My idea of running a business was shaped by what my father used to say; that business was common sense. Back then, my father, a quintessential Chinese trader, had a lot of companies, which I decided to close, because I knew I always wanted to do my own thing; something I was passionate about. This instinct came as a result of my mother’s influence. She was a passionate furniture designer and manufacturer, who taught me the value of being unique, original, and true to my calling. I was born in the world of furniture.
Along with the inspiration from my mom, there was also the reality that most furniture makers in the Philippines are plain manufacturers. This pushed me even more to build my own brand and insist on marking my designs with my name and the “Made in the Philippines” stamp. Asia is known as the factory of the world, not as a source for originality and creativity. I wanted to change that, so I decided it was about time for the world to recognize great modern Filipino design.
Endeavor pushed me to ask questions I would never have asked before; to pause and ponder on questions regarding new strategies for growth. Endeavor helped me realize there’s always more to be done, and that the bigger picture needs more attention. As an Endeavor Entrepreneur, I’ve learned the importance of the big picture, of strong and professional management, of alignment in all aspects of the business, and of having a clear vision of where I want to drive the company.
Today, my company has over 300 employees. I’m happy that we’ve been able to provide lucrative jobs for people to excel in. The company has seen generations of craftsmen who have helped contribute to the preservation of this traditional practice. The people behind our company have always been the soul of our vision. With them, I have developed a design philosophy of form and function. This kind of impact is very important to me, because it benefits others.
Ultimately, I hope to be an example and leave this legacy of inspiration for the many other talented and creative Filipinos to follow a similar initiative, which is to be able to look back to their heritage and give back to our country.