Recently, I wrote an article for Calyxta that talks about local brands that have taken over my bathroom, which include Zenutrients, Kala Milk, Cocoline Naturals, Happy Island, and Prettify. I mentioned that over the years of helping develop my mom’s backyard business, Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti, I’ve learned to appreciate even more all the blood, sweat, and tears that small companies pour into their businesses for them to thrive. This is precisely why I’ve grown a fondness for local brands, and I think it was in 2013 or 2014 that I started buying my Christmas gifts from these local businesses.
Which is why I decided to put together a list of tried and tested (meaning I bought from them already, and I highly recommend them!) local brands you might want to consider buying your Christmas gifts from! Check them out below:
1. Myriad Print Concepts – PhP 70 to PhP 80 per pouch
Two years ago, I discovered Myriad through a Glamourbox colleague. We hired them to print custom pouches for one of the beauty brands I handled, and I loved the quality of their printing so much that during the same year, I personally designed pouches for each and every single one of my family members and friends, and had Myriad print them! Of course, if you don’t have the luxury of time to design something, you can always choose from their already available designs. Aside from pouches, they also have mugs, neck pillows, drawstring bags, and many more! You can check out their portfolio when you follow them on Instagram here.
2. Istorya Creations – around PhP 300 to PhP 400 per necklace
I don’t remember how I discovered Istorya Creations, but I think it was through Instagram or an article from Spot.ph around September or October last year. I immediately fell in love with their personalized necklaces and bracelets, so I knew I had to order my Christmas gifts (for my female cousins, high school and college friends, and office mates) from them! I requested to engrave their names on simple gold necklaces, and it turned out to be one of the prettiest gifts I’ve ever given. Check out more from Istorya here.
3. Katzen – PhP 350 to PhP 1,300 (depending on the size)
Last year, I scouted the Internet to look for someone who could customize wooden cheese boards that I could give as gifts to my aunts and uncles, married friends, and bosses. I found a few, but none of them fit my budget like Katzen. I loved the quality of their work, and I kind of regret not having one made for myself! Haha. Maybe I’ll have one made this year!
4. Oliver & Maude – around PhP 2,500
If you want to splurge a little bit more, there’s Oliver & Maude, the pioneer and original home of locally produced fine bespoke lifestyle accessories and globally curated classic luxury home products. This is my default supplier whenever I give wedding gifts to friends, especially those with a wedding logo. What I love about Oliver & Maude is that they can etch any custom design on wine or scotch glasses, and wooden cheese boards (which I already had done a few times)!
5. Astrid Leather – PhP 350 to PhP 1,300
This year, I decided to give the male members of my family (brothers, cousins, and uncles) a custom leather coin purse with their names engraved. I chose from different leather colors, threads, and snap metals that all look and feel durable. The quality is amazing, and I love that it was delivered in a reusable canvas pouch with temporary names printed on paper and stapled, so I can easily identify who the coin purse belongs to. It’s also less work for me to wrap—I can just attach a gift card!
6. Kimochi Aroma – PhP 150 to PhP 400
I discovered Kimochi Aroma a month ago in the outdoor bazaar of Ayala Vertis North. It was so timely, because I was actually on the hunt for a microwavable herbal pillow to help alleviate menstrual cramps. We have a shared one in the Calyxta HQ (from a different brand) that’s big and has a strap, so you can wrap it around your waist. But I checked the price online, and it was so expensive! Kimochi Aroma offered more affordable ones in different sizes, so I decided to order these in cute designs to give to my sisters, cousins, girl friends, and office mates. Kimochi even offered to print my blog’s logo on their custom card, so that it would have my branding.
7. Calyxta – Php 349 to Php 1,399
Being a local source and resource for all things beauty, I couldn’t leave Calyxta out of the list (and also because—love your own. Hahaha!) This year, we curated different gift sets for as low as PhP 349 that’s perfect for different types of beauty girls—whether she’s more into skin care, makeup, bath and body, or even nails! You can look through our Kris Kringle Picks as well, that range from PhP 50 to PhP 1,000.
8. Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti – Php 300
Hope you guys don’t mind me adding my mom’s backyard business, Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti. This is perfect for those with an obsession with cheese because humility aside, my mom makes the best kesong puti (white cheese) in the world! Seriously! It’s handmade and homemade, using fresh carabao’s milk that we source from our province, Nueva Ecija. One pack has eight thick slices (around 300 grams) that can fit into eight large pan de sals. To order, just send my mom a message at +639175024966, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Something Different Bakeshop – around PhP 150 to PhP 300
For those looking to give food and sweets, here’s a treat! Something Different Bakeshop has some of the yummiest delicacies I’ve ever tasted, wrapped and prepped in Christmas packaging already. Known for their chicken empanada, palmiers, sans rival cookies, cheese rolls, and various breads, there’s definitely something for everyone. You can visit them at Salcedo Market in Makati (7am to 2pm) and Greenhills Weekend Market (6am to 9am) on Saturdays, and Eton Centris (5am to 2pm) and Connecticut Weekend Market (6am to 10am) on Sundays. Or you can call and order at (02) 425 6460.
10. Bow House – starts at PhP 950
A little random, but deserves the shout out nonetheless—if you know anyone who’s obsessed with his or her pet, I think this would be a creative gift idea. Bow House provides modern barkitecture and offers different kinds of beds for dogs of all shapes, breeds, and sizes. Booboo and I are definitely in love with his Muttress!
10 Tried and Tested Local Brands to Buy Your Christmas Gifts From