October 13, 2015

#SupportLokalPH: KiN Leather Collection

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

KiN Leather Collection

KiN products are made of genuine leather, locally handcrafted by the best Filipino artisans. (MNL,PH)

(Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kinleather)

After extensively using my Exonomad backpack, even as an office bag, I finally decided to invest in a proper leather shoulder bag. I've been seeing a lot of local makers showcasing their own leather collection, and the following considerations come to mind while trying to choose which one to support:
  1. Budget. Leather bags aren't cheap, and handmade leather bags are of no exception. Most of the bags I see online range from 3,000 PhP to 5,000 PhP. The only branded bag I own is a medium-sized Longchamp Le Pliage, which I bought some five years ago at 4,000 PhP (I think). To have a real leather bag at the same price? Not bad.
  2. Leather type. There are four basic types of leather used in making accessories: Full grain, Top grain, Genuine leather, and Bonded leather. In a nutshell, the difference between these types is the layer of hide used to produce leather. Full grain leather comes from the topmost hide (closest to the hair) and is the sturdiest, rawest, and most expensive type of leather. Top grain leather comes from a layer slightly below, further processed to make it smoother and more uniform-looking. Top grain leather is less sturdy than full grain leather, but is less blemished. Genuine leather comes from further lower layers, while Bonded leather are made from leather scraps pressed together. Both may have the look and feel of real leather, but the quality is significantly inferior.
  3. Lining. I've noticed that makers using high-quality leather rarely line their creations, as they want to showcase the characteristics of their high-grade leather. However, leather stretches and sags over time, thus unlined leather has the tendency to succumb to the weight and gravity due to overpacking.
  4. Silhouette. In general, I was searching for a bag with shoulder straps. Considerations would include if the bag is structured or slouchy, how tall, how wide, and how long would the straps be.

Then, I came across KiN Leather Collection while browsing in Instagram.


October 01, 2015

#SupportLokalPH: Simoy ng Haraya

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

Simoy ng Haraya

Pabango | Pambahay | Aromaterapia

(Online Shop: http://www.simoyngharaya.com/default.asp
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/simoyngharaya/)

Simoy ng Haraya is another discovery from my Common Room experience last weekend. This was an accidental find, actually. I was initially attracted to the essential oils displayed on the shelf below the perfumes (as seen in Common Room's Instagram picture below. Simoy ng Haraya perfumes are on the third shelf, while the essential oils are on the shelf below, I think), when the unique Tagalog perfume names caught my eye.


The online shop provides detail descriptions of each perfume scent to give an idea of how they smell like:
  • Alaala - This unforgettable scent leaves an olive fruity fragrance to remember you by.
  • Sulyap - Steal some glances with this fragrant mix of marjoram, thyme, and musk.
  • Tiwala - Trust this fragrance to please with its fruity, green and floral notes.
  • Unang Halik - A tantalizing scent that covers you in sweet vanilla kisses.
  • Dalisay - This floral scent evokes purity -- a soft blend of freesia, jasmine and rose with a touch of light musk. It’s an olfactory return to innocence.
  • Yakap - Wrap yourself in the embrace of this clean, fresh, powdery soft scent. Wear it like a pure cotton dress on a breezy day.
  • Kilig - Get giddy over the refreshing scent of lemon verbena.
  • Lambing - Show your affection by having this optimistic, flowery scent of lily of the valley, bulrush, tea rose and cinnamon leaves mixed with Tanaka wood, musk and cedar.
  • Umaga - Greet each day with a light fragrance of garden fresh tomatoes. Airy and herbaceous, it’s the perfect start to a perfect day.

I'm glad that Common Room provides testers for each scent, so I was able to test which of the fragrances complement my personality and my skin.