Filipino handbags from scrap wood shine at Tokyo gift show

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Tixxi Handbags carries a variety of products with designs featuring carvings, hand painting, and beadwork on driftwood

Tixxi Handbags carries a variety of products with designs featuring carvings, hand painting, and beadwork on driftwood

The Philippines has endured numerous typhoons of great strength. Heavy downpour and floods have ravaged the country, but the Filipino spirit rises above calamities, and recuperates in interesting ways. This is exemplified by Tixxi Handbags Manufacturing, a Philippine company that manufactures wooden handbags from scrap wood.

The company just had a successful showing of its products at the 81st Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS), an annual event that considered the largest international trade show in Japan.

“Due to typhoons hitting the country, lots of acacia trees fall. Instead of burning them for firewood, the locals sell them to craftsmen to make different kinds of home accents and furniture,” related Tixxi’s owner-designer Tessa Nepomuceno. “Here in our factory, we transform these scrap woods into unique pieces of art—beautiful and fashionable bags.”

The handbags are embellished with exotic skins, fine leathers, crystals, pearls, shells and gemstones. Lacquered to seal the natural grain of wood to produce an elegant luster, they are truly wearable pieces of art and exquisite craftsmanship of which Filipinos can be proud. Moreover, the insides are lined with suede fabric, juxtaposing the handbag’s wooden exterior.

Nepumoceno started her business in 2006 under the brand name Rocio, with just plain wooden clutches. In 2014, she re-opened the business under a new company name Tixxi, and came up with her own brand Calli. This signaled the infusion of variety in her handbags, with designs made with carving, hand painting, and beading, all together becoming her signature.

The brand further offers handbags woven from Philippine natural fibers such as abaca, buntal, rattan, and sabutan.

According to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), which assisted in Nepumuceno’s participation in the trade show, Tixxi especially impressed buyers and guests with the natural finish on her pieces. With nature as her inspiration, her bags featured a lot of floral designs, different textures and patterns that convey divine architecture.

The 81st Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS) Spring Edition was held from February 3 to 5 at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center.

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