by Bianca Garcia
As soon as I first heard about kubo, a line of handcrafted goods by Filipino artisans, I was immediately drawn to the bright colors and the beautiful designs. All kubo products are handmade in the Philippines, and feature traditional Filipino techniques, combined with a modern aesthetic. I chatted with co-founders Rumples Estacio-Miranda and Katrina Pesigan to learn more about them and their products.
Where are you from originally? Where do you live now?
Rumples: Kat and I are sisters. We were both born and raised in Manila. I moved to New York City in 2013 to study Fashion Merchandising in at Parsons.
Kat: I moved to New York City in 2008. Rumples and I are both married with kids and live with our families in Brooklyn now.
What do you do?
Rumples: I am the co-founder of kubo together with my sister. I am also a full-time mom to my 16-month old son.
Kat: I work as a public health consultant and am building the business of kubo with my sister.
What is kubo? What inspired you to start it?
Rumples: kubo is short for “bahay kubo” in Tagalog and refers to a traditional Filipino home. kubo creates consciously crafted goods for the modern lifestyle through partnerships with local artisan communities in the Philippines. We take pride in the recognition of traditional Filipino craftsmanship and opening it to a global community.
Kat: kubo is a reminder of home and the comfort it brings. We launched during the Summer of 2016 with a mission to stay connected to our roots, promote traditional methods of craftsmanship, and to sustain the communities that make them.
What's your favorite piece from your line?
Rumples: The Bayong Tote is my favorite piece in our latest collection. It’s a reinvented version of our bestselling Boho Tote. It can fit a lot of stuff and be used every day - as a work bag, a shopping tote, a beach bag, or whatever!
Kat: My favorite piece is the Inabel striped throw - it is a true all around piece. I take it with me whenever I travel. It’s great to have, especially if you have kids. I have a 7-year old and a 9-month old, so the throw is a staple in our stroller.
What's been the most memorable story you have since starting your business?
Rumples: The firsts are always memorable - our first online order, the first summer market we joined, our first pop up, first collab with another brand.
Kat: Also being able to meet fellow entrepreneurs in events, on social media, through peer connections - there is no shortage of advice and support!
What's your favorite Filipino food?
Rumples: It’s such a tough question to answer because I absolutely love Filipino food and I can’t really pick just one dish. My list of favorites include adobong pusit (adobo-style squid), my lola’s (grandmother’s) kare kare (meat and vegetable stew in peanut sauce), my mom’s binagoongan (pork sauteed with shrimp paste), and my mother-in-law’s adobo and monggo (mung beans). I also love taho (sweet silken tofu snack) and I miss it oh so much! You just won't find anything like the street vendor taho we have in the Philippines here in New York!
Where can we find kubo? How can people get in touch with you?
Thanks so much, Rumples and Kat!
This dynamic duo created a discount code exclusively for the BOSFilipinos community! Use code BOSFILIPINOS to enjoy 10% off your purchase until 3/31/18. You can also share this discount link via email or social media. Your discount will automatically be applied at checkout.