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Hip and classy local brands to score gifts for the titas on your Christmas list

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Sep 28, 2022 10:47 am

Thinking of what to give your fellow titas for Christmas can be challenging, especially when they seem to have everything.

Gone are the days when something as simple as a Lisa Frank stationary set or a Backstreet Boys cassette tape would instantly turn their Christmases into the best ones ever. (And I'm sure '90s kids can relate.)

That is why PhilSTAR L!fe is here to help you bring back the magic of gift shopping for your kumares this year. Earlier this month, we attended Kultura's Filipino Design Studio media event wherein Pinoy brands showcased their hip but classy products perfect as gifts for the snazzy adults in your list.

Most of these products are up for sale at Kultura in The Podium in Ortigas till month's end and are also available online for all those who can't make it to the fair.

Scroll down and bookmark this page for these brands that will allow you to pledge your support for local products and, at the same time, delight your fellow titas on Christmas and beyond.

Millie Monday

Any certified tita would agree that you can never have enough multi-purpose organizers at home. These boxes, trays, and desk accessories can easily perk up any room, especially if Marie Kondo is one of your life pegs.

If you want to spark joy among your kumares this holiday season, Millie Monday's dainty acrylic organizers will surely do the trick The local brand opened its first retail channel in Kultura's Filipino Design Studio this month.

Millie Monday designer Mia de Lara told PhilSTAR L!fe that the set exclusively available at the exhibit features "artistic interpretations of what's local to us." This includes the heritage houses and kalesas in Vigan, as well as "seashells and the sampaguita that are endemic in the country."

Millie Monday owners Mariel Ching (left) and Margot Prado (right) with designer Mia de Lara (center)

Apart from this Kultura-exclusive set, Millie Monday offers other equally charming acrylic organizers on its website, which entrepreneurs and sisters Margot Prado and Mariel Ching launched during the pandemic. 

"Since a lot were working from home and online schooling, we [started creating] laptop stands, gadget stands, and then placemats — so more of things for the house, things to beautify the house," Prado said. "And during the pandemic since a lot were not able to go out, a lot were into tablescaping. That's why we had placemats and coasters, folded napkin holders."

In addition to all these, Millie Monday's floral hand paper towel box (P1,400) and catch tray (P900), as well as portable laptop stands (P700), are sure to perk up the holidays of the titas in your life.

JIM Weavers

Scarves never go out of style and it comes as no wonder because apart from being stylish, they are easy to bring along too, especially when you need a quick fashion fix.

Got a friend who's a scarf lover? Or maybe someone you would want to help jazz up their wardrobe? Then head over to JIM Weaver's website, as the local brand offers scarves that make the most basic tita outfits, well, unboring.

In an interview during Kultura's Filipino Design Studio media event, entrepreneur Mischel Mendoza told PhilSTAR L!fe that she and her sister Isabelle Usher have always loved scarves. Mendoza consequently turned the fashion accessory into a medium for her and her friend Jenica See's knack for calligraphy.

"We started back in 2016. We were really into calligraphy at that time and she (Mendoza) initially had the idea of transcribing her art into a scarf, so something that's wearable," See said.

"Kasi my sister and I, we're scarf enthusiasts so we said, 'Let's make a scarf!'" Mendoza added.

JIM Weavers owners Jenica See, Mischel Mendoza, and Isabell Usher with their vibrant creations

JIM Weavers' scarves are made of pure silk and designed by Usher. They also come in different variants: pocket squares (P1,250), cotton silk (P2,650), and 90x90 cm (P3,250).

If you want to be extra generous to your friends, you can surprise them with JIM Weavers' 120x120 cm scarves designed by famed fashion designer Francis Libiran.

Usher said that the scarves, priced at P5,988, were the brainchild of Libiran and inspired by torogan, the traditional house of Maranao people of Lanao. 

"We had talks online and [in person] and he gave me a very rough sketch inspired by the Torogans," Usher recalled. "Once he gave me the sketch, I researched more about the concept, and I added my own twist to it as well."

Apart from scarves, JIM Weavers has intricately designed coasters (P680-P750), placemats (P1,380 for a set of four), and reusable face masks (P250), that will definitely suit the liking of any tita. 

Flutter owner and designer Katrina Ong with her luxury beadworks

A girl can never have too many earrings, especially if they are as quirky as the ones you'll find in Flutter. 

The local handcrafted jewelry brand is known for selling avant-garde earrings designed by Katrina Ong inspired by the different wonders of nature, particularly butterflies. 

"Flutter is inspired by butterflies. We liken our accessories to butterflies because butterflies are a symbol of beauty, hope, freedom, of life. It's a symbol of our accessories—it's full of color, it's full of life," Ong told PhilSTAR L!fe.

Some of the brand's collections that are currently on display at Kultura's Filipino Design Studio include the Zoo Girl, which features beadworks inspired by the animal kingdom, the Carnival collection which features a circus den and a carousel, as well as the Arabian Nights that takes after medieval architecture. The store's best sellers, meanwhile, are its umbrella and fruits collection. 

Flutter's stylish earrings have a price range of P2,500 to P10,000 and are all lightweight despite being heavy on design, says Ong.

"All our pieces they go through a lot of trial and error kasi we have to consider the weight. We don't want them too heavy pero at the same, we want them to be heavy on design and intricacy," she remarked.

Designed and handmade by a team of Filipino women based in Makati, Flutter's earrings were also featured in New York Fashion Week, Harper's BAZAAR and, according to its website, were worn by global artists Jennifer Lopez and Ashanti.

Casa Mercedes

They say you'll know you're a tita when you bring a hand fan with you wherever you go. Well, who could blame you? 

Apart from cooling the user, hand fans can also serve as statement pieces in any wardrobe. Take it from the classy, vibrant ones made by Casa Marcedes.

Dubbed as the oldest fan maker in the Philippines, Casa Mercedes can bring joy to your kumares with its large hand fans that double as statement pieces in your wardrobe.

These intricately designed fans, with prices ranging from P599 to P2,499, have been a favorite of Manila's high society, and it wouldn't be a surprise if your gal pal will love carrying them around them too.