While the Philippine leather industry is facing manifold shifts, one product store using leather as raw material has withstand these challenges for more than 35 years now.
Leather products are known for their durability, elegance and appearances not easily affected by time. In fact, as time goes by, the look is enhanced.
In addition, these products are quite popular in the market due to its style and trendy look.
Our Tribe store, owned by Mario Tayag, Sr., is one of the best sources of leather goods in the Philippines that are handcrafted from carabao’s and cow’s hides. Other than handbags, Our Tribe also manufactures shoes, sandals, slippers, belts, wallets and other accessories for men, women, and kids.
The store, located at 167 Maginhawa St., Sikatuna Village, UP Diliman, Quezon City, started its operation on October 9, 1972. It later opened its branches in different supermalls in Metro Manila that include the SM Southmall, SM Dasmariñas, Market Market, SM Fairview, SM Megamall, and SM North.
Dorothy Cajulao, Our Tribe administrative supervisor, said, the leather industry is experiencing a slowdown due mainly to lack of carabao hide supply and fast-phasing fashion trends.
Leather products, however, continue to thrive because it never runs out of customers here and abroad, she said.
“Our buyers are mostly balikbayan. They love to bring it to other countries and give to their friends and relatives as a present,” she said.
She also said that they go on sale during their anniversaries and during sale seasons in the supermalls. On those occasions, she added, more customers come in to buy products of their choice.
“There are also customers who ask for reservations for particular leather product and buys it when the store anniversary comes,” she added.
Cajulao proudly said that their products are known for elegance and delicate craftwork that make them irresistible for customers. Our Tribe products are designed by Maria Angela “Lala” Tayag-Fajardo, the owner’s daughter.
Among the leather goods that the Our Tribe store offer are:
- Leather bags, totes, and purses. Meticulously designed, these bags come in different sizes, colors, and shape that suit anyone’s preferences.
- Footwear. The footwear for children, men and women, suits the taste of today’s fashion trend. It has several designs and colors to satisfy one’s tang for fashion.
- Accessories. These include wallets, key chains, belts, mobile phone case, and bracelets. They come in different varieties for men and women with wonderfully designed shapes and styles.
Cajulao said their products are giving preferences to quality more than quantity.