smart-luxury:-this-online-platform-showcases-small-batch-design-by-cebuano-women

Smart Luxury: This online platform showcases small-batch design by Cebuano women

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Disenyo Del Sur, founded by Amanda LuYm and Cacay Moras in the middle of the pandemic, highlights collaborations and creations by Visayan artisans.

READ RELATED: Monique Borja-Gonzalez Embraces Wellness And Community To Weather Through Challenging Times

Months in quarantine inspired Amanda LuYm and Cacay
Moras, founders of jewelry brand All That Glitters, to get creative. The idea
of migrating their business online had already been in the pipeline, but the unprecedented
events of 2020 became a catalyst for their plans to take shape sooner.

“We were only halfway through building a
site, and we wanted to continue but we were in a quandary for how to do it.
Most importantly, how to do it in a meaningful fashion?” LuYm remembers. The
answer lay in their DNA for creating beautiful things that made positive impact
on communities. “I also kept seeing how women leaders were successfully
handling the COVID crisis around the world, and how they were getting this
right.” This inspired the two to open up their platform to other female-owned
businesses.

This Artemis necklace is from All That Glitters, which is LuYm and Mora’s own buildable jewelry brand.

In their hometown of Cebu, makers, suppliers,
exporters and manufacturers were also dealing with the effects of nationwide
closures. Contracts and orders were being cancelled left and right. Production
was put on indefinite halt. Although not too keen about focusing on the
lockdown woes, both founders admit that this, too, helped shape their venture
into the digital sphere. This led to them connecting with like-minded,
women-led lifestyle brands in the Visayan region.

It was this share spirit for innovation,
resilience and creativity amidst the times that birthed Disenyo Del Sur, their conscious
lifestyle online platform. “We are not just about collaborations,” LuYm clarifies.
The online platform is anchored on a distinct and ever-evolving retail eco
system.

In this space, partners can contribute in
countless ways. Some of their partners are suppliers for raw materials, and
they also work with other makers who offer design or manufacturing expertise. “Sometimes,
we turn to each other for leads in terms of sourcing,” the duo explains.

Conscious by design

The platform’s mother brand, All That Glitters,
headlines its product mix. Their collection of buildable jewelry will usher in
the brand’s opening salvo as it presents an intelligent and fresh approach to
dressing in the new normal. In a year that hails
functional, conscious and practical fashion, accessories from ATG inspire
creativity, allowing wearers to experiment with countless ways of wearing
jewelry.

Padayon highlights hand-woven weaves by a women’s coop in Argao, Hablon in Cebu.

“The
idea of buildable was always part of our story,” LuYm shares. “We had the tops
and drops in our mix and match pieces, but wanted something airier and more
lyrical. So, I played with the idea of ovoids and elliptic shapes.”

Dead stock from cancelled orders,
meanwhile, led to the creation of a new in-house brand, Padayon.  Pieces
from the brand highlight the beauty of hand-woven weaves by a women’s coop in
Argao, Hablon sa Cebu. It was Holicow’s Debbie Palao who connected the founders
with the weaving community located South of Cebu. “She is Padayon’s Fairy
Godmother,” states Amanda.

Creations from the brand reimagine
timeless classics like the malong, sling bag or shopper bag into
beautiful contemporary pieces that punctuate a conscious lifestyle.
Multifunctional nature of each piece informs the brand’s design direction. In
the same way that the malongs may be utilized in various ways,
other items like the sling bag or box bag also offer versatility in terms of
design and use. “We were already playing with the idea of woven products before
COVID but no real end product was in view. The pandemic pushed that evolution
forward.”

Growth by growing

Mora, who had embraced plant parenting
also thought to develop a design driven brand called Potheads. The
idea was to create striking plant holders and hangers, unlike those usually
found in plant shops. “I was constantly searching online for hangers and
holders. What I found was a lot of the same thing. So I asked Amanda to design
some for me and it took off from there,” Mora recalls.

Soapjam created a special set that is exclusively available in the platform.

The same brand of refinement and elegance
used for jewelry design was applied in the design development of Potheads’ pieces.
The idea, LuYm shares, was to showcase beloved flora and fauna as precious gems
in the context of mid-century design. “I wanted to get the plants in the air,
so to speak. I wanted them closer to eye level,” she adds.

Mora and LuYm also decided it was finally
time to share a well-kept beauty secret, now known as Blank Canvas Beauty Oil.
This unique, proprietary blend of premium essential oils was initially created
by Mora for family and friends. The Beauty Oil is ideal for self care regimens
like face massages using a face roller, gua sha or fingers.

The oil, just like the other items on the
platform, are made in small batches and versatile in its many uses. It is
formulated using sustainably sourced Grape Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil,
Geranium, Lavender, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and Frankincense.

Women empowerment

The Disenyo del Sur team also sought to collaborate
with other like-minded, female-run partner brands to create exclusive lifestyle
products suited for life in the new world order.

Cheeky
Chic is a one-stop-shop gifting company trusted by the
discerning Cebuano market. Its team, led by founder Patricia Mancao-Canton,
worked closely with Disenyo Del Sur to create utilitarian bag and mask
organizers.

These bag organizers are from Cheeky Chic, a gifting company by Patricia Mancao-Canton.

Meanwhile,
SoapJam creates bars made in small batches following the cold
process method. It has partnered with the platform to create a special soap
set. Three unique blends, formulated and hand beveled into remarkably intricate
bath treats, are what comprises the set.

There are more exclusive collaborations
and co-created collections currently in the pipeline for Disenyo Del Sur. Its
founders hope to bring consumers a step closer to making conscious living part
of the new normal.

For more
information, visit disenyodelsur.com.

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