I’m in Sydney where I am presenting at the Tony Robbins Business Mastery seminar and also meeting with some HubSpot customers and partners. When I lived in Asia in the 1990’s, I made business trips to Australia many times. I particularly love Manly Beach where I learned to surf, so on Sunday I headed over on the ferry to hang out. That’s where I met Domingo Morchio at his Manly Market stall.
Domingo makes Mi-Wallets, unique paper wallets made of a single folded sheet of newspaper, carefully selected for the image on the front and laminated for strength. The whole process is hand-made using recycled paper.
Since Manly attracts millions of visitors throughout the year, the outdoor Manly Market operates each weekend day. Most of the other Manly Market stallholders had decent setups to showcase their emerging design, fashion, and gifts. But Domingo’s stall was better designed, with excellent branding and a unique style. Having traveled all over the world and visited street stalls in hundreds of cities, I know that it is tough to break through.
Domingo’s wallets are lined up in a pleasing pattern. The colorful wallets stand out on the table. Instead of tossing a purchased item into a plain white plastic bag like the others, Domingo carefully packs his wallets in a hand made box and matching paper bag.
Of course I had to have one because the wallet is perfect for holding foreign currency on my many travels outside the US. So I got to chatting with Domingo.
It took him many months of folding and laminating techniques to nail down the formula for his wallets. He has made over 1,800 wallets and each one is unique. He’s incredibly passionate about his craft as well as showcasing it in a way that attracts buyers.
How to stand out
When everybody has more or less the same playing field (like the stalls in an outdoor market), you need something to break through. The same is true when people are searching for a product on the web. For example, when you are looking for a hotel room, all the websites look similar and great design can be the factor that makes the booking happen.