Connect with us

BizListing

‘Woven’ social enterprise empowers artisan communities high-quality handicrafts made by Filipino craftswomen

Inspired by the beautiful weaving tradition of Samar, the founders of Woven are driven to bring the exceptional craftsmanship of Filipinos to the rest of the world. Woven Co-Founder and CEO, Trish Lim, shares the company’s journey in helping Filipina artisans thrive.

Published

on

In this fast-moving digital age, consumers around the world still desire the timeless aesthetic of handcrafted pieces. Recognizing this demand, Woven, a social enterprise that empowers artisan communities to build a livelihood from weaving and embroidery, curates a wide array of high-quality handicrafts made by Filipino craftswomen.

Inspired by the beautiful weaving tradition of Samar, the founders of Woven are driven to bring the exceptional craftsmanship of Filipinos to the rest of the world. Woven Co-Founder and CEO, Trish Lim, shares the company’s journey in helping Filipina artisans thrive.

Weaving the story of Woven

Woven was launched in 2017. The idea took shape when Lim and her husband were conducting a development study for a foundation after typhoon Haiyan struck Leyte and Samar in 2013. The couple realized the hardships of the marginalized communities in these provinces and decided to help them rise from the tragedy by starting an enterprise.

In the course of the interviews, they discovered the banig or mat weavers of Samar, and the idea of partnering with the community’s weavers was born. Lim started sending design suggestions to her husband who was helping the communities form associations so they could earn more from their craft. 

Initially, the enterprise was named “Basey” after the town but later changed to “Woven” in order to connect with different weaving groups in the country. “We design our products together with the artisans. Our idea was to link them to a greater market, and provide more opportunities for their livelihood,” said Lim.

Crafting Opportunities

Woven’s products are carefully handcrafted by women weavers of Samar aged 50 to 55 years old. As the majority of the weavers are female, Lim shared that Woven aims to uplift the lives of female weavers and artisans. Through empathy, compassion, and persistence, Lim guides the weavers and encourages them to be open to growth so they can thrive in this industry or in any industry of their choice.

As the couple worked with the weavers, Lim discovered that they have discouraged their children to continue the craft due to its low income with the average artisan only earning as much as P600-650 per month (US$ 11-12). In order to help them, Lim decided to expand Woven’s reach and include other communities outside Samar.

“We learned that a lot of artisans were in the same situation so we connected with them and included their products as well. Now, not only does Woven have banig products from Samar but we also offer handwoven textiles from Benguet, placemats from Basilan, and blankets by hablon weavers from Iloilo,” shared Lim.

Keeping the Tradition Alive

As an advocate, Lim knows the importance of raising awareness of the centuries-old tradition of weaving among the youth. So, they launched “Kabataan Krafts” in 2019 that focused on fostering creativity, collaboration, and leadership among the children of the artisans.

To promote and raise awareness of the weaving industry to youth in other areas, they also launched “Woven on the Move” bringing the weavers from their home province to Manila to conduct a series of workshops for senior high school students in various schools.

Woven From the Home to the World

During the lockdown, Woven was impacted by the sharp decline in tourism and mobility restrictions which affected the procurement of supplies. Bulk orders from companies, a major source of their income, were also significantly reduced. To keep the enterprise going, Lim continued selling their products online through their website and social media accounts. They also expanded Woven’s market base and tapped other countries to promote their products.

Woven’s products also evolved to keep up with the trends of modern fashion, especially among the youth. New products were introduced such as laptop sleeves, bags, and work-from-home essentials to cater to a younger age group and support their modern, mobile lifestyle.

With FedEx as her logistics provider, Lim was also able to easily reach markets in South Korea, Taiwan, the United States, and Europe. In 2021, Lim ran a global marketing campaign where they collaborated with different artists to come up with their own woven creations. Through FedEx, her team was able to efficiently send Banig weaving kits to her customers in New York and Canada.

“We realized that going global entails strong logistics support to ensure that our products will be shipped on time and in good condition. And being able to tell our clients that we can ship products through FedEx is liberating. We’ve had a good experience with FedEx so far as we’ve gotten a lot of support from the team and experienced a boost in our sales,” continued Lim.

Weaving Woven’s Purpose

Woven continues to launch various initiatives aimed at fostering creativity, collaboration, and leadership among the next generation of Banig weavers and embroiderers in the community. New products have been created and introduced to reach diverse segments of the market. Through their products, Woven hopes to increase awareness and appreciation of the centuries-old tradition of weaving in the Philippines and encourage them to become advocates of these artisan communities.

By continuously tapping the international market for these products, Woven empowers Filipina artisans and handicraft communities to continue their colorful weaving tradition while ensuring sustainable livelihood.

Find out more about Woven Philippines’ products at woven.ph. To know more about inspiring small business stories, visit FedEx Business Insights.

BizListing

MJM Gold Jewelry fuels growth by venturing into TikTok Shop

Since joining TikTok Shop in February 2023, MJM Gold Jewelry has undergone a notable transformation. “The reach we achieved with the TikTok community is on a different level — MJM gained nationwide recognition, which we hadn’t been able to achieve before,” shared Jane Marella.

Published

on

Transitioning from ready-to-wear (RTW) garments to gold jewelry marked a significant shift for MJM Gold Jewelry. However, it was their venture into TikTok Shop last year that truly propelled the company to new heights.

Jane Marella, owner, and CEO of MJM Gold Jewelry, embarked on her entrepreneurial journey in 2014. Recognizing the shifting market dynamics, Jane pivoted her business to focus on crafting exquisite gold jewelry, thus laying the foundation for MJM Gold Jewelry’s success.

Leveraging TikTok Shop for Growth

Since joining TikTok Shop in February 2023, MJM Gold Jewelry has undergone a notable transformation. “The reach we achieved with the TikTok community is on a different level — MJM gained nationwide recognition, which we hadn’t been able to achieve before,” shared Jane.

Central to MJM Gold Jewelry’s success on TikTok Shop is its authentic engagement with the platform’s audience. Jane emphasizes genuine connection, treating customers as friends and engaging in meaningful conversations. This approach has fostered a sense of community around the brand, enhancing brand loyalty and customer engagement.

Maximizing Live Selling Capabilities

MJM Gold Jewelry capitalized on TikTok Shop’s live selling capabilities, which played a key role in their growth. According to Jane, TikTok streamlined the process for live selling and made it more efficient for sellers. With its broad market reach and extensive viewer base, TikTok provided MJM Gold Jewelry with a seamless platform to engage with its audience and showcase its collection of gold necklaces, earrings, and bracelets on live streams.

Continuing to utilize TikTok Shop’s features, MJM Gold Jewelry saw substantial progress. With a 39% Compound Monthly Growth Rate (CMGR) in livestream sales, their live sessions became must-watch events, driving sales and excitement among consumers.

As MJM Gold Jewelry’s reputation grew, so did its sales figures. From February 2023 to February 2024, the brand observed a significant increase in Daily Active Gross Merchandise Value (DAGMV) with a staggering 54.8x uplift. This uptick in sales reflected the brand’s ability to adapt and thrive in the digital landscape.

Empowering Local Businesses on TikTok Shop

“With the help of TikTok Shop, we’re able to join campaigns and receive support, as our live sessions, short videos, and products are highlighted there. TikTok Shop is the number one commerce platform here in the Philippines. So, we must keep up because, for us, TikTok has been the way to uplift our business. Our business made a complete 360-degree turn,” according to Jane.

As MJM Gold Jewelry continues to thrive on TikTok Shop, its success story offers valuable insights for local businesses, showcasing the potential for sustainable e-commerce growth through strategic engagement and authenticity on the platform.

To experience the collection of gold necklaces, earrings, and bracelets firsthand, visit MJM Gold Jewelry’s TikTok Shop storefront here.

Continue Reading

BizListing

How local chocolate producer Kakaw Galleon made business sweeter with help from PLDT and Smart

The eBizNovation program is a digital upskilling-to-ecommerce program that aims to provide local entrepreneurs, cooperatives, and MSMEs like Kakaw Galleon the right digital tools to help them grow their businesses online.

Published

on

The famous line from the 1994 hit movie Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” has been true so far for Isagani de Ocampo, owner and chocolatier of Kakaw Galleon.

De Ocampo began his career as a seafarer in 2009 and was trained as a Pastry Chef aboard cruise ships. This was followed by a chance to train under the esteemed Jean-Philippe Maury’s chocolate shop, honing Isagani’s skills under the guidance of masters.

But fate had different plans for the chocolatier. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Isagani belonged to the first batch of repatriated overseas Filipino workers. It was also this time when he started creating his own chocolate formula, dreaming of launching his own chocolate line in the Philippines.  

“It was hard at first because our taste for chocolate is quite different. Filipinos prefer the “stateside” chocolate. So, I thought of making a local version of chocolate that tastes like it’s imported,” he shared. “I wanted to bring the technology and the taste that I learned from abroad closer to chocolate lovers here,” he added.

But starting the business in a pandemic was not easy. For one, he had to rent a separate place for his chocolate factory – which was not possible during the lockdown. De Ocampo had to put his business on hold for a year before he was able to launch his first product in November of 2021.

“It became a hit, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) heard about it. They approached me and offered me help. I held my first bazaar with them in January of the next year and I introduced my product as a local ‘imported’ chocolate. And the rest is history,” he recalled.

To scale his business even further, Isagani saw the value of upskilling and learning how to employ digital tools to boost micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) like Kakaw Galleon. When the invitation to attend the eBizNovation program under the livelihood advocacy of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) came, he did not hesitate to join.

“I’m a non-tech savvy person. Technology and I don’t get along. But I saw the invite to the eBizNovation workshop of DTI and PLDT and Smart, so I attended the event. Then, when I returned home, I told my wife about it, and she volunteered to implement it,” de Ocampo said.

The eBizNovation program is a digital upskilling-to-ecommerce program that aims to provide local entrepreneurs, cooperatives, and MSMEs like Kakaw Galleon the right digital tools to help them grow their businesses online.

Together with government partners such as the DTI, LGUs, local chambers of commerce, and ecommerce platforms like TikTok Shop, eBizNovation trains local business owners like Isagani how to maximize digital commerce to boost their livelihood.

“The skills and knowledge we gained from PLDT and Smart’s eBizNovation training have helped us build our digital platforms and online payment system, and ultimately helped boost our online presence and sales. We are thankful for this opportunity,” the chocolatier shared.

PLDT and Smart are committed to uplifting the lives of Filipinos through livelihood and entrepreneurship opportunities made possible by technology. These initiatives also support the UN SDGs #1 No Poverty and #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Continue Reading

BizListing

Susie’s Cuisine: Where tradition and innovation converge

For Kapampangan delicacy store Susie’s Cuisine, technology is a way to strengthen culinary heritage – striking a balance between adopting technology and preserving Pampanga’s cultural culinary identity.

Published

on

The advent of modern technology has rendered traditional methods obsolete, and old practices are easily swept away by innovation.

But for Kapampangan delicacy store Susie’s Cuisine, technology is a way to strengthen culinary heritage – striking a balance between adopting technology and preserving Pampanga’s cultural culinary identity.

“Susie’s Cuisine started in 1972. Apung Aning or Ms. Anicia Ayson, a dentist by profession, was encouraged by her family and friends to open up a food business because of her expertise in cooking. She set up a carinderia at Nepo Mart, serving merienda like pancit palabok, tibok-tibok, and botche,” shared Rowell Cabayao, Operations and Marketing Lead I of Susie’s Cuisine.

Taking pride in its delicacies as the country’s culinary capital, the restaurant drew in both local patrons and tourists as it offers the reminiscent taste of authentic Kapampangan cuisine.

“Although our stores may appear modern, our pancit and pasta dishes are still prepared the way Apung Aning used to cook them. For our rice cakes, we don’t use machines to mix ingredients; we still do it manually,” Cabayao added.

While the business remains committed to old cooking methods, evolving some operational processes became imperative due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, Susie’s Cuisine gradually evolved to adapt to the changing needs of customers.

They established their presence in social media and online delivery platforms, which expanded their visibility, leading to an increase in the volume of orders they receive daily.

To their advantage, the enterprise found an ally in the form of Converge that has been their reliable support in keeping the harmonious interplay of technology and heritage in their restaurants.

With Converge providing high-speed fiber connection, their store crews are equipped to engage with customers either online or face-to-face, ensuring goods are available for sale as they keep track of their inventory in real-time. At the same time, advanced orders are catered to, satiating the kakanin cravings of customers even if they are away from Susie’s Cuisine.

Uplifting small-scale businesses, Converge flexiBIZ extends a value-for-money internet service that powers enterprises to boost productivity and efficiency, allowing them to optimize their operations as they aspire for growth.

Depending on their chosen plan between flexiBIZ Daytime or flexiBIZ Peak, SME subscribers may opt to double their bandwidth to operate during the day or obtain a premium service that delivers consistent high-speed connections regardless of time.

“How Converge treats and accepts Susie’s Cuisine is like a family. Because we’ve been together for a long time, whenever we run to them, we’re sure to feel the care and nurturing of a true Filipino,” Cabayao said.

In the near future, Susie’s Cuisine intends to continue adjusting to current trends and maximize technology to strengthen their delivery of Pampanga’s culinary offerings. Soon, the business eyes to transform their restaurant into a place where people can enjoy reliable internet as they indulge in savory Kapampangan dishes on their table.

“One thing we prioritize in Susie’s Cuisine is providing the Kapampangan service. As they say, customers are our family. They are not just customers but for us, they are family,” Cabayao noted.

Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc. is the fastest-growing fixed broadband service provider in the Philippines. It is the first to run an end-to-end pure fiber internet network in the country, providing Filipinos simple, fast, and reliable connectivity. Aside from broadband services, Converge also offers integrated data center and network solutions services.

With over 680,000 kilometers of fiber optic assets nationwide, it has one of the most extensive fiber networks in the Philippines.

With this fiber-powered network, Converge provides premium world-class digital experience for residential, enterprise, and wholesale customers.

Go to https://www.convergeict.com for more information.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Trending