If there is a thread between the past and the future, it would be the people and its art.
In an interview with Chris Gomez, founder of Lunâ, an artisanal boutique and café store in Cagayan de Oro City who recently opened a 2nd store at SM City CDO Uptown NorthWing, depicted how the store was conceptualized and his vision moving forward.
“I want to look back on our past to move and create new and dimensional artisan hip products,” said Chris.
Lunâ, means a Piece of Land or Area where designers and manufacturers can display their crafts.
“We don't have a platform for makers and producers. Taman ra ta ug bazars, seasonal ra kaayo [we are limited to bazars which are very seasonal],” he said.
Chris, owner and designer at Chris Gomez Creative Design has participated in various national exporter shows such as Manila Fame, among others, but sad to say, he said, his products are not known in the community where he lives.
“We wanted to have a physical store so that people in Northern Mindanao and Cagayan de Oro have access for our products,” he added.
There are about 19 brands housed in Lunâ varied from gifts, toys and houseware, home décor, lamps and lighting, fashion compliments and accessories, arts and crafts, gift items and souvenirs that are locally-made and design-forward quality products.
Sustainability-driven initiatives are the reason why Lunâ exists.
“To connect or reconnect regenerative materials and artisans enterprises with these designers so they can codesign for conscious customers like you and me,” he said.
The store is also curated.
“Because our product is not the typical, pasalubong and souvenir, to sustain us, we need to double time working with marketing,” Chris said.
Chris is doing product development for them [designers] every two months. “Like me, personally designing them for the new collection, dili pwede nga balik balik lng ang product [products should not be repeated]”, he said.
Lunâ also welcomes small batch manufacturers.
“Kung five or six pieces ra iyang nahimo, dawaton namo para ma-display. But kailangan, design-driven siya and good quality,” he said.
(If the designer can only do five or six pieces, we welcome the products for a display in the store as long as it is design-driven and good quality)
No one should be left behind because the products are always elevated.
This is what clients want, he said, new collections from time to time.
The store offers locally made design driven quality products from Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of Northern Mindanao.
The birth of Lunâ
It was initiated in 2018, myself only, then I presented it to the Ayala group, Chris said.
During the height of pandemic, 2020, “I presented it to a friend who manufactures products,” then Oro Creative Inc. was created together with four manufacturers Pat Gabutina, Coy Bajuyo of Sea Glass and Mike Bacol, artist.
“It's actually the art and design of the place man gyud mag hatag ug kalag [which will really give its soul]” he said.
“We are actually, our ancestors are carvers, weavers, potters, carpenters and makers,” Chris added.
Products that represent our heritage plus craft equals the soul of the place, he said. (JMOR/PIA10)