After about 30 years in the export-manufacturing industry, mother-and-daughter team Janet and Janice Chua had a surplus of unique raw materials from export production and a keen desire to make sure that they wouldn’t go to waste. They began creating functional and stylish bags and accessories that highlight local materials and traditional craftsmanship for the quintessential Island Girl in 2005.
Starting out as a spin-off venture from their export-manufacturing company, Cyprea International – they were experienced wholesale manufacturers with an established customer base all over the world and a network of artisan communities all over Cebu. As the local export manufacturing industry began to slow down, they branched out into retail and building Island Girl to be the brand that it is today.
With a substantial amount of knowledge and experience under their belt, they developed an insight for creating designs that would appeal to the global market by translating contemporary trends using local materials and techniques. They established their first flagship store on the beautiful shores of Boracay, a tourist hotspot, in 2005.
In 2007, Island Girl was working with around 5 artisan communities. Over the years, they have since employed 15 communities comprised of mostly home-based women artisans across Cebu, who craft their bags, sandals and accessories.
Since then, Island Girl has been taking part in markets which support local artisan communities like ArteFino, Katutubo, Manila Fame, and establishing stores in tourist destinations all over the Philippines. With the increasing appreciation for locally made goods and the brand’s contribution to facilitating the transfer of traditional handcrafting skills from one generation to another, Island Girl wants to keep adapting and innovating to keep sustaining the communities that depend on them for livelihood.
Island Girl is a resort accessories brand that highlights the abundance of natural materials found in Cebu and its neighboring islands. Their raw materials are carefully harvested from the Philippines’ bountiful mountains and seas to create a wide range of authentically homegrown and hand-crafted Filipino products with original designs, exceptional quality, and good value for money.
Island Girl’s vision is to put the Philippines on the map through one-of-a-kind resort accessories that can easily go from day to night and shorelines to city lines. By becoming the go-to brand for local bags and accessories that highlight homegrown materials and traditional skills, Island Girl aims to create world-class products while sustaining the livelihood of Filipino artisan communities.