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I hope you believe in me that we live in a world of endless possibilities. To a crafter's mind, the world is her playground, the scraps or materials she finds in her environment are like jewels waiting to be transformed into life's treasures. This is the idea of our first crafter to be featured for this month of August. And just to say that they live to their dictum, they named their business “What If Handmade”.

Read through our written interview with them and be inspired....

Tell us a bit about your background and your business?
  • As for the business background please visit What If Handmade
  • What.if is our registered trademark.  It represents not only our products but also the way we begin our product concept/design process.  As a starting point, what.if offers endless possibilities.  It is the fuel that gets our imagination running.  What.if thinking is also  the way we explore business directions. 
  • We run a responsible business:  making sure we leave as little carbon imprint along the way, providing decent livelihood to a community, and being a conscientious business owner.
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Tell us about what you make and what training and qualifications you have or needed?
Where do you sell/exhibit your work?
  • We sell via our website, and in pop-up markets that fit our handmade craft concept.  We are regulars in Legaspi Market, American Women’s, USEC, Global Pinoy, 10aAlabama and 98B Escolta.
You can also check their Market Calendar and see if they are within your neighborhood.
Tell us about some of your favourite or most challenging pieces and what inspired you to make them? 
  • We don’t play favourites with our products.  These are our “babies” and we love all of them.  Our most challenging were our Sabits and our Kitty DoorStops.  Sabits are 3”x4” bag tags that were embellished with hand-sewn appliqué.   Kitty is challenging because of its whiskers and its rounded shape.  We still haven’t perfected this one.
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I-sabit mo 'to! =)
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Kitty DoorStops. Well, I have to say that this one is adorable. Check out their other designs by clicking the photo.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
  • We enjoy going to market places where products are functional, basic and simple. We keep our eyes peeled especially when we travel out of Manila or out of the country.  Many of our products are borne out of our own interests and needs. 

What motivates you?
  • Owning and running our own business seemed to be a logical next stage coming out of corporate.  And the choice of a craft business came naturally because of our shared interest in this line.
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What piece of equipment could you not live without or which is your favourite and why?
  • When we registered our brand name, we applied (and were approved) for 4 categories: fabric, wood, tiles and leather.  We have basic tools for each of these raw materials even if we’ve mostly focused on fabric for now.  So I guess the simple answer would be, our sewing machines would be our favourite, for now ;-)

What are your plans/goals for the future?
  • Can’t go into much details, but what we’d like to do is expand our product line to include products that would make use of other raw mats that we love - wood chips, scrap leather, terra cotta, paper. 

When you first started if you could have been given one piece of advice what would it have been and what advice would you pass on?

  • FOCUS.  We were so gung-ho, so enthusiastic when we started.  We were easily excited with possibilities and potential.  We were making stuff just because we fell in love with a fabric material.  We ended up with raw material which that didn’t translate to revenues.

Where can we find you? 

On a Personal Note...

The projects that WhatIf are making have a touch of Filipino tradition. I like the idea that they continued to make toys like the Chinese jacks. I don't see these anymore in the malls. It brings back memories of my Elementary days, playing along the corridors during recess time and after dismissal while waiting for our "sundos" to arrive.

I also like the door stops. It's beyond the ordinary door stops that you see being sold in the malls. You can even customize it for personal use or even as giveaways. The Sabits are also a treasure!!!

I know that this craft business will go a long way. With this kind of passion in their handicrafts, they will surely meet their vision of making the whole world an endless possibilities of creating, and crafting. I, for one has already been inspired.
 


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