It’s time to get off the ‘gram. At least, that’s what Tavin aims for you when it comes to shopping for unique finds. The e-commerce website brings various Filipino fashion and beauty micro-businesses under one URL. No need to scroll through photos on photos or to look through hashtags.
Krista Rodriguez, who is also behind jewelry brand Braveries and ice cream venture Rockies Creamery, started Tavin because she experienced the same problem on a personal level. She was looking for a certain bikini but after hours on her phone, she didn’t find anything close to what she wanted. As a consumer, it’s easy to get lost in the clutter of social media. For business-owners, Instagram and similar platforms can be a great start but with the algorithm, you may not be able to command the traffic need for a bigger audience.
Tavin is playing the strength in numbers game. By bringing together fashion and beauty labels that only average about 10,000 followers each, you create a space where each brand is easy to find. Some brands even just have 3,000 followers. The specificity towards independent brands also gives them a better chance to reach their target market as opposed to being drowned out in bigger e-commerce websites which tend to champion international labels.
Rodriguez outlines how she screens each label, making sure that these enterprisess only offer locally-sourced and locally-designed items. This criteria is non-negotiable so when you click on Tavin, you’re only guaranteed all-Filipino products. Rodriguez sees the Tavin shopper as a conscious one. “I picked brands that are focused on slow fashion, and also those which have an advocacy. Some are about body positivity, others about sustainable fashion, others forward using native cloth in modern designs.”
The website also has a slant for giving back. Prior to the launch, the Tavin Entrepreneurship Academy hosted a workshop and business consultation. The Tavin Amare Project makes sure that every sale means a peso is donated to a chosen charity every month.
The brands Tavin hosts include ILHA that sells Marikina-made bags, Aurora MNL for handcrafted statement-earrings, and Parfum Organique for personalized bath and body products among 41 other labels. By May, Rodriguez aims to house independent artists so they can sell their prints and other works. As for her long-term goal, Rodriguez says “I want Tavin to grow internationally. For example, there can be a Tavin Indonesia, so when you log on there you will have access to all Indonesian products and so on.”
It’s quite fitting that Rodriguez see Tavin cross waters. Tavin is a play on “vinta,” the Filipino boat used to transport people and goods.