I learned crafting mostly from the trenches. The first book that taught me how to read sentences was the Make and Do craft book from the Childcraft Encyclopedia. Its battered and messy pages show evidence of my eagerness to make something from scratch. I was brought up tinkering on things since my dad is an electrical engineer by heart and by profession. I grew up seeing him fixing things in our house and sometimes I was his little helper. I was born during the sunset of Martial Law and spent my childhood hears at the dawn of the EDSA Revolution in my country. Money was scarce so most of my toys were either hand me downs from my big sister or given by my aunt who was working in the States. What my parents gave me were cheap booklets of origami which I devoured for hours. Growing up, fun for me would mean to make something up and not to dress up a Barbie Doll.
At middleschool up until highschool, we were taught how to hand and machine sew, cook, and crochet. Home Economics was not my favorite subject back then but I learned the most valuable lessons and that is the discipline of crafting. I learned how to take careful attention to detail and how not taking shortcuts can give you a fine creation. I learned to value dignity of labor from Mrs. Centeno's humble classroom. We were also bombarded with a lot of art projects from different subjects which also honed my skills in drawing and painting.
In my college years, I learned Chinese Painting. It was the only subject that I loved during my four years of my Bachelor's Degree in Development Studies in the Ateneo de Manila Universitiy. I did not get an A but I loved every moment I had with my brushes and water color.
I was fortunate to work for the government as an assistant of a Director for Small and Medium Industries at our Trade Department. I was exposed to fairs with the most amazing handicrafts that were made by talented artisans in the Philippines. I was so inspired that I just found myself resigning from my day job and jumping into entrepreneurship head on (For the record, I do not recommend this as it involved a lot of self doubt and panic attacks. If you plan to quit your dayjob, start with your business while you're still working, consider your cashflow to find out if you're ready to say goodbye to your boss.).
I studied a 3 day basic Jewelry Assembly and Design at a local tradeschool (NegoSkwela). I was introduced with the wonderful world of beads. I could easily get lost for hours making even just the basic jewelry. I started selling to my friends and online through Multiply.com. I was then in a phase where I was soul searching on what I really wanted to do with my life. I decided to try something new but still related to my interest. I took up a graduate certificate in Special Education at St. Joseph's College. I loved my experience during my training to be a Special Needs Teacher. We were trained to be creative to come up with lesson plans, props, and activities so students would be able to grasp a concept according to their way of learning things about our world. It was one of the happiest, most humbling and rewarding moments of my life. My training in Special Education solidified my skills in writing my tutorials. It was my first experience to create a manual for teachers when we were tasked to create DIY assessment kits. It was a grueling process, but it taught me the most crucial discipline in that would later on reflect in my tutorials... that is to not assume that each person would understand every part of a direction.
At 2010, I started making my tutorials. I love making fabric flowers. I seem to learn and master the techniques quickly even with just looking at a headband in a store. If I find one technique challenging, I would spend days just trying to figure it out. I sold my first tutorial on Etsy. Three years and 30 flower tutorials later, and I'm still in love in making these lovely lessons. I thought it would die down after I made it on my first year...but no. I got hooked and I'm ready to make some more.
What kept me going are my customers who are so dear to me and supported me with my journey. I'm so inspired by their stories. Some are mothers who would lovingly make flowers for their daughters and soon to be daughter-in-law. Some are best friends who would love to create a lasting present for their bride to be bff. Some are brides who would like to make their wedding extra special without breaking the bank. Some are mommies who would like to spend memorable afternoons with their little girls. Some are talented crafters who would like to learn something new. Some are designers and entrepreneurs who would like take their products into the next level.