Baao-born Bidibidi’s Button Business

Pardon the alliteration. 🙂

I headed over to SM Megamall on Sunday last week after a brief stop at my brother’s little Christmas house at the SM Mall of Asia (go forth and buy! hehe).

I was really supposed to do a feature on this interesting company that sells fashion accessories from recycled/ re-used buttons called F.A.R.M. (Fabulously, Absolutely Rural-Made).

I headed there straightaway, and shook the hand of F.A.R.M. founder Bernadette De Los Santos. She remembered that I’d sent them an e-mail about 3 weeks back, and I explained that the typhoon came and we were just swamped at the newsroom.

With F.A.R.M. founder Ms. Bernadette De Los Santos after our interview

Anyway, I first shopped for bracelets, and went through an entire pile. Bought 5 different colors as gifts, and I have my female officemates in mind.

So Ms. De Los Santos and I sat down at Bo’s Cafe and talked about how her company grew from a simple side-business to her quilt enterprise to what it is now – a truly global brand that has helped spread environmental consciousness and livened up income in her hometown.

You see many advocacy-based social enterprises coming up, and we should all be glad.

She seemed very into the arts. This, coupled with a keen business sense (Ateneo graduate) and her sister’s blogging-savvy has catapulted their little button-stringing business to success.

And I liked how she would sort of give this cheeky smile and raise both her shoulders in a sheepish giggle after she would say something profound. You guys can check out their blog here. I have yet to publish the story, though. Gah!!

Anyway, I’m enjoying my bracelet a lot – I kid you not. Mainly because it looks so nice, and I find myself tinkering with it when I space out.

My bracelet’s called ‘Zebra.’ Matches my taste for monochromatic clothes.

And it has a sweet little heart-shaped clasp. That arrow straight through the heart.

It looks so interesting too. Like a talking point for when you have a want for conversation. I’m buying more. They’re normally priced at P175, but she gave it to me for less when in a bundle. Yeay.

And it gives a slight rattle when you move your wrist. Definitely a good fashion find because, as Ms. De Los Santos pointed out, people feel good that their purchases actually go somewhere – like the schooling of a child or the income of a poor family in Camarines Sur.


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