Entrepreneurial experiment, a creative challenge

EVERY year, Cebu’s art scene continues to flourish. With the birth of new art hubs and concept stores in the city, more and more local artists and crafters are starting to showcase their masterpieces, from beautifully hand-painted items and assiduously handmade accessories to eco-friendly artisan soaps and shampoo bars, and creative souvenirs.

Graphic designer Katrina Gem Paray recently opened a 75-square-meter concept arts store at Bonifacio District and Faustina Center which houses 30 brands—both established and up-and-coming—from all over the country.

The store, Makers at Dear Paper, is definitely a haven not only for art aficionados but also for everybody who wants to fancy their whimsical minds. It is well-stocked with quirkiness; the place is as well-designed as the products, featuring a minimalist gray wall with just a pop of baby blue.

Colorful wooden blocks and display stands with different products on them—jewelry by, bags by Estille and soy candles by Port Candle Co—welcome you as you enter the store. Behind the display, is a workshop table with rectangular- and circular-shaped chairs. On the left, you can spot the gold metal shelves and a dark brown wooden peg board filled with all things beautiful by Aga Coffee, Kawaii Crochet Cebu, Happy Garaje and The Mermaid Collection, to name a few. While on the right side, is where the front desk, gift wrapping station and the consultation table are. Pins, buttons, art stuff and stickers are displayed on the decorative wall mirror at the back of the space.

What started as a shop for her own brand Dear Paper—an online shop offering whimsical wrappers and stationary—became an art hub for budding artists and creative entrepreneurs. Katrina wanted the store to be more of a space for artistic expression, where people learned and shared ideas; an entrepreneurial experiment while supporting the creative economy.

“Living in a country where making art for a living is said to be impractical, I am lucky enough to have parents who are so supportive of me and my love for printing and graphic designing. That’s why I want to provide a space for artists and hand-crafters who want to share their masterpieces while making money as well. I also wanted to gather people, to encourage them to appreciate more our local makers,” said Katrina.

Makers at Dear Paper at Bonifacio District and Faustina Center is open daily from 12 noon until 9 p.m.


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