The Philippines, not unlike many countries, has a wealth of artisan talent - communities that create truly unique works of art. Yet this talent is often tucked away in areas hidden from the discerning eyes and hands that can appreciate them for what they’re worth. The markets for their products exist, but geography keeps them separated.
The idea of LIKHÂ started when I passed a row of makers at the town square in my old hometown. They had goods laid out on a large piece of *banig* (a type of handwoven mat commonly found in Filipino households) by the side of the road, gathering dust from passing cars and jeepneys. I picked up a mortar and pestle made of white marble - it was exquisite. The craftsmanship was impeccable. It would have belonged in a luxury gift shop or an expensive kitchen counter. I asked how much it costs and they gave me such an absurdly small amount it left me speechless. I was angry. Flabbergasted. I knew something had to be done.
My mind raced with ideas on how to address this. Those ideas became mini projects and market tests, and these in turn became LIKHÂ, a fledgling enterprise that aims to give these artisans access to the people who see the value in their creations. LIKHÂ - what better name than the Tagalog word for “create” to celebrate the craft as well as the artisan.
We’re now working with a few communities and non-profits directly, giving them insight into what the market wants and collaborating with them on the design process so we can infuse a modern aesthetic into their creations while staying true to time-honored techniques and traditions. In doing so, we make sure they get a fair share, and reinvest part of the proceeds in programs to help them develop sustainable
This is why we’re here. It’s a big issue, much bigger than we could hope to address, but we can do our part. Welcome to the journey - it’s wonderful to have you here with us. We hope you appreciate these pieces of art and the time, talent, and tradition that go into them as much as we do.