Apol Massebieau employs women from poor communities residing in Las Pinas and Paranaque. Having grown up in the South, Apol shares, “These women would usually get jobs as household help, and it struck me how little opportunities they had, being unschooled and unskilled. When I put up La Pomme Party (a kids' crafts and activities passion project), I started teaching them how to sew in a workshop I set up at home. Many of the women, however, could not stay working very long mainly because they had little kids to take care of at home,” so Apol put up Good Luck, Humans, a new business that would launch products catering to adults.
Wooden car by 23-year old Franco Cagayat, diagnosed with Autism (price unavailable)
Developmental delay is not a hindrance for ABLEpreneurs whose items are proudly displayed in the shelves of the ABLE Store. The ABLE Store is the first and only retail store in the country to employ teens with Special Needs.
This cause is close to the heart of Liziel Villacivencio-Cosgayon, founder of the ABLE Store, especially since her son, Pawie, was diagnosed with Autism. “We were given a chance to run and manage an early intervention center, Quality Life Discoveries, which was built out of our love for our son. As the number of kids in the center increased, the parents all shared the same concern about how their children can grow up to be productive members of society. We thought about it and the iCAN Prevocational Program was born, and it is where the ABLE Store came from.”
The ABLE Store also works with enABLErs, which are brands that support their advocacy (like Plush and Play, MAYOWN, and Adarna House, among others).
The ABLE Store is located at #70 20th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City. For inquiries, call (02) 912-7433 or visit their Facebook page.
3. Faith Candies
Sea Sediment Jasper with gold-toned findings rosary bracelet, P250
Maltesers-inspired rosary bracelet, P250
Rubyzoisite with gold-toned spacers, P250
When Matet Reyes's 60-year-old mom was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer in June this year, the dutiful daughter was shaken to the core. With limited resources and hospital bills costing a fraction of a fortune, she prayed long and hard for strength and guidance. “I think it was purely God’s guidance that led me to opening the business. Until now, I can’t believe that we were able to create and sell almost a thousand rosary bracelets in five months!”
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Faith Candies are rosary bracelets made with semi-precious stones, charms, and pendants. And while the proceeds from the sale of these rosaries partially fund her mom's chemotherapy sessions and treatments, Matet is also helping groups of less-fortunate children from various provinces like Biliran, Nueva Ecija, and Quezon with their school needs, an endeavor she and a group of friends have been committed to for years now. She adds, “Hopefully, in the future, we could also help other women living with cancer who have limited resources.”
Zeep Kids makes “twinning” with your little boy easier. Gracie Maulion is the owner of Zeep Kids, an online store that offers mommy-and-son matching outfits. “We’ve been in the clothing business for more than five years, and the people behind every product that we have are the talented rural-based sewers,” Gracie says. She adds that as a mother herself, she wanted to help other moms earn extra income without needing to sacrifice quality time with their loved ones.
Heidi and Melvene Aquende started Art Print Manila as a creative outlet for them both, but the husband-and-wife team also donates part of the proceeds to different causes, the first being for the survivors of the super typhoon Yolanda. Heidi shares, “We give all the proceeds of what we sell, less the cost of making the goods, like printing and delivery costs.” Heidi and Melvene have a soft spot for children, they being parents to two daughters. Heidi adds, “We want to return this blessing to other children who need help.”
For inquiries, contact 0918-9171063 or 0928-7101211, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their Facebook page.
Hinabi slings, P1,000 each
Next9 has been making baby slings, nursing covers, cloth diapers and cloth diapering accessories for a decade now. The business may be doing really well these days, but owner Jen Tan shares that Next9 had humble beginnings. “My friend and I were using slings for our babies, and some people inquired,” Jen shares, “so she thought it would be a great idea to do it!”
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Jen adds that most of their sewers have been with them since they started, a testament to the harmonious relationship they have with their workers. As an advocacy, they purchase their fabric from Anthill Fabric Gallery in Cebu, a company that works with local weavers and does community development. “We believe that when we purchase fabric from Anthill, we help them do their mission,” Jen shares, “More than that, we give back 10% of sales of our Hinabi line.”
Swirl Rope Band with Charm, P150 – P250 each (customizable)
Silver jewelry line and watches, starts at P650
“Tali ti Amianan is a surfer-run, small-scale social enterprise that makes Talis (bracelets) and other accessories to provide sustainability for the local surfers, women, and elders in San Juan, La Union,” says Miku Ebueza, who belongs to a surfing community in La Union. She and her husband were looking for ways to help the community when this idea came to them. The name Tali ti Amianan means "Rope of the North", and the bracelets, or “talis”, are upcycled from trash and other interesting items they find on the beach, making them eco-friendly, too. The training to making and weaving them comes directly from Miku and her husband.
Miku says that jueteng (small-town lottery) is said to be very rampant in the North, and Tali ti Amianan gives the community an alternative sustainable income without resorting to illegal gambling. “I have been doing this for three years now, and I think I’m not going to stop until people realize that you can actually wear something eco friendly and sustainable. As long as I am able to help, I will,” she says.
For more details, call 0925-3034384 or email them at email@example.com. You can also visit their Facebook page or Instagram page.