NOTHING beats handcrafted furniture if you are envisioning to elevate your spaces. This is what homegrown brand AB Frank Collective promises its clientele, and it’s true for all the good reasons.
Last November 25, I happened to visit the recently-concluded Davao Art Kollective 2023 at La Herencia Davao Pavilion along F. Torres St., Davao City. One of the participating exhibitors is AB Frank Collective, one of the product lines of AB Frank Interiors.
Their booth stood out among all exhibitors as they showcased live weaving and wood carving of furniture.
“We wanted to highlight that Davao City’s hand craftsmanship is very much alive through AB Frank Collective,” AB Frank Collective’s assistant general manager Kirvy Waga said in an interview.
AB Frank Collective is a Davao-based designer and manufacturer that offers a curated selection of high-quality synthetic rattan furniture, solid wood furniture, custom upholstery services, and meticulously crafted woven accents and furnishings.
During the three-day exhibit, Dabawenyos, especially art enthusiasts were able to witness what AB Frank Collective has to offer. I even tried weaving a chair myself (I only did two strands though, but it’s fun!) I asked their in-house weaver, Dennis, how long it takes to finish a chair, for instance, he said two days or three is enough. The design of the chair he was referring to was part of the brand’s Sunset collection.
Associate designer Spencer Tan shared that this is their first collection since the inception of AB Frank Collective.
“It is our first collection and we wanted to come up with simple but elegant and functional designs. It is called sunset because most of the furniture is patterned from the colors of sunsets - cream red and orange,” he said.
He added that they made the shapes basic like squares, ovals, and rectangles but still wanted it to be unique the AB Frank way.
“For this collection, we just wanted to show our clients what we can do but expect that we will be launching more innovative and creative designs and collections in the future,” Tan emphasized adding that they will always highlight Mindanao culture and arts in their designs.
In Davao and Mindanao markets in general, furniture is generally mass-produced through machines. While machine designs serve an equally reasonable purpose, AB Frank Collective head designer Jirah Merquita underscored handcrafted furniture that speaks volumes of a blend of elegance, comfort, and nature.
“This is where we come in. We want to introduce to more clients in Davao the weaved, carved, and generally handcrafted furniture,” she said.
She also highlighted that if there’s an increased interest moving forward, the business can be a channel for helping a community of artists as all their weavers and carvers are locals.
“Apart from the guaranteed quality, it is also our way of preserving the craftsmanship of these artists. We see that producing handcrafted furniture is our way of cultural preservation,” Merquita said.
Why it started
Waga narrated that AB Frank Collective was created to fill the gap felt by designers and architects who have projects in Mindanao.
“It’s a common problem among designers and architects. They find it hard to find a local supplier for these types of furniture,” she said.
She was referring to clients who have refined and discerning tastes when it comes to furniture.
“Usually they source out from Cebu or even abroad. So we decided to explore this opportunity because we know that we can do it locally,” Waga said.
At present, AB Frank Collective is working on its showroom to cater to more clients. Their current client profiles are businesses in hospitality establishments, eco-tourism sites, and museums, with a small portion of residential projects.
“In AB Frank Collective, we really marry the craftsmanship of our artists and the vision of our clientele,” she said.
To know more about the brand, check and message their social media page at https://www.facebook.com/abfrankcollectivedvo.
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