Betis Crafts featured in ELLE magazine spread-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
GUAGUA, Pampanga — Betis Crafts, one of this town’s most lucrative and well-established wood art and furniture brand, was recently featured in ELLE Decoration Philippines’ December 2012-January 2013 issue, sharing pages with the best brands and companies in the country and the world.
The eight-page feature presented Pampanga furniture crafts and wood products. According to Myrna Bituin, wife of BCI president Jose Bituin, the feature presented how Kapampangan artistry could be at par with that of other wood artists in the world.
“We are more proud about the fact that our products are conceptualized by Kapampangans and made by Kapampangans through the traditional way possible at our disposal and we shy away from mechanical mass production and depend mostly on the art and craft of Kapampangan workers,” Bituin said.
Betis Crafts Inc. (BCI), the renowned family-owned furniture manufacturer of Barangay San Miguel, Betis, Guagua, is a recognized leader in hand-carved and solid wood furniture and accessories like reproduction chairs, tables, mirrors, consoles, bedroom pieces and case goods.
Despite the advent of modern equipment in furniture production, BCI believes in the value of labor intensive hand-carved furniture. This serves two purposes: dedication to hand-carving ensures jobs for local woodcarvers that continue the legacy of wood-carving in the community, and provision of a stable niche for BCI products that are a class to themselves.
BCI has a strong following in the local market, and also exports its products primarily to the US, Middle East, Australia, and Europe. BCI has even furthered its export transactions to Australia, Japan and Russia. Wood quality became a significant concern when BCI went into the export market in the late 70s.
The Department of Science and Technology through the Forest Products Research and Development Institute provided BCI with a package of assistance to put up its first kiln dryer to meet the moisture content requirement of the export market. FPRDI also assisted in the installation of several finishing spray booths, acquisition of centralized dust collection system, and carried out wood processing trainings for BCI workers.
The firm started as JB Woodcraft in 1978, and has spawned several spin-offs with Betis Craft Inc. as its mother company with 600 employees.
In 1988, it received the Golden Shell Award for Export for its “exemplary performance in the promotion of non-traditional Philippine products as a shining example of what the Filipino can do to advance the future of the country.”
It is also the “Best Employer: Techno Center Locator Parangal ng Pangkabuhayan 2005” given by the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center, and one of the “Outstanding Entrepreneurs in 2007” by Go Negosyo (Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship).
It has even branched out to three other companies managed by the children: the More Than A Chair Inc., the JB Woodcraft and the Woodsource, which supplies raw materials for production.
BCI products are also carried by popular international firms like “And So To Bed” in the United Kingdom and the Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware in the United States.
Bituin said that while other countries have double their production of mass manufacture furniture, BCI merely intensified their production, made new researches and capitalized on the value, beauty and complexity of hand-carved furniture that can be taken down, shipped and reassembled to buyers abroad.
Soon enough, BCI products have graced the living rooms, private homes and castles of royalty in Asia and Europe, rich collectors and the new class of middle class and the nouveau riche.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 17, 2013.