About Soliha Designs
About Our People
About Our People
In 2016 we left Australia for the Philippines with our three boy’s to set up life in a new country and to experience a world different to the one we knew.
Not long after arriving, we began to discover hidden pockets of talented craftspeople, many of whom had been honing their craft for decades and handing down their skills through generations. Some of these skills were introduced as far back as the Spanish occupation in the 16-19th centuries.
We were enthralled by what these craftspeople were making and decided we wanted to help these communities grow and prosper by sharing their creations with the world. Soon after that Soliha Designs was born.
The first product we decided to feature is a range of handmade crochet bags which share an inspiring story. Their makers are all either inmates or ex-inmates of a women’s prison in Mindanao, Southern Philippines. Over 250 women work as part of the bag project and are able to earn an income which would otherwise not be possible. Upon release from prison, they are given the option to continue their work in bag workshop outside the prison and are offered good wages and flexible work conditions.
In addition to the great story behind the bags- they share some rather fabulous attributes. The bags are vegan, extremely tough wearing, sustainable, very unique and we think, quite beautiful.
Soon to arrive are our hand-woven cotton rugs which are soft and beautifully crafted. Made on large timber looms – the weaver stretches the fibres across a frame while it clacks back and forth. This work takes patience and many years to perfect and the result is really special and quite unique.
We are here to connect with the people of these communities who produce such beautiful products with love and care. By taking their stories and showcasing their products to a global audience we are hoping to improve their lives and the lives of their families and wider communities.
Setting up a new life and business here has proven to be a whole lot harder than we ever imagined – but we are pleased we did it. We’d like to think we’ve become a whole lot more resilient.
We’ve all learned a lot about life and what’s really important. The kids still look wide eyed at the extreme poverty that exists here. But it’s the generosity and kindness of the Filipino people that will stick with us always.
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