THESE days, a lot of people have given up on art. Fortunately, this was not the case of creative director and calligrapher Charmaine Pia Tan, who left her corporate job years ago to take a shot at being a “starving artist,” as what she calls herself.
Charm happily recalled how she grew up surrounded by arts and crafts in her household that even until now, everyone in her family is involved in creating and making art as a profession in their spare time.
After leaving the corporate world, she became the creative director of Foreverafternoon, a brand that offers invitations and stationery, and a calligrapher mostly for weddings. She then launched her stationary brand called Thingamabobs.
Thingamabobs has been around for a few years already, offering a wide variety of stationery items and supplies, displaying its products in a few local craft stores in the metro. However, when the pandemic hit, most of these craft stores were forced to close, at least, temporarily for some.
Left with nothing much to do during the quarantine, Charm and her team decided to launch an online store for Thingamabobs’ stationery products only to test the waters and still continue to sell the products.
A month or so after launching her online store, other local craft stores sent out notices that they were closing permanently. Saddened by the turn of events, it was also that time that inspiration struck; Charm wanted to give a new home to fellow artists and crafters who may need a venue to sell and showcase their works in the time of Covid-19.
“I toyed with the idea for a few weeks, deliberating if it could actually work. Then one day, I woke up and felt great about the idea for the first time since it was playing in my head, and so I went ahead with it!” Charm shared. She gathered artists, crafters, makers, creatives, small business owners and entrepreneurs from all around the Philippines.
On Sept. 8 last year, Thingamabobs Collective was born—now offering a bunch of wonderful “whozits and whatzits” galore from different creative geniuses—aiming to bring local products and brands closer to curious consumers, and ignite passion in more crafters, makers, artists and creatives.
Thingamabobs Collective has two programs in its collective family. One is for artists and creatives, where the team uses their artworks on the brand’s stationery products and they get a commission for every product sold with their artwork on it. The other one is for crafters, (makers, entrepreneurs) who have their own products and brands, and they sell with Thingamabobs Collective under consignment.
Thingamabobs Collective is happy to welcome crafters, artists and the like who have their own handmade, handcrafted or originally designed products, to be part of its family.
“We live for #SupportLocalPH. We are starting small, but our dreams are big,” Charm said. The collective store is also eyeing to open a physical store in the future so consumers can personally check out the many awe-inspiring products local creatives have to offer.