Creating is in my blood. My maternal grandmother used to make quilts and sell it to farmers during the harvest season. She also embroiders blankets, tablecloth and tea towels. When I was in gradeschool, my mom used to sew pencil cases and throwpillow cases and sells it as a way of augmenting our family’s income. I used to sit under her sewing machine, cutting away the excess threads from the things she has made.

She is into all sorts of creative pursuits. I remember our morning walks where she collects wildflowers, dries them and turns them into pretty home décors. She also makes handmade paper and turns them into lamps, scrapbooks, greeting cards and envelopes. Now, she is into making artisan coco/palm sugar and product packaging.

I practically grew up around my mother’s handmade creations and much of what I know now about crafting, I learned it from her. Growing up, I used to make greeting cards as well and jewelries to give as gifts to family and friends. I’d embroider my shirts or bags to give it character. I enjoy upcycling things and breathing new life to it.

My handmade life slowed down though when I started working. But always, the thought of creating stuff haunted me. Whenever I get the time, I just create whatever I can, depending on the materials I have on hand—jewelries, pen cases, home décors, bags.

I had the perfect excuse to craft when I was preparing for my wedding in 2009. I made most of our wedding décor, my husband’s boutonniere, my bracelet. I was bombarded with ideas and my creative mind went into overdrive. I also stumbled upon Etsy around this time.

Months after the wedding, I was still reeling from all the creative stuff I have in my head and out of nowhere, the idea of opening an Etsy store hit me. I thought about it for days before I finally told myself, “why the hell not?!”

And so in between my day job (as a photojournalist), I’d create for my Etsy shop—not just to sell but as a way to relax, to calm down, to find time for the self, to cheer up, and as an outlet for the product ideas I have in my head.

When I gave birth to my daughter in 2013, I knew I no longer wanted to be a photojournalist. The hours are cruel and it often entails a lot of out-of-town travels. I just want to be a mom and be there for my kid as she grows up without killing my creative side. And so this shop is perfect. It allows me to spend quality time with my daughter (she can ask me to read her stories anytime of the day or we can sing as I craft) as I continue to grow artistically. And who knows, I just might pass on the gift of creativity to her and maybe, she too will find joy in creating one day.