We dispose of tons of metal, wood and glass materials ever day. Yet Luisa and Saeid Momtahan are super recyclers who use these materials in unique and innovative ways by creating handmade industrial lamps and home décor. They brought this ‘creative spark’ from the Philippines to Dubai, and here they share their ‘light bulb’ moments with Tempo…
TEMPO: How and when did you start making products?
Luisa: We set up Craft By Two. It’s a family run small crafting business that started as a hobby a couple of years back in the Philippines. We tried selling our crafts in our village bazaar; the response was really good and we decided to form Craft By Two.
TEMPO: Where do you find materials for your projects?
Luisa: Depending on what project we work on, we either buy the materials or in many cases we use wood that we find in the industrial areas.
TEMPO: How long does a project take to complete?
Luisa: A project can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
TEMPO: What inspired you to get into recycling?
Luisa: We became “recycle-bugs” a few years ago and since then have been gravitating towards all natural materials in our crafts. Also natural materials lend themselves more strongly to the style of our craft, which is rustic and industrial.
TEMPO: What is your preferred material?
Saeid: Metal, wood, and glass. Everything we make has a very elemental feel to it. And it only makes sense to use elemental materials in making our projects.
TEMPO: How did you learn to weld and manipulate wrought iron?
Saeid: I was building a trike a few years back and instead of taking my plans to a welder and asking them to weld things for me; I decided to learn how to weld. That worked out better, especially since all the plans were in my head. The wrought iron was just an extension of that necessity which gave me much more creative freedom.
Saeid: Given the fact that both me and my wife are from completely different fields of education than what we’re involved in right now, I would say with pleasure and amazement.
TEMPO: How do you conceptualize your products?
Saeid: Our style of work determines where we go with each product. We have a Rustic/Shabby Chic Style with wood, glass and wrought iron products. And we have a very pronounced Industrial style with our Lighting products.
TEMPO: Are there any designers or artists you take inspiration from?
Saeid: The internet is full of inspirations for us. New ideas are just a click away.
TEMPO: What’s it like having an online store?
Luisa: We started our Etsy online store a few months back and are just now starting to get orders. Just like any physical store, it takes time for the word to get around and get the clientele. But having an online presence is a must.
Saeid: Etsy offers a great platform for selling online. We will be expanding our product range after the summer.
TEMPO. Do you have plans for opening your own store?
Saeid: We have no plans of opening our own retail space. We have however been approached by a few store owners about having our products sold in their shops.
TEMPO: Do you have a message to aspiring designers?
Luisa: Find out what turns you on and go for that, rather than what seems to be the trend.
Saeid: And give yourself time!
Connect with Craft By Two: www.etsy.com/shop/CraftByTwo
Facebook Page: Craft By Two
by Sara Ghazi