When it comes to art, it is safe to say that Filipinos are incredibly gifted. The country is just pulsating with expression – as if awakening from a deep slumber.
With the large number of the population belonging to the millennials, it is easy to see why expressing one’s self through different channels of art is becoming the forefront.
Bringing this movement to life is Arvin Tan. A graduate of Fine Arts from the University of Sto. Tomas, he was previously a graphic designer, a freelance artist before eventually moving to Singapore to work for a local advertising company for five years.
He soon returned to the Philippines to pursue his love for art and the country through Republika – a group of artists and artisans who aspire to promote local talent and products specifically Filipino made bags and stationeries.
Arvin notes, “Each one on our site have their own specialization and the goal is to create products that are not just for novelty. We make sure that they are useful, eco-friendly and sustainable.”
He defines them as, “They are all environment-friendly, do not use plastic accessories and are designed for young professionals and students. It’s definitely the perfect companion for young professionals. It’s also waterproof to protect the many gadgets of the youth today.”
They also carry typescratch notebooks and intend to extend the line in the future.
He draws his inspiration from his innate talent and liking for art and advertising.
“It’s the advertising practitioner and the artist in me. As an advertising practitioner, the main purpose for me is to sell and create awareness of a product and service. As an artist, I’ve always wanted to create things with a purpose. I also love backpacks in particular and I want to create my own brand and style,” he declares.
Arvin fused all of these things together to create bag designs that are distinct and proudly local.
“If foreign brands can make it big internationally so can we,” he reasons.
The young entrepreneur says that the vision for Republika is to be an online platform for different Filipino artists who have their own brands and products – a community that celebrates Filipino talent and creativity.
Despite the challenges, what made him pursue the endeavor are the appreciation and support he gets from the customers.
“There’s a lot of doubts and uncertainties up until now. The struggle to design and produce products will always be a challenge. The development and improvement will never stop. What helps me overcome all the fears and doubts are the customers. Their appreciation and support is my motivation to do more and create better products,” he explains.
“It is hard to establish a brand, build connection and create a relationship with my customers. I do not treat them as customers, they are my friends and I try to keep in touch with some. They inspire me to move forward and help me improve my products as well. I believe that more than just a good product, what makes a brand successful is when people start to believe in your vision and sees the value in what you do,” he ends.
Visit www.republikashop.com for more information.