By Alex M. Eduque
Sisterhood. A unique, but most special relationship that no words can aptly describe. It is one that only those blessed with sisters can understand, and I’d like to think that when there are only two of you, it strengthens the bond even more. I am someone blessed with a younger sister, and therefore, I know what a gift it is. You have an instant best friend, frenemy, cheerleader, partner-in-crime, and defender. In my case, an instant tag team was born, and it’s something I would not trade for anything else in the world. Which is why when I heard about the collaboration born between PHILUX and BEAVALDES, it tugged my heart strings like no other. Here were the Kienle (Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez and Jessica Kienle-Maxwell) and Valdes (Bea Valdes-Rodriguez and Marga Valdes-Trinidad) sisters – two of the most indefatigable, talented, well-loved, and not to mention beautiful sister teams around – coming together to fuse their passions. The result could only yield beautiful things.
A year in the making, and three babies later, I cannot help but think that this team-up has been written in the stars all along. The way their aesthetics and design principles align, for one, is an organic mélange of precision, attention to detail, and artistry at its very finest. Beautiful and ornate are understatements to describe the fruits of their labor and love. Undoubtedly, this collection exhibits more than special and luxurious pieces of furniture and design – it is a display of utmost passion, love, dedication, and home-bred talent. It is one that has raised the bar yet again on what can be done when heart is at the very core of all that you do.
As the sisters describe Hearth – as they chose to name their collection – they essentially describe their individual relationships with each other as sisters, and find the common ground that drives them forth as one: “It begins at home, that creative hearth – where siblings at play nurture a kinship whose roots blossom into design; from a place and time where initial steps learnt together, in likeness, or difference, eventually are taken in tandem; every element of the process is an intimate expression of a continuing and faceted conversation.” And the synonymy of [their] sisterhood with this passion project of theirs is what I believe is responsible for evoking this indescribable natural charm of bespoke beauty and detailed depth, making it truly one-of-a-kind. After all, “Each unique piece is crafted from a profound partnership entwined in sisterhood – from the hearth, as a vital formative center, these designs [bring them back] to textures and materials from [their] kindred childhood. From the echoes of the workshop floor, to the focused light from a jeweler’s nook, [they] were raised in the rooms of [their] inherited craft – following the footsteps of the generation that forged a path before [them].”
As they continue to create their own legacy inspired by the generations before them, Stephanie, Jessica (the Kienle Sisters), Bea and Marga (the Valdes sisters) have not only strengthened the fort in the furniture and fine jewelry businesses respectively, they have taken artistry, design, and their craft to a whole new level. Whoever said that artisanship and craftsmanship is a thing of the past has clearly not met these four dynamic and trail-blazing women, and has never seen the fruits of their labor, for they will be proven wrong at an instant. Because while PHILUX and BEAVALDES as a brand are individually renowned and distinguished in their fields, they are only as good as the women visionaries behind them. Women, who put the value of Filipino craftsmanship and artistry at its finest, on the forefront. And that, is what will set them apart on the global stage for years to come.
The pieces of Hearth will be on display for three weeks beginning January 26 at Philux Home, Shangri-La, at the Fort.