The Philippines has been home to a growing number of small businesses over the years. Many Filipinos have taken to establishing their own budding empires, with niches varying from pet care products to plants and makeup. To say that the pandemic hit many small businesses is a complete understatement, but there have been a few that survived well enough or even got their start during its onset, giving back to their community and to those in need. Check out these inspiring brands:
Crops from Hineleban Farms are all grown in the foothills of Mt. Kitanglad, Bukidnon in Mindanao, Philippines. It’s a network of sustainable farms that has partnered with each of the tribal communities in the aren, setting them up to be successful businesses in their own rights. They grow high-value crops like adlai, arabica coffee, taro, yacon, abaca, and bamboo to be sold on a commercial scale, so that the communities receive a sustainable source of income.
Owners Pau Tiu and Dyam Gonzales established the first and only risograph art press in the country as a way to empower and encourage the use of this long-forgotten method of printing within the local community and to serve as a new medium with which they can showcase their work.
Last November 2020, their Marikina studio along with all their equipment was affected by the devastating floods caused by Typhoon Ulysses. Upon hearing about their loss, the art community came together. Artists sold work and offered services with proceeds that went to the studio, which is currently hosting a series of workshops to raise funds toward rebuilding.
Whispers about Colourette Cosmetics long buzzed through many circles, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that the power of this inspiring brand prevailed. Established in 2015, the home-grown brand is run by Nina Ellaine Dizon, who specifically set out to create a beauty brand with the modern-day Filipina in mind through their morena-friendly formulation, affordable prices, and multi-use products. They’ve since built a community with a smart brand reputation that goes beyond beauty and covers topics like women empowerment, acceptance, inclusivity, and diversity.
Back in November, as a response to calls for a boycott, the CEO instead pledged that 100% of the sales of their hero product Colourtints will go toward the victims of Typhoon Ulysses, which allowed her to raise a total of Php 1.6M to be donated for relief operations.
MASK FOR A CAUSE PH (Hinabi at Iba Pa)
This one-stop shop for locally made textiles that supports Filipino weaving communities began their new initiative during the start of the pandemic when the need for masks was high with little supply to go around. Mask for a Cause began selling woven masks with designs that ran through the different regions of the Philippines, allowing Filipinos to proudly represent local work and support local weavers at the same time.
ANDANTE FOOTWEAR AND STRIDE COLLECTIVE
Local shoe brand Andante Footwear and multi-brand house Stride Collective began their businesses as a way to provide additional income to the bag/shoe industry of Marikina, helping them market their products and connect to consumers. When Typhoon Ulysses hit Marikina, the industry was devastated and these inspiring brands got to work. They raised over Php 500,000 pesos for affected communities to help them get back up and running.
Are you feeling revved up by stories of these brands in the Philippines? Visit this link to learn about more about new local brands. If you are looking to explore ways on how you can make your own mark, check out this list of side hustles.