What they say is true. When God closes a door, he opens a window. Cliche, I know. But looking back over the past couple years, I speak from experience. When Leona and I closed L’Indochine, we were filled with strong mixed feelings. Sad because the business we built and with our blood, sweat and tears was gone. Terrified because we didn’t know what the future will hold for us. Yet happy, because we will get to be full time mommies again and focus on our respective families.
But we were not idle at all. We had other things going on. Leona started a whole new blog, Project Lilo, with photographer (and my photography teacher!) Sheila Catilo. Then Leona and I came out of hibernation and resurrected The Inspiration Seekers Instagram and blog. And because we kept getting messages from L’indochine fans to start selling again, we started a spinoff online business, Shop The Inspiration Seekers. Lastly, one of my best friends from high school, Darlene Dy-Chiong, invited me to partner with her. And The Masonry was born.
Dar’s husband, Solomon, who I jokingly call The Godfather of The Masonry, is the second generation owner of South Pacific Marble. His dad before and Solomon now, supply marble to posh hotels and luxurious homes all over the Philippines. Have you been to the Grand Hyatt Hotel? All the marble you see in the lobby, grand ballroom, and the whole hotel are from his company! Awesome right? And with such huge and specific required cuts for their clients, there are lots of excess marble and stone.
So Dar, another best friend Melody Yapson, and I partnered to launch a new business using these excess marble. Upcycling them by creating stylish and chic home and office accessories. She brought me to Solomon’s factory in Bulacan and we saw all the giant slabs of gorgeous marble waiting to be cut into floors, countertops, walls, etc. And at the same time, I saw in another section of the factory, all the excess marble and stone from previous projects were just sitting there. This experience inspired me so much and I started dreaming of all marble home accessories I would love to style in my own home.
I got to meet the loyal craftsmen who have been with South Pacific Marble for years. Some were even second generation artisans, whose fathers worked for Solomon’s dad before he retired. They all greeted us with a smile, which reminded me of the days when Leona and I would workshop-hop and source treasures in different countries for L’Indochine.
So I find myself here again, at the beginning of a new business and adventure. This time, I get to put on my creative designer’s hat while my best friends/partners take care of all the nitty gritty financials and operations that comes with running a business. Perfect set-up for me, don’t you think?
Dear internet family, I invite you to welcome The Masonry into your space. I hope to enjoy the support you have given me in our other ventures. You may order online via our Instagram and Facebook accounts: @TheMasonryPH. Plus, we will be joining our very first selling event at The Travelling Trunk on November 10-11 at The Mess Hall in Makati. We hope to see you there!