Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:22 AM November 04, 2016
I graduated from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde eons ago with a degree in Industrial Design, then worked in a modular and contract furniture company.
But I felt something was missing. I wanted to learn more and see more inspiring work from all over the world, so I decided to take up a masters degree in Industrial design at Pratt Institute in New York.
It was really an eye-opener for me, back when we did not have as much access as we have right now with Google, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.
I focused on furniture and houseware design in New York. But when I walked into a jewelry metalworking shop and took classes on jewelry metal smithing, I knew it was one thing I would pursue. I found it so fulfilling to start and finish a piece with my own hands and get to wear it after.
I stayed for a bit and worked for a design consultancy in the city that mainly designed houseware and kitchen items for Brabantia, Polder and MoMa Store.
It was about this time that 9/11 struck. After that, I packed my bags and moved back to Manila.
I started here by designing and making lighting and table-top items for an export company that participated in Manila FAME. We had buyers from different parts of the world. It was good to know the different retail trends in each country, but my heart really longed to make jewelry.
I put up a little workshop in my parents’ home, and I would be there in the evenings when things were quiet. One day, I got the idea to make a jewelry collection and show it in a gallery. This was where it all started. Luck was on my side, and my first show went well.
I gathered a team of goldsmiths, stone-setters and finishers and put up a second show the year after that and so on, until it became a yearly event for me, up until now. In between, I would work on building my clients’ collections, work on commissioned pieces and manage my workshop and showroom.
Having an industrial design background allows me to draw inspiration from manufacturing processes and techniques. Architecture, product and graphic design also influence my work, as well as the beauty of the woman who would wear a particular piece.
My goal is to bring out the exquisiteness in each woman.