How I Started: Alt Manila
They say that you haven't really made it until you've gotten your first designer bag. But designer bags and their hefty price tags aren't exactly the most accessible mix for a college girl. Recognizing the college girl's need for a fashionable and functional handbag without breaking the bank, Aimee Pua along with two of her friends decided to bridge the gap between fast fashion and luxury brands, and created Alt Manila.
How it started. "Alt Manila started when two of my friends and I had a casual talk about nice bags that we don't see in the market. We felt that the market was missing a bag brand that's stylish, not mass produced, sturdy, and wouldn't break the bank, too. We wanted to fill the gap between fast fashion and luxury bags. So, we decided to create something that we've always wanted, but couldn't find."
Why Alt Manila? "We all love bags in the team! We also realized that carrying the right bag can really make the biggest difference—it has the power of making or breaking an entire outfit."
Young entrepreneur. "Being a young entrepreneur is both exciting and scary.
Starting the brand is usually the exciting part, but sustaining the business is where you get tested to power through.
You need to have a plan. Getting from vision to reality takes courage and determination to push through days of non-inspiration."
Drawing inspiration. "That's where family, friends, and a lot of brainstorming help. We are very lucky to have supportive family and friends. We definitely draw our inspiration from them."
Team work. "Working in a group is like learning to dance. You learn how each part moves, improves, and what best works altogether. As friends with different expertise, we complement each other. Openness and communication are also key. We each share our ideas, then spend time collaborating to turn our three different ideas into the big idea. Being good friends also allow us to be more transparent and more honest with each other about our ideas and opinions on everything."
Little challenges. "As an entrepreneur? Getting organized. It's tough to put the systems in place and to be focused. There will be a lot of ideas and you’d get so excited that you'd want to do everything all at once. Not everything is feasible and executable."
Staying original. "I guess it's our combination as a team that makes us different and our unique viewpoints work for us, too. We each infuse a bit of ourselves into the designs we choose and always ask, 'Would I want this bag for myself?'"
What's next? "We are looking at expanding to retail stores and dropping more styles, too!"
To young budding entrepreneurs. "As an entrepreneur, there will always be moments of fear, anxiety and self-doubt. Leaving your career and deciding to start anew, and build a brand is always going to be scary. You will always find reasons not to do it, but when you find yourself constantly wondering and thinking “what if,” you know it’s time to go for it."
There is really no time for simply waiting around. Dare to begin.
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Hi everyone! I just want to share my first collaboration with my father. I converted two of my digital arts, Oneness and We Got Each Other's Back, into a vase and a bookend. I designed it and he made it into a reality. The Oneness Metal Vase is perfect for dried flowers and or artificial flowers. The We Got Each Other's Back Bookend is made from solid metal in which the cubes can be arranged to the user's liking. Both metal sculptures work as an accent piece that can liven up one's space. In case you guys are interested, you can reach me through Facebook/Instagram: @artdkf.ph
Imagine you are holding a photograph. There, there you are. A 5-year-old you is being carried by her momma and papa while holding your rag dolls. That innocent, charming little girl is looking at you and said, "Where are you now?"
Life is filled with several U-turns and unexpected twists of events and during these times in which silver spoons are nowhere to be found: Our families ensure we still get and experience the best as we survive this pandemic. Here's my song, I wrote back 2 years ago entitled: "Won't Let You Cry" and take time to honor and appreciate our parents as they are the biggest front liners in our lives throughout the years.
If you're still single now, there are probably a a lot of questions running in your head. But being on your own for a long time helps you discover more about yourself. It's more than just freedom or independence. It's facing the world with so much courage. It's trying to make the most of your life without having to depend on someone. It's being happy on your own and loving yourself with all that you are.
We've been chasing love only to realize that it's not gonna work out that way. The right time will come that you will be blessed with the one you deserve. The one who also prayed to be with you. The one who will make you believe in love again. Let life surprise you. Hang in there.
The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.
Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.
Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.
For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?
Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.
Literally to begin with, I am writing with little shaky hands because this is the last time I went for a vacation like most of us must have and can’t plan any for now. The coronavirus outbreak has compelled us to stay at home for our safety and others in the vicinity.
I remember how I penned down my year 2020 to be the most remarkable year of my life in the hope of doing everything I desired for a long time and overcoming few obstacles. Whilst planning things ahead, I forgot to truly value all of things in the present.
I remember being chipper and grateful for my last summer vacation but now I feel I should’ve valued each and every moment. Considering the current gnarly situation, I want each one us to motivate ourselves to look for a positive side and to make the most of our time no matter the situation.
Make a promise to yourself that you won’t give up in these circumstances and reckon that there are a lot of good things for us in the store. We’ll have the most amazing season of our life post pandemic. Let’s accept for the change and become the change. Propagate love and only love.