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Creator Series S1 E7 – Luis Roldan

I’m the son of a carpenter and I worked with my father during my youth. Perhaps that is why I have always felt a special attraction to crafts. Working with leather began five years ago. After spending years and years working with my computer, my head and my hands desperately asked me to detox. At that time I was looking for a leather wallet, but I could not find any that I fully liked. I found the solution: “I will do it myself.” What came next were months of searching, learning, trial and error … And then all the people I know began to ask me for wallets, bags … With them I practiced and improved my technique. Especially with Marta, my partner, who became my private tester.Thanks to the support and encouragement of my friends I began making handcrafted leather goods. Currently I combine my work as a designer at with Cocuan.

My philosophy is to create simple and functional products. First I consider the requirement and then I try to create the article that will offer the answer to this. Always using the minimum elements required.

Enjoy my conversation with Luis!

Show Notes & Links

Transcript Follows

Madhav SBSS 0:02
I’m thrilled to introduce my featured guest today, Lewis Lewis. Are you prepared to crunch it?

Luis 0:11
Yes, of course. I went right to surprise myself in English.

Madhav SBSS 0:15
Awesome. Thank you. Lewis is a graphic designer based in Mataro Barcelona, and he’s an online entrepreneur making leather goods with minimalistic design. And he has a store online called cocoa and on Etsy and other places you can find all the links on the website with the podcast. Lewis I’ve given a little bit of glimpse into your life to our donation please fill in your story what your personal story briefly just take a second to tell us about your business. What’s happening today your business

Luis 0:58
Yeah, I’m a graphic designer but from for five years I want to basically leave computers because is they was so strikes by me so stress work in all of the with computers because your knowledge is so ephemeral

Madhav SBSS 1:24
ephemeral yeah it’s changing

Luis 1:27
Yes Why did learn when I was 20 is nothing now is a always to UMass ran more and more and when you are younger, it’s okay but I want now a quiet life. And I what I was thinking of change my my my way of of life a and do something by hands do something and I I can feel yes feel and touch what I do. Yes, we’re all either with computer is mouse click yes mouse that that mnemonic now monitor and monitor and I was thinking and change my way of of my diet my day life to make things

Madhav SBSS 2:22
awesome. And that’s how I saw on the business side of things what’s happening today so you’ve said I’ve had enough of these I will continue to do graphic design. Yeah, but I also want to do something with my hands so you started Quan

Luis 2:39
Quan? Yes, I work until like a graphic designer and I start to do things by leather because I was I start making ukulele it’s a little with our with a friend who made guitar here in moto and start to make with him a little ukulele and it changed my mind is

Madhav SBSS 3:06
your aha moment like yeah I’m enjoying this so much yeah,

Luis 3:10
yes, I want to do some things may have something by hand and as I start to to look for a wallet because I don’t have I don’t find a wallet I want and I do it myself I do it my ether wallet by with leather

Madhav SBSS 3:30
we didn’t know how to do any of this stuff before the external thing

Luis 3:34
nothing I was I don’t know nothing about leather nothing I put in Google leather how to make a wallet and all they they are lots of tutorials in in internet internet is a big thing and they have to because University Yes Yeah. Yeah. And I started doing I don’t know nothing about leather I don’t know what kind of flair how to see you. So the leather and I slowly I start to practice and to make things are friend of mine like my little wallet and I do I did one from for him.

Madhav SBSS 4:18
So you had a small project that you did for him and then you felt like okay, I can do this and this is very interesting

Luis 4:26
that I’m doing Yes, I started doing the same for my friends. As long slowly he started to grow while later and I make a way to put my my my staff in he wins. Okay, we see I start sending a letter. Always a my way of babies is graphic design. But this is start growing. And give me some morning to buy more leather and

Madhav SBSS 5:03
put put the money you earned back into the yeah Coco indica

Luis 5:07
Yeah, I learn I earn more money or to buy more things, tools and slowly start to grow up and now it’s half that that 50% of my of my time. Awesome.

Madhav SBSS 5:25
And so you’ve started out with this project and one of the things that we’d like to learn in creator nation is about how if you had any failures and how you cope with failures in your journey as a you know, as an artist or creator making leather products have you had any big failure

Luis 5:52
that we wish got one I don’t have any further until now. But in my other side graphic designer, I have two enterprises that fails because they don’t have the knowledge to have the claims to have to do the marketing and all of this now and with with Laquan is is is growing so slowly that I don’t have I don’t have to spend so much money I walk to the bank to press them. When you do get money from the bank loan alone, yes, I don’t have no no no, no, no, no, say nothing with Ocwen you’re doing

Madhav SBSS 6:36
it because you love to do it. And you

Luis 6:38
do it. Yes, Bobby. Yes, very slowly. And I have money I have our money from I sell these. And I buy another basis is very slowly that we’re going off kakuhen Until now, I have no faith with what happens

Madhav SBSS 6:55
if you build let’s say you create a wallet. A leather wallet for men. But nobody’s buying it. Is that something does bother you. Is it a failure for you?

Luis 7:06
No, no, no. I do what they want. i is the i don’t i don’t want to do that the people want done if I do back with flowers. Yeah. Women sure sure. I sell more I sell more because I do product for money. So it’s strange when I want to market all black woman I want I like this one if you want with another combat or with flowers combat, but I do what what I like to do I don’t need I don’t need Coco and to live so so the designs I do with coke one is my designs. And I don’t know it’s it’s okay. You know, off the shore. Marketing producer is all in all. Yes. Got it. Wrong. I do all wrong. I know. But it’s

Madhav SBSS 8:10
your true and authentic to yourself to to yourself. Yes, you do what to do? Because you want to do it. Whether it sells or not.

Luis 8:18
Yeah. Happy to be doing nine of things. And if I do flowers backs, we don’t I don’t happy doing back with flowers. I’m happy doing this kind of

Madhav SBSS 8:31

Luis 8:33
Yeah, this business even. I have the necessity or to to. To leave. I have a tendency to back with flowers. I will do Yeah, I don’t I don’t I’m not against it yet. But if I if I could do what they want. I will try it.

Madhav SBSS 8:55
I see. That That makes a lot of sense. Thank you. Thank you for that nugget of wisdom around doing things that you truly believe in, as opposed to because they will make money. I think that’s a great, either no,

Luis 9:11
yes. I’m sure. Yeah. Have you know, for I have, I want to do several projects. So with with solely real projects. A thing is a way to do I don’t know is the correct way. But it’s my way to do that.

Madhav SBSS 9:27
It’s a beautiful way you said it. You want to have the soul in the projects that you do.

Luis 9:32
Yeah, that’s really I tried to I try to do

Madhav SBSS 9:35
that. Yeah. And I believe that when you have the soul in the project, it does attract people into I think

Luis 9:43
I think it does. I tried doing this, I don’t know. And there are two types as

Madhav SBSS 9:49
we all know that two types of entrepreneurs people talk about one is a mercenary type, who was like, there is an opportunity. There’s money to be made. I’m going to do it. Yeah. A missionary who is like, I just want to do it because I’m on a mission to do something minimalistic beautiful, something I love. And that’s totally valid. Like,

Luis 10:08
I don’t mind the money. I know. I need so little police. Should I say no, I don’t want to be rich. No. I want to be happy. You know?

Madhav SBSS 10:21
Do you have a, a aha moment or a magic moment? That, like you said in the when you did the ukulele? Yeah.

Luis 10:36
I think this is the moment

Madhav SBSS 10:38
that’s Can you talk a little bit about the process that you went through for the ukulele, how you went about even doing the project? And what made that light bulb go off in your head saying, You know what? I’m doing graphic design for movies and posters, but this is so much more better than this one I

Luis 10:57
love Yeah. I was when I came to moto Italy the ability near Barcelona. I went I 678 years ago, I came I come from Barcelona to Matera to live and here I have a friend who made guitars. And Friday afternoon, I went I went to I went to his workshop to help him again start to do our local la Alita waiter. And I was a graphic designer I was all the day with with their computers. I don’t nothin about always with a computer. And then we start to do this process. And very big. More times six months. Yes. Six months doing that. doclet two hours a week. So late. Yes. But technologies in Latin that now Calella was growing and was forming on all of you can see the progress Yes. Progress. And when I finish half this pace is Wolf I was so proud of this piece. This is his material piece than I was so proud of this all the posters I made from from from CNMI. It took the A but it’s marketing is the seller pro yet all the actors, big actors, like all the other posters with the big Monday last week and remark them all on is not my my

Madhav SBSS 12:48
sort of passion or

Luis 12:49
yes, it’s not my final project I have it’s not mine. It’s not mine. It’s not yours. Yeah. It was all mine is my like my like, my baby is 108 This is what’s the aha moment that I want to do something with hands, I want to make things that for me, for other people that have my product. And this is that have

Madhav SBSS 13:16
all hands all over your hands all over the

Luis 13:21
upper side, this this this piece.

Madhav SBSS 13:25
And so you started making wood projects in the beginning or how did you like you can tell is more of a wood project? Yes, yes. And now you’re jumped from why

Luis 13:37
I came I changed to leather. Because I don’t want to do something special in some material. I don’t want to work with booth or with leather. I want to make things by my hands. Doesn’t matter what the medium is. Yes, that’s a matter of the medium. And I started working at home and make another ukulele at home. It was so my wife I think they don’t they don’t like so much. And that I started I was thinking in the wallet and leather is always like me then working with leather but never I think I was I became to work with leather. But because I have that I was very proud about what to do. I have the I don’t know how to say the fourth emotion the feeling see the feeling that I could do everything I

Madhav SBSS 14:45
could do everything again. You felt more in control.

Luis 14:47
Yes, yes, I have done an Calella special for me and I become work with lasers or I began to work with metal to do Schwarz So I have this this

Madhav SBSS 15:03
new confidence, energy,

Luis 15:05
the energy that energy to try wherever I excellent and I start to work with another yes and I like a lot and I continue with this

Madhav SBSS 15:17
awesome stuff I mean how do you it’s one thing to make a ukulele or six months every week two hours or it’s one thing to make a small leather wallet for your friend. How do you make that happen consistently what’s the type of routine you have what’s the discipline you have to make sure that you’re actually making progress you’re doing things that you love to do. Not only when the time permits when your real job is done. Maybe I’ll do this

Luis 15:51
on my own into the at the beginning my kind of wore a fork is so I have a lot of work this week. And then as with no work until none other film comes to the to the studio to do lunch. This film does these days. This week at the title have worked. I start to make prototypes to make you start to do my star version. Yes preparation of all of all of the pieces of leather. And it’s it’s I do my stuff. Seven eight products. And when I have this stuff done in my in my spare time when I don’t have work, I make a web my web and net t is I work from from artisans to sell or your Yeah, I upload all the photos to all my stuff I upload to Etsy and

Madhav SBSS 17:01
do when do you upload the photos before you actually build the product? Design so you actually upload the photos of the actual products.

Luis 17:11
Yes I do a pro tip of for liability but this is one year two years thinking about what I want to do because I wasn’t I was no no no knowledge of leather. And was one two years thinking about what I want to do this kind of wallet. The other kind I form their sleeve covers like made before now I don’t I don’t do cover for technological things. I

Madhav SBSS 17:43
constantly change and they can be had for 2030 years. Leather lasts. The phone model changes so

Luis 17:53
phones in two years have to change the phone and undercover that leave for these phone. years. And I don’t like make things with leather for technological things. I change the concept and I want to do things with solar with you as a person and you can remain with this product for your lifetime for your life. I give you a person a pencil case and you one do fell in love with this pencil case you stay you will stay with Bill pencil case for your son’s for your grandson

Madhav SBSS 18:35
so this beautiful long term thinking that we’re in this fast paced instant gratification world we are missing a lot of everything has to be instant and it’s more or less done in five minutes. It’s over. Yeah, as opposed to where you’re talking about not only the person who borrowed the pencil case but it potentially could be a generation Yeah,

Luis 18:55
I like this I like to fell in love with the things you are around you you just don’t fall in love with a phone because in three years that will lie the phone is gone. You can fell in love with a notebook and leather cover of notebook and you will this notebook will be with you or your life and you can bring with you that you can fall in love with a phone no you have a phone is do a lot of things but in two years the fall the phone will lie and you if you fail your call with a phone your way that she had more times because every two years very sad.

Madhav SBSS 19:40
Any tips or tools that you have for listeners who are developed a routine or consistent discipline on how to make sure that you do the work you have to do not just dream not just imagine

Luis 19:58
I bury constantly By the way, I have shovel all I worked from 10 to three and for four to seven and when I finish work I do nothing about design of leather but I have no computer work I don’t I don’t lie I have him at home At home I don’t have no computer say at home I with with my wife or with my daughter I don’t want to spend time with computer

Madhav SBSS 20:27
devices when you’re when your work you’re at work yes so there was a there’s a quote that I’m reminded of which is I believe from Jim Rohn wherever you are be there

Luis 20:41
yeah yeah I want to be in the place I am I don’t think in in other things I’m when I was in when I am yes when I will when I’m with my daughter I don’t think anything else I don’t think at work I don’t think I am with my daughter and when I want work when I am in at work I am sure I am yes I completed here working and I spend all my time thinking making that now or I will have on Etsy and making all this stuff

Madhav SBSS 21:13
do you when you say making the orders on Etsy Do you also take custom orders and make things that people when they say I want this

Luis 21:21
yeah it’s a challenge I can do doing my my my own pieces because if you want something big lit as if this is sorry likes and decisis analogies

Madhav SBSS 21:37
and you won’t compromise on here I want flowers on this bad we will do it now. But if it’s

Luis 21:42
if you enjoy like my design and you want a little different some theme for or I have a pencil case no I do want to put the pencils is longer I put it I could do a pencil case because the more longer makes it but always with my my, my my kind of design

Madhav SBSS 22:02
few before I jump into the last part of the session where I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions quickly and maybe you can respond. One question I wanted to ask you was around what are you looking to what’s exciting for you right now? What’s, you know, a little bit of a vision or future

Luis 22:25
in the near future? I don’t sing in the future. I live in the present Oh yeah. Now yes, I don’t sing is the same that feature on assist. I do now what I like to do and the future will come will come become I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if I could work with Laquan or write code I need to work more that graphic might that I’m trying to do is live graphic design and work with Laquan but I don’t know. Sure. I don’t know how that’s how with the future. Live in the now future. Like now I tried to be happy now doing one but

Madhav SBSS 23:13
my future will come Yes. That’s a great future will come just live in the now. A few quick questions that maybe you can answer if you have. So one of the things is what’s something that was holding you back from starting cocoa and what was holding you back? Why would Why didn’t you start work on 10 years ago? Why were you doing graphic design? Yes. What was holding you back? Was there something inside you like maybe I can do that? Maybe? I don’t know. Maybe I’m not such a great graphic designer after all. Was it something that holding you back? Might start

Luis 23:53
I guess Toyo before is is I something I want to make physical things but not nothing about mine that I

Madhav SBSS 24:08
didn’t know anything about there’s no knowledge I didn’t know the skills

Luis 24:12

the things I know in graphic design change a lot and I want to change my kind of knowledge do from that to something that’s more see grow with the time growth time or not one that’s appear with yes no disappear yes is your when when I the first things I learned about doing something in leather it’s that’s when it struck you like yes and it’s for me now it’s positive. This hit these things I or like a ball. Like I know anyone that we pulled out of lawyers lawyer lawyers that grow grow grow this this this Anjana

Madhav SBSS 25:00
Yeah, yeah, I see any books that you recommend to our listeners that that might inspire creators to do things like you might mention in our you know, pre recording about movies? Yeah.

Luis 25:14
Yeah, but I don’t I don’t think tutorials have I think that you as a person you must cultivate your passion like you must to go to the montane you must to read books but not but not a leather books like Moby Dick is a it’s a it’s an example is one book that is not nothing about leather could bring you a lot of things of how to design how to produce Yes, yes. Not a specific book or those things do live your life. Yes. intense, intense, intensely. Yes. And this will bring you a lot of things to do your work and to create to create things

Madhav SBSS 26:11
Wow, what a beautiful great way to put it where inspiration can come from books like Moby Dick but it’s not really the book that’s really going to make the difference Yeah, it’s you just come from the end of the day and you have to put it into action do it yes, you can read million books but you might not really be any different.

Luis 26:37
Yes, yes, you can create a book about cooking and brings you a lot of things of what to recipes. Is that is do like a person who who make things yes. And as you are as a person is what you do.

Madhav SBSS 26:57
Excellent. So it’s a it’s a very I’m learning some very interesting things about thinking long term growing slowly don’t have to rush

Luis 27:07
this is not this is memorization I don’t know for it or not. This is I don’t I don’t I don’t try to teach anybody yes I only is what they feel you have a fairly what I do is

Madhav SBSS 27:23
it’s very authentic and that’s I think very crucial in this day and age everybody’s doing things that yes please other you want to show a false self or fake news and whatnot. And what is missing the most important thing

Luis 27:41
for example Mr. Graham is I don’t show myself Mr. My graduation yes I should I have one photo of me because it’s

Madhav SBSS 27:54
the profile the profile picture

Luis 27:56
but the rest is not mean that it is my wallet or my I don’t sell myself I sell what I do you

Madhav SBSS 28:05
sell your creation excellent Do you have any digital tools that you recommend or that you use in your day to day work? Like WhatsApp or Instagram that help you anything that specifically want to learn you might really say

Luis 28:26
Yes, as a graphic designer, I use I do webs website I design websites and I I have a website of Cochran I have Instagram in cocoa and I have Facebook. I like a lot Instagram because this is very quickly show your photos and the feedback with other people from Astronomia grown all over the world is is solely summation but this selling what you what do you do know selling you believe that that can take your creations and talk about your creations and but I think this is a very important to come to connect people all around the world and see what they do when I think is so so awesome. We are connecting people through Yes. Yes. Through your creations.

Yes. Tell your tells your what the things about your wallet is one one person of China. Your qualities

Madhav SBSS 29:45
is in my bio. Isn’t it amazing? Yes. It’s amazing and you can actually hear

Luis 29:50
the rest I do to use USA or to Sweden is I was wondering the app A person of Sweden has a wallet I do buy my hands yes and they both photon Instagram of my wallet. This is this is this is to be unbelievable This is happy about this yeah

Madhav SBSS 30:16
last question before we say goodbye if you had a magic super power

Luis 30:27

Madhav SBSS 30:29
well what would you like to create with that

Luis 30:35

Madhav SBSS 30:36
anything that you can create you can create anything you want is there something that you would love to create

Luis 30:44
but for my my

Madhav SBSS 30:47
people are people of

Luis 30:51
i don’t know i so many problems with people with this kind of Pico Gothic when when I think about the war I became crazy because there’s so many things that are so extremely Batman in the world I don’t know I mean, I think all that the first world mass goal was lowly got mass don’t have so many things. The things they have they have for life that don’t change all his trousers, his jackets, it’s all his clothes, or that as low all fares have to be your superpower, if you will, yes, low. Low all the people in the world and try to give something to the rest of the world.

Madhav SBSS 31:55
What a great way to end that. Awesome. So Louis, before we say goodbye, any parting advice for our listeners from you and how we can keep in touch with you?

Luis 32:10
Yes, whenever whenever they want, they can keep in touch with me with my wife, my wife my email whenever they want. And something to tell. I don’t know. Yes, be themselves and try to do whatever they want. Is slowly with no rush. Lovely. Be happy with with your your, your life and your things to have evolved. Slowly, slowly, slowly.

Madhav SBSS 32:52
Thank you, Luis, thank you to you and the same people. You know, you’re the average of the five people that you hang out with regularly. So you’ve been hanging out with LR and MSB today and here to the creative nation. Wish you the best and see you on the magical side. Thank you

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