IN local terms, variety is sometimes translated to sari-sari. The sari-sari is most useful to local consumers, when one has emergency needs that can be found in hole-in-the-wall convenient stores popularly known to Filipinos as a sari-sari store.
But with a myriad of local products coming from 17 regions and 80 provinces in the Philippines, having a community sari-sari store with all these regional goods available seems impossible with logistics in mind.
However, as Filipinos become more connected to the World Wide Web, e-commerce has become an effective avenue for local artisans to showcase their products to a wider market. In an effort to pool small-sized merchants from north to south of the Philippines, a website called 1780 by Sari Sari (sarisaristore.com/1780) has been launched with the aim to bring local businesses to the attention of Filipino consumers.
“This is the best of the Philippines for the rest of the Philippines,” said chief operating officer Erneil Dy Lim. “Sari-sari stores have long been a fixture in everyday lives of Filipinos, providing a hub for communal interaction between customer and merchants, as well as among consumers. With 1780 by Sari-Sari, we aim to bring micro entrepreneurs to the attention of the ever-demanding market.”
With the promise to showcase locally made products of small-time business enterprises, Dy Lim provides an online “one-stop-shop” for consumers who are proud to support artistry and heritage of all-Filipino goods and services. These are Philippine heritage products that are not easily found in novelty stores and gift shops.
“We would want Filipino merchants to live side by side with modernization by having their products available online, while maintaining their culture found in their local produce—may it be found in their food, their textiles, or their handicrafts,” said public relations practitioner Amor Maclang who is the brand architect for the proudly-Filipino website.
Meanwhile, interested online sellers can go to the website to register and create a “virtual store” where consumers can easily browse through product photos and information, as well as get in touch with merchants through the web.
On the other hand, buyers can breeze the product catalogue by choosing from well-defined categories such as Bags, Food, Home, Jewelry, and Wine and Liquor. They can also choose which area they want to “shop” with the categorized provinces of Bicol, Iloilo, Leyte, Samar, Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City) and Zamboanga.
Beyond promoting local goods, the website hopes to empower merchants to expand their market, as well as tell share personal stories behind their handcrafted products.
Incidentally, there are also celebrity artisans whose products are featured in the 1780 website, among them, Patti Grandidge who for her Sweet Patti Cakes, as well as renowned designer Amina Aranaz who designed a bag that is exclusively sold on the site.
With so much local products available nationwide, Filipino shoppers can now simply go online and find anything and everything from 17 regions and 80 provinces in a one-stop online sari-sari shop.