Artefino, the annual fair that showcases Filipino-made products, launched its online platform Shopartefino yesterday.
Like so many other businesses, annual fairs and exhibits held in Metro Manila, Artefino has pivoted to ecommerce to adapt to the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded by Maritess Pineda, Cedie Vargas, Mita Rufino, Mel Francisco and Susie Quiros, ArteFino gathered every August over 100 participants (manufacturers, designers, cooperatives) at Rockwell Power Plant Mall.
In previous physical fairs, local visitors would reach 4,000 on peak days, and now the site hopes to reach bigger, now-global buyers.
“Like they say, the show must go on,” Maritess Pineda said. “We will never waiver from our commitment to the Filipino spirit. We bring products that capture the soul of the makers, and now, with e-commerce and (efficient) delivery systems, we bring their works not only around the country, but to the world.”
(Read Maritess Pineda in The Philippine Star’s 34th anniversary special last July here.)
The fair was one of few avenues for communities and collectives around the country to sell their products, but since work and travel restrictions were imposed in March, many communities were left without a livelihood.
“With no way to sell their wares, entire communities did not have enough resources to manufacture. This put many craftsmen in dire straits, so we needed to pivot our way of thinking to help them,” notes Mita Rufino, Artefino co- founder.
Touted as “a one-stop shop for Filipino craftsmanship,” Shopartefino has 45 brand partners.
The founders said that for the overseas market, the online shop makes access so much easier. “Filipinos abroad no longer have to ask friends to ‘tele-shop’ for them, and now expatriates can be exposed to quality craftsmanship which, we are proud to say, is from the Philippines.”
International purchases will be shipped via DHL.
Shopartefino worked with Design Center of the Philippines “to convey a truly Filipino contemporary lifestyle.”
The website is divided into eight categories: Home & Living, Fashion, Bags, Accessories, Jewelry, Footwear, Kids, and Protective Wear. Purchases may be settled with PayPal and credit cards.
Marimel Francisco says, “About six years ago, I made the conscious shift in mindset to promote and use our local crafts and industries because I started to see these products as not just your run of the mill, but rather, items to respect and admire, as they carry in their very craft the stories of our heritage and history.
“A wardrobe filled with ArteFino pieces gives a sense of supporting local communities, hence, quality without the guilt.”