by Gretzel Lantican
“We’re all about people’s dreams,” Director of Artesania Bespoke Furniture Maria Francesca Gacrama-Herring began. “Regardless of any gender, we encourage and help every person who works for us to achieve their dreams”.
The Start of Filipino Artistry
Built in an ‘80s architectural establishment, Artesania Bespoke Furniture is a community united by Filipino craftsmanship.
“As much as possible, everything has to be local for us, because we want to provide a platform to everyone,” Director of Artesania Francine Marie Gacrama emphasizes.
Formerly known as Mozaic Living, the building is currently Metro Manila’s lifestyle showroom, meeting room, and cafe, and Francine and Francesca are the creative people behind the Instagram-worthy spot.
Having been in the business for two years, these women give their support to local enterprises by involving Rizaleño artisans, start up businesses, and young designers.
From furniture to food to drinks, Artesania is proudly promoting and serving local: Kalsada’s coffee beans from Benguet, Proudly Promdi’s rice wine from Ilocos, and Silver Bell’s milk farmers from Bulacan.
People of Artesania
Some of the members of Artesania
“Their stories are super inspiring and it’s actually them that drive us as today’s women in entrepreneurship,” Francesca explains with pride.
Much like any other company, Artesania is composed of different departments: manufacturers, carpenters, showroom team, furniture team, and coffee team. With the large number of workers, the lifestyle store ensures that everyone’s involved in the production process.
Although majority of the members are young individuals, the two women put their faith on these starters for as long as they knew what they’re doing.
“We believe all of them can contribute,” the sisters say. Francine and Francesca do not take credit for every piece Artesania has produced, because every worker worked hard producing the crafts.
“Artesania is not about Francine and I. We don’t take credit for the work that we do. It’s [really] about every single person involved. We’re propelling everyone to achieve their dreams,” Francesca says.
Foundation of Success
Everyone’s artistry is valued and taken care of at Artesania. However, the entrepreneur sisters believe that skills and knowledge are nothing without having the core values: pakikisama and pakikipagtulungan in the business.
With their pakikisama, Francine and Francesca easily got the trust of Rizaleño artisans. With the team’s effort to communicate openly, the passing and teaching of skills and knowledge was easily shared among the members.
Decision making takes place in this competitive market, but Artesania makes it easy. Together with the team, the two sisters convey the value of pakikipagtulungan by encouraging young workers, carpenters, and manufacturers to participate, because Francine and Francesca believe that everyone has their voice.
But in times of challenges, the team keeps both sisters going. Francesca thinks that “if the team can do it, so can they”.
The growing success of Artesania is nothing without Francine and Francesca’s effort and dedication, because as they say, “if you love what you’re doing, then you’re going to last in the business”.
Evidently, the two sisters are passionate about their advocacy of promoting local industry and instilling the core values to the team.
“It feels great to be part of something that can uplift craftsmen, different artists that truly support Filipino craftsmanship,” Francine said, defining the beauty there is at Artesania.