DB Misc

Memory Journals, Fun Query, Prayer Journals, and More


DB Misc. by Mia was founded by Mia Darnell in January 2022. The company was built in the hallways of her children’s school – from its conceptualization, research, business plan, and product creation. DB Misc. is short for Darnell Brood Miscellaneous. Its name was originally used for a personal vlogging she ventured into during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The concept for the company’s name came from the founder’s vlogging attempt during the height of the pandemic lockdown. DB Misc. is short for (Darnell Brood Miscellaneous). It was meant to be an arts and crafts vlog and to document the family’s highlights. Being a self-proclaimed technologically challenged person, it only took a couple of videos before Mia Darnell realized that it wasn’t her cup of tea.

Fast-forward to schools reopening, Mia had to drive her children across a toll bridge. To save money on toll fees and gas, she would hang out on the other side of the bridge and wait. While she waited, she would volunteer at the school to occupy some of her time. Most times she stayed in her car to catch up on a much-needed sleep. But there were also times where she found herself at a coffee shop, which totally defeated the purpose of trying to save money.

Fall season came and went and the cold winter season arrived. It got too cold for her to stay in the car and was left with two choices. Hang out at the coffee shop and do some work there or stay at the parking lot and keep the car running. None of the above served the purpose of saving money.

Thankfully, her children’s school has a large ‘welcome area’ with plenty of seats. When she saw a table that was not being used, she grabbed it and claimed a spot as a “workspace”.

With the extra time that Mia had on her hand, she decided to search for side hustles and came across selling low-content journals using print on demand model. It was enticing at first but seems like it has become overly saturated on several platforms. As a frustrated writer, she continued looking into the print on demand business model just in case she could cough up a book and publish to sell.

As the days went by, Mia became a fixture at the school’s welcome area and regularly interacted with the school’s staffs, teachers, and students in all grade levels. That’s when an inspiration hit her!

Couple months earlier, she opened a box that was in storage and found a slam book she owned back in college. There was a wonderful feeling of nostalgia and amusement when she read through her writing and her friends’ as well. It was fascinating to see each and everyone’s answers and messages, but most interestingly, their penmanship. Mia is in her 40s, but she found herself giggling.

She immediately sprang into action and searched about slam books online. What she found astonished her as there was barely any product being sold out there – even on Amazon. Mia remembered it to be quite popular when she was growing up. In fact, she must have owned one for every school year.

As she continued reading about the history of slam book and the very few articles written about it, she found out that slam books were popular in the 60s until the 80s. She also learned of the pros and cons associated with it.

With a readily available “focus group”, Mia began asking questions – mostly if anyone heard of a slam book and what their thoughts are about it. Most of the younger generations have not heard of it, but when she explained what it was, they got really interested and thought it was cool. Women in their 50s and mid-60s were familiar with it and were certainly nostalgic when recalling how they owned a couple slam books when they were younger.

Armed with the knowledge she gathered from the people she talked to, the brainstorming began on how to reinvent, revive, and rebrand the slam book. Mia started with the name change since slam book has a bad connotation. One of Mia’s friends who was not familiar with it blurted out and asked if it was a book for slamming people.

It took a couple of revisions before she finally settled on what to name the products. She wanted to capture the importance of sharing distinctive information to create special memories. Furthermore, she visualized to create something that can bridge generational gap. She wanted her products to become fascinating time capsules.

The design concept came easy. From the moment Mia conceptualized the products, she was adamant about keeping them simple, basic, and distinctive. So, when people see them out in the market, be it online or in physical stores, they would easily be recognized and identified as DB Misc. by Mia.

 Thanks to her earlier research about print on demand business model, she was able to gain some knowledge on a guided step-by-step process. However, the product creation process was not easy, and it took a lot of reading, watching videos, editing, reediting, and resizing. Several mistakes were made due to her inexperience. It took her months until she was finally happy with them.

Mia’s long-term goal is to continue creating additional variations of the products and already has several exciting items lined up. So, stay tuned!

DB Misc. by Mia

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