‘I want to bring something unique and uncommon into the field of woodwork’
- Dilshan Samarakody on his brand D-signer
As a child, Dilshan Samarakody has always had an interest in the field of arts and loved everything to do with the subject, which is actually what piqued his interest in wood works. This interest, after the pandemic, turned into a thriving business, D-signer, where he creates wood items like crafts by engraving designs and such on them.
Giving us an idea of the inspiration behind the brand, Samarakody told us that after he came down to Sri Lanka, he had the liking to do something uncommon and unique. He has always been the artistic type so he began with laser cutting, cravings and engraving, which is what he currently offers.
Samarakody does like to make his own designs and creations, but customers also have the option to customise and explain what exactly they want and he is able to bring it to life.
He also commented that where usually, businesses will give the client exactly what they want, he likes to add his own twist to the clients request, which, he added, is always appreciated by his customers.
“Most businesses are very money-minded; I am not like that, I want to take a risk with my products and add my own touch to them, so every customer is promised a unique piece that is not mass replicated,” he explained.
Samarakody is also self-taught; his interest in the subject of wooden art and craft is what persuaded him to open his brand. He studied fashion designing so his knowledge and eye for style comes from studying fashion, but he informed us that he had no knowledge about wood and how engraving and carving worked, but he learned on the go. He began by purchasing a set of tools and a laser engraving machine, and watched videos online on how they work and learnt the intricate process of craft. Eventually, he got the hang of it and now his business has given him a name in the industry.
He explained that they have a range of solid woods and soft woods to be used depending on whether it’s a laser engraving or a carving. “We don’t use teak or mahogany, we like to keep it as natural as possible and use wood commonly found around,” he explained.
We asked him what challenges they faced through the duration of their business, to which he responded that all businesses without a doubt face challenges. “For me, my biggest challenge is whether my customer will be happy with the final outcome, because I like to add my own signature style to it. It is very rare that my design is disliked, but it is still a fear,” stated Samarakody.
We also asked him if he faces any difficulties with the ongoing pandemic, to which he said that it was actually not a bad thing because he was able to come down to Sri Lanka and start this business because of it. He added: “Because online marketing and social media exists and is developed, we never had a problem with selling our products since our customers are also those that shop online.”
In the future, he hopes to do more unique and uncommon crafts. “There are many new people and businesses entering this field, and they have several innovative ideas. In order to keep up with them and maintain their brand, we have to stay with the trends, keep learning and grow our brand.”
At the same time, he commented that he wants his brand to inspire the younger generation to come up with new and creative ideas and not fear to express them and take a leap of faith and start their own brand.