I've been reading Daniel H. Pink's A Whole New Mind these past few days and one of the assignments given in the book is to go on a walk to observe what I find is great design-wise. I chose to drop by Our Tribe Outlet Maginhawa (yes, the foodie street in Teacher's Village, Quezon City). Tucked along the hip restaurants and a convent (it's unassuming after all) is this fabulous shop selling bags and sandals made of genuine leather. It celebrates Filipino craftsmanship and really, they have superb quality goods. (Fact: Back in uni, I saved up for an Our Tribe handbag. It was a black hobo. Sadly, it was stolen inside our cafeteria. As in the whole bag with my cards, phone, valuables and books inside. Really traumatic. Key takeaway from that incident? Our Tribe bags look fancier than their price points!)
Contrary to popular belief, their Maginhawa outlet is not a factory or discount store. It is simply their HQ and flagship store. You can expect their widest stocks and fresh-off-the-cutting-board bags and sandals. There are even some bags which cannot be found in their mall branches. I love looking around here because the staff are kind and accommodating even if I don't have money at the moment to afford anything. In fact, when I asked them if I could take pictures so I could feature them on my blog, they gladly obliged. They asked me if I could write that they offer repairs and zipper replacements. Of course, I said yes.
They have small leather goods too like wallets, card holders, and cute animal keychains. They even have coin purses for those of us who take public transportation and want to separate those coins from our main wallets.
I used to own another black satchel from them four years ago but I have since donated it to Human Nature's fundraising garage sale last year. I also owned a pair of pretty turquoise flip flops from them which have outlasted my Havaianas. I have worn them through rain and shine and they only left my feet when I gave them away to charity.
Now that I'm 30, I find that my taste has evolved to quality, sturdy goods. I have a neutral palette preference now. I also find myself gravitating towards items which will last me through. I have stopped giving into fast fashion, so local brands like Our Tribe is on my radar. I will definitely buy a handbag or a pair of sandals from them again when I have the means to do so.
If you want Filipino-made leather goods which are reasonably-priced, go for Our Tribe! Always keep an eye on your Our Tribe bag though because they do look posh so don't be like me!