THE ICONIC novelty shop Tickles is back, with a new flagship store opening at SM Megamall this September.
“It seems that a lot of people are rooting for Tickles, because it’s a homegrown brand that carries a lot of fond memories,” says Carlo Tanseco, creative director of Tickles.
Tickles was established in 1979 by Yoya Tanseco, Carlo’s mom, who is still its chair, chief visionary and master shopper. With her sister and a good friend, Yoya set up the first Tickles at Shoppesville, Greenhills, stocking it with all sorts of cute gift items and adorable finds from travels to New York and Japan.
“That was the time Hello Kitty was popular, and all the ball pens were so cute,” says Yoya. Everything she picked out would fly off the shelves.
Branching out from the original shop in Greenhills, Tickles set up stores at Shangri-La Plaza, Robinsons Manila, Glorietta and Alabang Town Center in the 1990s. However, with a struggling economy and the kids busy with other ventures, the stores dwindled to one branch at Glorietta.
Fast-forward to today: Tickles now has 11 stores across the metro, including a new 80-sqm circus-theme flagship store—its biggest yet—opening this September at SM Megamall. Tickles has also spun off into two other concept stores: A’postrophe, featuring more “grown-up” fashion and lifestyle items, and the bright and cheery ROY & BIV, where quirky gift items are arranged according to the colors of the rainbow.
The stores also all carry the sub-brand Elemenopy, which creates a distinct line of monogram- and letter-inspired merchandise for each of the brands.
Tickles has evolved into a novelty shop for all seasons and generations.
“The line is more curated, and yet now appeals to different markets,” says Carlo. The Tickles team now designs its own products, and also collaborates with other brands.
At the heart of everything they source or create for Tickles is the mission to bring “Happiness All Year Round.” From all-time favorite cute Japanese pens and notebooks with humorous sayings, to this season’s best-selling eye masks and food-inspired plushies, the Tickles team led by Yoya Tanseco seems to know exactly the “kiliti” of Pinoys. “I’d like to think that it’s the memory attached to the brand, and the feel-good items in the store, that have made us last all these years,” shares Carlo.
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