Maker's Musings: Raw.tura Co-founder Anna Zavalla on realizing her childhood dream — one space at a time | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

In this series, we delve into the works and musings of artists, fashion stylists, designers,  entrepreneurs, and other creatives who continue to share their craft and inspire others to carve their own path and cultivate a sense of hope and passion.


This conversation has been edited for clarity.


Raw.tura is a lifestyle furniture design company founded in 2014 in Manila, Philippines.

A clever combination of the words “raw” and “natura,” (which is latin for natural), the name Raw.tura was crafted to express the origin and artistry behind each piece of furniture. By merging the worlds of lifestyle, art, and interiors, Raw.tura’s mission is to understand the necessities of modern day life in order to produce distinct furniture pieces inspired by the beauty of nature, current culture, & timeless comfort.


“Getting some vitamin D with our ‘Araw’ chair and ‘Coco’ daybed.” (Image courtesy of Anna Zavalla)


“Ever since I was little, I have always imagined different spaces.


“My grandfather was an architect so he would give us his Architectural Digest magazines; and I would sit for hours scanning through every page then drawing out random spaces, envisioning different room designs.


“As I grew older, I tried different art-related jobs and after some furniture classes when I studied design in Madrid, I realized that I really wanted to do something related to this once I was back in Manila.


“I convinced my best friend, Roberta Limjap, to start this with me as she’s always been the type who would be up for anything.


“We both are into the arts and we like the same things, so our ideas always intertwined—making it easy for us to work together.


“Although she lives abroad now, she still knows everything that happens and works with me from time to time.


“Through word of mouth and getting people to trust us, we started building our portfolio.


“This is our ‘Luna’ bench. I especially like the seamless lines with the mix of handwoven solihiya.” (Image courtesy of Anna Zavalla)


“We’ve been available online ever since, but right now we haven’t been able to do site visits as much so most of the client meetings are coursed online.


“Even with my team, we do a lot of online discussions regarding the orders.


“We are also starting an e-commerce site ( for the smaller and ready-made pieces. 


I don’t only worry about myself and my team, but also my makers as I want to provide them with as much livelihood as I can


“My usual breakfast in our Deli tray and my son’s paintings (proud mom).” (Image courtesy of Anna Zavalla)


“When it comes to getting my creative juices flowing, my ideas flow when things are organized and I zone out while listening to music. An added plus would be having some yummy food while thinking.

“I’m also a night owl so I am most productive midnight onwards. (This might be because I have a son, so I work best when everyone is asleep.)

“Usually, my ideas just come at random times; I just quickly write them down or draw them.

“I go back to them more when I’m at the workshop before discussing materials and feasibility with my main carpenter.

“I don’t have a specific creative ritual. Most of the time, I quickly sketch ideas and make mood boards, but it’s my everyday contact with clients that give me more inspiration and helps me understand more of people’s needs.

“I like taking notes so usually whenever something stands out, I take note. I then go back to it after, expound on it, and just think of different ideas that I can do with it.

“For me, understanding the needs of the consumer and being able to produce quality pieces are always in mind.



“Our pieces in a client’s house in Cebu!” (Image from @llgarchitects)


“We’ve been working with a lot of natural materials like rattan, solihiya, raffia and wood.


“Since we are all mostly indoors now, we want to create softer and lighter pieces that don’t take up too much space. We are focusing on pieces that are not too heavy on the eyes and will let your ideas flow as we stay indoors. 


“My favorite pieces would be the solihiya pieces of our Casa and Likha Catalogue! I really got excited with that collection as I am a huge fan of combining traditional and modern design. 


“We really try to push the boundaries and work with a variety of materials.


“I think it’s very important to know how to set yourself apart, to find ways to make your brand more known with what you do best, and to innovate yet also adapt to the current times.


“With limited resources, you have to be creative and be able to maximize what you have around you. 


“Lately, we’ve been experimenting on rattan and outdoor furniture. So, expect to see those this year!


“I also want to explore more on lighting and maybe play around with the idea of light installations, but I still have to do further research and development for this. 


You simply need to have the heart and the drive to make your goals work

“New normal installation at a client’s house.” (Image courtesy of Anna Zavalla)


“Now that we are all mostly indoors, we want to try to fix up our homes so I want to able to offer home furnishings, whether it be furniture or home decor. 


“This is why I’m starting raw.tura home, to not only cater custom but also ready-made, cost efficient and easily accessible home products.


“I’m pretty excited about it since we will be expanding our scope somehow and hopefully, people will like it. 


“I’m so thankful to our loyal and new customers, especially during these trying times. Business has been good recently, but of course, every month is different. 


“I have a work desk but I usually jump from place to place in my house.” (Image courtesy of Anna Zavalla)


“Everything here is by raw.tura and soon, raw.tura home!” (Image courtesy of Anna Zavalla)


“I don’t only worry about myself and my team, but also my makers as I want to provide them with as much livelihood as I can.


“Without them, there wouldn’t be a raw.tura. So it really warms my heart when someone orders and when I hand them the order slip — you see they’re excited and very thankful too!


“I’ve learned how important it is to follow your heart and to work hard for it. It might take some time, but nothing comes easy.


“It’s always important to put 111% of your time and effort into what you do. You simply need to have the heart and the drive to make your goals work.” — Anna Zavalla as told to Carmencita S. Sioson


Cover image: “Some of the swatches we work with. I usually bring these to client presentations too.” (Image courtesy of Anna Zavalla)

To see more of raw.tura’s creations, follow @raw.tura




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Maker’s Musings: Photographer and The Olive Tree Creative Director Kyla Olives-Laurel puts a quirky spin on essentials that embody the Filipino spirit


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