Four decades of fine Filipino craftsmanship

Published July 18, 2020, 12:30 AM

by MB Lifestyle

What began as a mom-and-pop with two carpenters in the backyard is now one of the leading furniture manufacturers and retailers in the Philippines

This year, Philux celebrates 40 years of furniture making. What began as a mom-and-pop endeavor with two carpenters in the backyard of Zelda Kienle’s ancestral home has grown into a dynamic team and an expansive workshop with showrooms across Metro Manila. 

In 1980, Max Kienle, a Swiss expatriate, and his lovely Filipina wife Zelda Aragon founded what is now one of the leading furniture manufacturers and retailers in the country. Initially an export business, Philux eventually focused on the robust local market and continues to do so today. 

Max and Zelda’s daughters, Stephanie and Jessica, grew up with the factory floor as their amusing playground. Much of their childhood involved showroom rounds and visiting the workshop filled with sawdust, wood glue, and the buzzing sound of traditional Italian machines, some of which are still being used to this day. For Max and Zelda, beautiful things take time and traditional furniture making techniques are practiced and preserved in their workshop.  

The sisters inevitably grew to be passionate about furniture making and interior design and it was not long after finishing their studies abroad that they decided to return to Manila and learn the ropes of the business. 

Presently, Stephanie and Jessica, the second generation, are at Philux’s helm, where they continuously breathe inspired energy into the brand. They have expanded wood, finish, fabric, metal, and matting options to their discerning clientele, making the furniture selection process more creative and personal. They have established concierge service through Philux’s sales team, an online shop, and have launched collections of timeless yet relevant furniture pieces for every home. Most recently, they launched Philux Spaces, the brand’s design arm offering interior design services. 

Philux is set toward a sustainable journey offering FSC-certified wood sourced from responsibly managed forests around the world. They have also consciously been reducing their single-use plastic consumption, turning over their used plastics to Green Antz Builders Inc., an innovative company that turns plastic into eco bricks used to build schools, homes, and other infrastructures. 

Today, more than ever, Philux has remained committed to its vision of telling the Filipino story through living spaces, inspiring a mindful way of life and nurturing a profound love for pieces produced by Filipino hands. 

While we live in such extraordinary times, Philux hopes that its furniture pieces have been and always will be meaningful to its clients’ homes. The brand carries on through the hard work of its skilled craftsmen and its promise to provide pieces that can be passed on from generation to generation.