We flipped when we saw the chic and sophisticated bags being made in Manila by Tali Handmade. We were even more excited when we heard the story behind the label from brand founders Liza Morales Crespo and Marielle De Leon. These two savvy entrepreneurs and working mothers are on a mission to empower women and help them to give their families and themselves better lives. All Tali products are handmade by a variety of disadvantaged but hardworking women. Regardless of whether they are female inmates in Philippine prisons,disabled or unemployed. We recently sat down with Liza and Marielle and asked them to share more about the story behind this incredible brand.
Describe your brand.
Taken from the Filipino word which means “to tie”, TALI remains true to its essence by creating strong bonds that connect and empower women, strengthening communities all across the Philippines. It is our goal to create premium handcrafted accessories that would showcase Filipino craftsmanship to the rest of the world.
How, when and where did you start your brand?
We were inspired to kickstart TALI when we first visited the female inmates of a city jail in the Philippines, accompanied by Liza's aunt whose advocacy was to teach these inmates new skills. We believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Acknowledging that they have both been blessed with opportunities not afforded to all women, they wanted to make a difference in these women´s lives, and began exploring traditional crochet patterns with them and eventually employed them to bring their original bag designs to life. Eventually, the project turned into a true social enterprise focused on empowering women at the grassroots level.
Right now, we are working with different women's groups and providing them with a means of livelihood. We also work with women owned enterprises for different aspects of our production process. It is our goal however to replicate this model to work with various under represented sectors, we are currently gearing up to work with women with disabilities and unemployed mothers.
Speak about your previous work experience and how it helped you to create your own brand.
Liza Crespo Ecotecture is a leader in sustainable architectural design with offices in Manila and New York. Marielle de Leon-Lazaro brings to the table years of experience in the design and production of clothing and accessories. We both have a keen eye for detail and value the importance of quality and craftsmanship in accessories.
How does travel inspire your collection?
The vibrant color mixes and the pattern play that we see throughout our travels constantly inspire our collection. A recent trip to Istanbul, with all the beautifully hand woven carpets and textiles was the take off point for our resort 2016 collection.
As Your collection continues to grow, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
We have been approached by several designers for the possibility of collaborating on some collections. We welcome this as we look forward to learning from established designers and we believe that injecting new life into the brand would always be a good thing.
by: the Shop Latitude Team