Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Simple Plan

Was just browsing through the Threadless newsletter, and I found this.

I think i would cry if we didn't receive at least one Space Invader card.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Foldees in Top 10 Most Interesting Web 2.0 Use by Malaysian Brands



We just found out about this. Just to be mentioned in the same breath as luminaries like AirAsia (incidentally Malaysia's top-visited site), and Maybank2u (malaysia's 2nd most visited site) is a huge honour! The list by GreyReview isn't written by just some n00b blogger that created this list out of thin air, but a guy who's been in the industry long, and big enough for his site to be mentioned by TechCrunch and Guy Kawasaki.

While it's not a thoroughly objective list (how could it be?), we are touched all the same. We've put alot of hard work into making Foldees and it's nice once in a while to get a pat on the back :)

We'd also like to thank our designers, for their talent that makes our site a possibility, our customers, and of course, our suppliers. Wow... okay, I know the Oscars just ended, so I'll keep this short and sweet.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

100 Designers or Bust

As our current designers already know, I've officially issued out a challenge to all potential participants of our current contest, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". If we can recruit a total of 100 New Designers this time around, we will increase our prize money by US$1000!

This additional money doesn't go to the top 5, who already have very nice rewards, but to the other designers, whom we wish to appreciate for their efforts. As such, we came up with 5 totally spanking new prizes to give away (please note that if you are already a Top Five winner, you do not qualify for these awards)!:

  • Mr. Popular (card with the most views from start to end date of contest) US$200
  • Mr. Controversial (most commented card from start to end date of contest) US$200
  • Mr. Shotgun (most accepted designs in contest during submission period) US$200
  • Foldees Biased-Award-Nominated Favourites-Explanation-Exempt (or BANOFEE for short) US$200 x 2

In case you haven't figured it out yet, the last award goes to two cards of our choosing, which we will be exempt from explaining. We'll explain it just by saying this... these will be our two favourite cards that we believe should've won something. You may commence sending us nice flower emails of praise to right now :)

In the meantime, here are THREE EASY WAYS to help make sure your buddies enter our next contest.

  1. Get them to sign up as MEMBERS now! This will ensure that they get on our newsletter so we can pester them until they're forced to join our contest out of sheer exasperation.
  2. Invite them onto our Facebook EVENT list for WhereNoManHasGoneBefore - So we can send them constant updates and remind them when the contest due dates are over. Since they (and you as well) probably check this more than email, this is probably your best shot
  3. Tattoo "22nd March" into their skin while they're asleep, preferably somewhere easy to see, like their foreheads (unless they don't have bathroom mirrors or are horribly deformed). This will serve as a cryptic remind of what's to come. Better still if you do it in Klingon.

C'mon guys... we can DO IT!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Interview with Milkberry, winner of “The Game Of Love”

“What if you wake up and then you're in wonderland, but it's catland, where all people are cats, but all of them are braggards, but you can eat them, and they taste like chicken?”

That was a comment left by milkberry on bem69’s blog, and reflects the kind of nutter that she is. Which is why, she’s quite the perfect fit for a site of nutters like ours. Milkberry is known in the real world as Rumanza Zaini (or Ikin, or Kiki, depending on who you ask). She’s a Malaysian living in Japan with her husband for the past two years, who just picked up vector art a short two years ago.

“I started with photoshop...”, Rumanza laughs. “Because I was a rabid anime fan, I thought I should just jump on the bandwagon and draw anime characters. Wasn’t very good at it, sadly. I even had a DeviantArt account to show off but that account has grew dust taller than me”

That was 4 years ago. During the heyday of her anime craze (her favourites were Bleach and Full Metal Panic in case you were wondering), Rumanza had a close friend who was studying in Japan, and supplying her anime cravings on a monthly basis. “I decided to be friends with him so that he can buy me stuff from there.”. Little did she know that a few short years later, that friend would become her husband, and uproot her life as a customer exec in KL to unfamiliar Japan. she laughs. “I’m such a bad person! I didn’t know we’d eventually hook up. After we got married, I followed him there. He hates anime ironically,”.


One of milkberry's early works from her DeviantArt space.


However, it didn’t quit turn out to be paradise, even for a devout anime fan like her. “Japan wasn't really that wonderful as I imagined,” she said. “Japanese can be awfully rude..I dont know how to speak fluent Japanese, so at the time, the best option for me was to be a teacher. My friends are all English teachers here and hearing stuff from them, I know enough that I’d rather not be an teacher.”

Apparently, Japanese schools aren’t far from what’s being portrayed in animes, “You wanna be a primary school teacher teaching kids who like to poke your ass and squeeze your boobs when you're not looking?” she says. “ I think it's a cycle. They see it in anime and they do it and it goes on and on.”

For this reason, Rumanza is a housewife. With no job and few friends in a new country, she struggled to find things to keep herself occupied. “This is going to sound so weird. I joined a knitting group so we meet every week.” she shares. “If not I'd have died of boredom.”

Somewhere along the way, some of the artists (including fellow Foldees contest, Bem69) encouraged her to try out Adobe Illustrator to expand her passion for drawing. “I liked the clean style so I dabbled in it for a while,” She took part in IllustrationFriday, which challenges designers to a new theme each week. The incentive to designers was to showcase their work, but to Rumanza, it was a great way to keep her passions alight, and her skills sharp.

“I used to do it on occasions for my blog but then I joined so I make illustrations every week thanks to that” she recollects. “It was kinda like a homework. I have to push myself to do it”.

Slowly, but surely, she started developing her own style. “During my deviantart years I was more into emulating other people's art,” she says. “At some point I realize that I want to have my own style and I went ahead with that. This is going to sound so corny but Sanrio helped a lot, and I realized that I love that cutesy vector look”.

Rumanza did, however, have a few early influences that shaped the way her beautiful, simple style of art is now. “It's hard (to name my influences) because a lot of great cutesy vector artists inspire me, but I don't want to follow them 100% coz that would be just stealing. so I incorporate I guess? plus I try to make my own little world,” she says. “Meomi inspires me a lot. Tokyobunnie, crowdedteeth... oh and Charuca too.”

Initially, she was wary of showing her works. One of the first contests she entered was the Uniqlo T-shirt design contest. “It didn't go too well. My design was too elaborate for them, jugding from the ones selected”.

Too elaborate? I asked to see her design.

Milkberry's first contest submission for the Uniqlo T-shirt design contest.


It didn't look very elaborate to us. In fact, it looked exactly like the type of design we love. "I made this and some of the designs that were in the semifinals were like a plain t-shirt with a single red dot and another one with a single blue square," she recalls. "I lost to a dot. A freaking DOT!".

From there, the lesson she learnt was to always design for her target audience. And it was about that time, that she found out about Foldees."I've been a Foldees stalker since the “We Are All Geeks” contest!” she confesses. “But I didn’t think I was good enough laaa. I have self-esteem issues.. To be honest, I didn't expect to win but I just design something that I feel I want to buy. I hope I can beat myself for the next contest though”

179-milkberry---Please-Say-Yes-(cover) 000012-140M0E140001283_(milkberry_-_Please_Say_Yes)

Milkberry's winning entry to the contest, entitled "Please Say Yes"

She even admits to having a few more ideas that she didn’t even submit. “when I have an idea I'd paste virtual post-it notes on my desktop”. When asked about the details of those designs, she’s purposefully vague, describing them merely as “zombie-themed and haha hentai-game-ish”...almost as if she feels they still aren’t good enough for public consumption just yet.

To close the interview, as we do with our other interviews in the past, we asked about her feelings of winning. Her reply was exactly what we've come to expect from this talented, humble, and perhaps a little eccentric little designer from Tokyo. "Just lucky I guess" she retells. "When I won Foldees, I got a migraine for three days because I got overwhelmed".

"That wasnt for the closing statement actually," she laughs. "But if you want to use to it, go ahead".

Congratulations once again, Rumanza! You can check out her artwork at

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life's like a box of philatelic chocolates


From this picture, it's clear that this is a bad year for stamps. Birds, fruits, and birds eating fruits. This is what Foldees users have unfortunately been getting so far.

A friend of mine recently suggested that i checkout the Malaysian Philatelic Society, which at first sounded like people who are lactose-intolerant. Eventually I found out that they were the group in charge of keeping a chronicle of the stamps in this country. I don't care what you say, that's so cool!

So anyway, i expected to go into a room with a guy with huge gold-fish like glasses that was going to tell me all about stamps. Instead, it's a simple counter, with a simple foldees that lets you view all the different stamps from different years. The cool thing is that because they are stamps, they're only allowed to be sold at stamp value (an RM2 stamp will cost RM2 and not a penny more). However, because of this, collectors come here in flocks to buy whatever they think might go up in value over the years. As such, you can usually only find stamps from the past few years. Still, there were some very COOL ones... and we sorta went overboard. I don't think I've ever bought this many stamps in so many varieties before.


A couple of hundred bucks worth of stamps, which we'll be using for all Foldees cards sent out this month! In this shot, you can see these lovely LAT ones. Lat is the nickname given to Mohammad Nor Khalid, Malaysia's most popular cartoonist. I have at least 20 LAT compilations at home, and still read em once in a while when i'm feeling nostalgic about my childhood. Here are some of the other choice picks...


I really like this one. It's the clocktower in Kota Kinabalu and just seems to make our envelope so much more classy. I also did not know they have all these beautiful elongated stamps!


stamp3 image

Neither did i know they had triangular stamps! How cool are these!? They go onto the envelopes' corners like this...




Here's a few inspired by our dear Malaysian fiasco into space. It's funny how our first astronaut in space was a doctor, and literally served zero purpose up there (except being the first to observe fasting times). It's a sign of the ills our country is facing. The stamps are pretty funny though.



Speaking of which, we found this stamp pretty funny as well. A sign of the times?


Some scary animals. Check out that horny toad and the afro-skunk!


One of our favourites. This is a beautiful rendition of the fruit season in Malaysia. It looks like something out of an old Mexican chapel.



Another example of excellent local artwork. The topic is map-reading. God knows what it has to do with Malaysia, but that guy in the hat looks totally bad-ass.




These three are special edition RM2 stamps, that sadly, only our overseas recipients will be receiving.


And finally, here are the free stamps the kind lady gave me after i asked her for a bulk discount. She gave me about 40 bucks worth. But then again, I bought quite a lot.

There are a heckuva lot more stamps in our collection, but I've already spent half the day scanning these, so I this i need to get some real work done now. Wanna take a gander at these stamps? Order some cards today!

"you never know what you gonna get..."

PS: On a smaller note, there was a typo in the contest page. Originally, it said US$400 for third prize, and has now been corrected to US$300, which is what it's supposed to me. sorry for the inconvenience!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Where No Man Has Gone Before" Birthday Card Design Contest

Spocks and Leias.... it's CONTEST TIME!


This time, we've decided on a sci-fi theme, entitled "Where No Man Has Gone Before"! We're primarily looking for Birthday Cards, but if you have any other ideas, (for say love, or friendship related cards), do try submitting them as well.

W e're looking for cards that you would totally give to a Trekkie, a Closet Jedi, or anyone who's ever watched Aliens, The Terminator or even Back to the Future. Just make sure the films you're adapting from are well-known enough, and of course, that you're not violating any copyright laws.

Here's a coupla ideas to get you started...

Movie poster spoofs

Hand gestures

or spoofs of famous scenes and quotes, like this previous entry into our christmas card category.

2008101919380901250063152219_uden - Santa Vader (cover)


The contest deadline is Sunday, 22nd March 2009, but as usual, we encourage people to send their designs in early. As you may know, we have been experiencing some unreliability which we're still trying to solve right now, so better safe than sorry. Also, Foldees has a policy of consulting the designers constantly about their designs to come up with the best finished product. As such, we often feedback certain comments back to the original designer before submitting, to improve his/her design before we finalise it into our contest.

Go nuts like you always do!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The winners of "The Game of Love"

Guys, I'm sure by now that you guys are already salivating at the thought of that sweet sweet US$1,000 first prize.

"MMMMMM..... Money for kickass designs!"

This time around, the response was overwhelming! Some cards even got more than 50 comments! Each card was rated more than 240 times, so you can ensure that the final vote really counts :)

<Side gripe :As some of you regulars know, we have an extensive engine to root out people who voted unfairly, and remove their votes from counting towards the end total. We do wish these people would stop trying to game our system, since it's obviously not working after three contests!>

On the brighter side, we also have some amazing designers who voted other designs higher than their own designs. *sniff* you guys are so awesome!

So anyways, without further ado, here is the list of winners for "The Game Of Love".


OUR FIRST WINNER TODAY hails from our home country of Malaysia. This is her second time submitting for the Foldees contest. You can easily identify her works from the simple, whimsical drawings that have become her trademark, and that have made her entries some of the office favourites! Her winning design is taken from one of the very first games ever released on the PSP called Loco Roco.

In 5th place, with a score of 3.01, winning US$100 in cash...

5. Dayze - Fill Me With Your Love





THE 4TH PLACE WINNER is a bit of a minor celebrity! When we first received his entry, we knew we'd seen that name somewhere before, and sure enough, we had. As you know, the founders of Foldees are very very ardent fans of a certain T-shirt site. This designer has had not one, but THIRTEEN designs printed by Threadless. So while the prize money probably won't make a dent in his bank account, we're very very very proud to that he took the effort to join our little contest. Like Dayze, his entry is also linked to a video game, albeit one that has been with us for the better part of a decade.

In 4th place, with a score of 3.21, also winning US$100 in cash...

4. radiomode - Bubbly 





THIRD PLACE GOES to someone who was also second place winner from our previous contest, which means that he is building up a nice retirement fund right about now. He's known for his colourful style, with a particular affinity for the colour pink, which suits us just fine for the upcoming non-holiday. Here, he's followed suit with our previous two designers, and used a game that brings back alot of sweet memories for the Foldees team - Sonic the Hedgehog. We're guessing he's also a rather forgetful little feller, since he's now entered all three contests under three different names (we're assuming you haven't discovered our password retrieval system yet?).

In 3rd place, with a score of 3.24, winning US$300 in cash...

3. Zhet (aka ZacYouth, aka BryanZ) - Heal Me! 




OUR SECOND PLACE WINNER should come as no surprise to Foldees fans. This Mexican designer has already swept the acoolades once before, and almost pulled a hatrick this time with his homage to one of the most beloved video-game characters of all time, Mario. Even our official Game of Love poster was a tribute to Mario, so he was obviously on the right track with this submission, which follows closely from his previous contest-winning entry.

In 2nd place, with a score of 3.31, winning US$600 in cash...

2. salchipunk - I Don't Need 





AND FINALLY, THE WINNER OF "THE GAME OF LOVE", is someone totally unexpected. Not only did she buck the trend and choose a game that has been with us since a time when console "meant to be a friend to" - before Mario ever jumped on a turtle, before the first quarter went into a Pacman machine. Her design style is in many ways, everything that Foldees looks for in a winning entry. Sharp wit, paired with a simple, clean, yet incredibly attractive style. In many ways, a relative Illustrator novice could have put together this card, and yet, the greeting card market is flooded with much more cluttered designs that try to do too many things at once. This is the reason why we are here, and we believe, the same reason why all the users on the site eventually gave their votes to a Malaysian girl in faraway Japan.

In 1st place, with a sizeably higher score of 3.39,  winning US$1000 in cash...

1. Milkberry - Please Say Yes



YES, milkberry. On your first try too! Congratulations! And congratulations to all our other winners as well! We'll be contacting all of you very soon to arrange the prizes to be handed to you.

On a side note, the cards are already on sale, with only a few days to promote it on your individual sites to help them sell well this Valentine's Day, so don't forget to plug the contest results on your blog.

To the other designers who participated in our contest, do try again for our next contest (tune back into the blog this Sunday to find out what wicked ideas we have planned next!), and don't forget, that sales of your cards still nab you US$0.10 per card purchase! If you want to find out how you placed in this contest, do drop us a message at and we'll tell ya!

Thanks to everyone who participated, either by submitting designs, leaving comments or helping us to design between all these fantastic designs we've been receiving. We're feeling the love, and we sure hope you are too!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Site outages this week (Foldees is moving to Ireland!)

As many of you wee little laddies and lassies might know, we've been having no end to problems with our hosting provider, VPSLand. Well, when the site disappeared for 3 days last week, we finally gave up on them. Because of this, we'll be moving over to our new hosting providers in Ireland later this week.

During this time, as we migrate the data, some of you might have interrupted access to the site, especially with the Checkout and Ratings pages. No fear though, we've tested a mock migration several times and found that neither of these will do any permanent damage (either to us, your reputation or your credit card).

We expect the majority of interruptions to occur on Tuesday (2nd Feb) and Friday (5th Feb) at about GMT800. If you are encountering technical leprechauns of any sort and need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Can you hear us pumping on your stereo? Tune in to BFM 89.9 Feb 3rd!

The nice people at BFM have decided to interview us for their Open For Business segment at 10am on Tuesday, February 3rd. BFM stands for BusinessFM, and is a rather unique station in Malaysia because not only do they play some half-decent music, but they do so with business folk in mind :)

Anyways, their Open For Business show often interviews up and coming businesses. They've even featured Mike Tee, CEO of our friends over at Elevyn last month. Our interview will be just with me, so I get to go into the studio and have myself a nice cuppa coffee while the rest of the Foldees team are toiling away to bring you @ddress, our upcoming email friend finder function.

UPDATE: The interview went smashingly! Thanks to Frida, Grace and Noelle for the opportunity to "whore" ourselves! In case you missed it, click here to listen to the podcast.

In other news, we've also been featured on a prominent entrepreneurs blog, YoungUpstarts.The website has lots of useful information for budding entrepreneurs, and also highlights new businesses such as ours. So if you ever want to start your own little business, do check em out. Our article is permalinked here.