Homegrown brand creates beautiful jewelry out of abaca paper

It’s dainty and ethical, too!

Nothing is more timeless than jewelry. The intricate hand work, beautiful design, and quality materials all contribute to its eternal beauty passed on from one woman to another. Indeed, jewelry is the perfect hand-me-down fashion item.

Jewelry also makes every mom-daughter moment special. This is true for 26-year-old Jeanine Y. Marasigan. She and her mother, Jenny G. Ytable, turned their passion for crafts into the accessory brand of their dreams.

“My mom has been a hobbyist of handcrafting fashion accessories since I was in elementary. It has greatly inspired me to be creative and artsy,” Jeanine says. “It is our form of bonding after school and during weekends. Our dream is to have a business showcasing our works.”

In 2018, they made it happen with the launch of Magindara Handcrafted Fashion Accessories. What makes their jewelry brand stand out is that it is Filipino through and through, from the hands that worked on it to the materials that they use.

“The material that we’re using are mostly pearls. Last year we discovered handmade abaca paper with bits of capiz shell. We saw the potential of the material as it is durable and water-resistant, unlike most kinds of paper,” Jeanine tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “We wanted to patronize local craftspeople like us. That way, they can also have alternative revenue streams because their craft waste can be converted into a new product.”

With the by-products from other artisans, the mother-daughter tandem mimics the beauty of nature as they create accessories inspired by the sampaguita, rose, and even the beautiful paru-parong bukid. They also made more customized works by hand painting their paper jewelry.

Since its establishment, Magindara has been chosen by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Batangas for OTOP Next Gen 2018. In the same year, it also completed the 12 modules of the Kapatid Mentor ME program of the DTI and Go Negosyo. The brand is currently enrolled as well to GREAT Women Project 2 of Philippine Commission on Women.

Rose bud rings

Just like other brands, Magindara also has to roll with challenges of operating amid the Covid-19 crisis. “The pandemic has greatly affected our business, most especially our sales from partner stores. We have to let one of our partner stores in Manila go,” Jeanine says. “We are doing our best to adapt by strengthening our online presence and transitioning our products to the current situation.”

Butterfly bangle

This time, instead of designing more rings and bangles, the brand has transitioned to designing more ear accessories that can be used for virtual meetings and online classes.

“It is quite a challenge because our products are best appreciated in person, most especially the handmade abaca paper with capiz shell,” she says. “We incorporate it with our No Piercing Needed Ear Clips, Ear Hugs, and Interchangeable Earrings that we call Mix-Mis-and-Match so people can wear them in many different ways.”

Facebook and Instagram: @magindaraaccessories