WHILE channeling her expertise in design and aesthetics, this young lady is able to start a ripple of hope benefitting stay-at-home mothers and victims of human trafficking in communities in Davao City.
Yana Santiago, 24, a graduate of BS Clothing Technology at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, is the over-all in-charge of the operations for Olivia & Diego.
"I am really passionate at social entrepreneurship. I knew that transitioning this energy to a business would be a great idea," she explained.
Olivia & Diego is a a social business that works with communities of stay-at-home mothers and human trafficking survivors to create upcycled jewelry made out of fabrics from discarded cotton-knitted shirts.
Santiago shared on their public website, OliviaandDiego.com, the etymology of their brand's name.
"On a week-long trip in Mati City, Davao Oriental, I and my colleage, met a married Moroccan people, who were backpacking their way across the Philippines," she furthered.
The couple whose names were Olivia and Diego, inspired her for their passion and positive outlook on life.
"They are committed on giving back to nature, to other people, and making memories along the way. Our encounter with them shaped the values of the company we built," she added.
The upcycled jewelry business of Santiago and her team of seven (including her) started way back on 2014 in this city.
Olivia & Diego products are mostly exported to different parts of the world. It includes, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Japan and Singapore.
"We also have a few consignments with some shops in Davao City. We send supplies to the EchoStore, Sea Green Café, Felcris Centrale, and Got Heart Foundation," she said.
They also have an active page on Facebook (Olivia & Diego) to cater to a broader market.
Santiago also thinks that there is a significant growth for locally produced materials which she said was a good sign since more Filipinos are discovering the wonders that their fellowmen creates.
"I have observed that there is a growing market for homemade products in Davao City. They are slowly becoming advocates of homegrown pieces which is starting to be a trend. They are finally beginning to learn that we have good quality products and therefore shifting their interest from imported good to local ones".