and Alessandro Enrico, 7, for help.

Charo Lyn said that her children get paid for the job that they do to also teach them the importance of hard work.

“If they (the boys) want something they should earn for it. The more they cry the more they can’t get it,” said Architect Ritchie Roy.

He said that they even set up a studio in their house in Cebu City so their children will have a work area where they can also develop their own personal interests.

Ayrton Michael loves balloon arts and anything that he can work on with the use of his hands while Ricardo Francesco is into selling. Their youngest child Alessandro Enrico loves math and wants to become Papersandtschai’s in-house accountant. / Bea Samantha Esteves, CNU Intern

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TAGS: architect, earns, love, mom, paper

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