Craft artist sees promise in skateboard making business
Being proud of doing the things you love and showing the world that carpentry skills can help you do more things and even earn from using these skills are what craft artist Angelo Michael Alburo believes in.
The 34-year old advertising arts graduate makes his own handmade products and also acts as the marketing manager for his unique business — Halo & Co.
It was not that hard for Alburo since he was happy doing it and he shared his journey towards success, perseverance, and luck in the business sector.
Halo & Co. is solely being managed by Alburo since 2015 until now after he decided to pursue what he really wanted to do and chose not to get stuck sitting all day doing office work.
The products he uses are mostly reclaimed wood, which he buys from restaurants who do renovations or businesses that are closing down.
For Alburo, he sees these supposed waste of others as an opportunity to create a new product.
Sometimes, he also buys locally sourced wood in Cebu to also support local businesses.
“I’m into surfing man, close to nature. Dili ko ganahan ug waste ba like ang restaurant gub-on, makakuha ko ug e’reclaim wood nya ako na na ibuhat (I’m into surfing which is close to nature. I don’t want to see waste like when restaurants renovate, I would reuse all the woods I could reclaim),” said Alburo.
His products have already reached other countries like France, Australia, the United States and Singapore. Within the Philippines, he has also exported to different areas although most are in Manila.
Alburo finished a degree of Bachelor in Arts Major in Advertising Arts at the University of San Carlos in 2007.
Before deciding to put up Halo & Co., he had worked in several advertising companies but he did not feel contented, prompting him to resign and focus on his craft business.
Ever since he was eight years old, Alburo was already used to seeing his father work on their kitchen’s cabinets on his own.
His father was a government employee but had carpentry as his hobby which was why they have a lot of wood working tools at home.
But when Alburo started to focus on his craft business, his parents did not agree with it, telling him he would be just like any other carpenter. But he pursued his passion and since then, he’s been able to support himself.
“So actually, akong mga gibuhat kay sa akong mga ganahan. Almost all things nga naa sa kwarto kay self-made, my bed, table and chairs (So actually, everything I do are really the things I want. Almost all the things in my bedroom are self-made, my bed, table and chairs),” admitted Alburo.
Alburo recalled that the business idea behind Halo & Co. was hatched when his girlfriend said she wanted to have a skateboard. He had no money back then, but he had the skills to make one.
He ended up making two skateboards which he gave to his girlfriend.
People then saw his self-made skateboards and Alburo got advice to open an online business. This was the birth of “Halocruisers” which he opened on Instagram. Eventually, it became Halo & Co. as Alburo diversified to other products aside from skateboards.
“Ig buhat nako ug skateboard, naa jud nay mga scrap nga kahoy di ba. Sige kug tan-aw nga usik man jud ilabay mao to ako sad gibuhat ug can opener, lamp shade ug skull wood planters (When I make a skateboard, there are always scraps of wood. I look at how a waste it would be so I made it into a can opener, lamp shade and skull wood planters),” said Alburo.
He has been selling skateboards for two years and expanded his products to making mini surf board bottle openers, wooden skull planters, wooden beer cases, and wooden lamp shades.
“Ganahan ko ma -promote ang skill kay naa na karon ang mga made of plastic nga chairs. Murag nawa na ang essence sa craft (I want to promote the skill because things that are made of plastic are now commonly used. The essence of the craft is somehow fading),” explained Alburo.
Alburo admitted that he has received a lot of offers from his followers online and his customers to establish a physical shop but he has not done so since his business is still new and he lacks manpower.
But he said he remains open to the idea and that it may just happen soon when he can handle all his deadlines and busy schedules.
From starting with a capital of only P500, Alburo now earns almost P50,000 every three months and the business has never decreased its sales since it started.
In a day, Alburo can make up to five wooden skateboards. For his wooden lamp shades, which are mostly requested orders by his customers, it would take him two days to make.
Long-boards are different from skateboards since it’s smaller and uses only flat wood with wheels under it.
His skateboards are not the ones being used in extreme jumping tricks, though.
Looking forward, Alburo plans to craft new products. He wants to also focus on recycling plastic bottles as materials which he can add as fins below his mini surf board bottle openers.
He said he came with this idea after seeing a lot of plastic bottles being thrown indiscriminately, just anywhere.
“Murag ako man gud gi-highlight ang pagkausa ka panday nga level-up. Ayaw kuyog sa uso, kung unsa imo ganahan kay buhata ug dili ka mauwaw. Ako ani panday man jud ko, so wala ko mauwaw (It’s like I am highlighting carpentry and bringing it to the next level. Don’t follow the trend, do the things you want with no shame. I am a carpenter and I’m not ashamed),” said Alburo. / Candy Morr Baraga, STC Intern
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