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As J&T Express '#1 Certified Localista, Upcycling Startup Craftcha Gets Free Shipping Services

Anjie lou delos Reyes
The ten winners of the Certified Localista campaign by J&T Express Philippines will enjoy better, quicker, and more efficient delivery services worth PHP20,000, but without having to pay for them. They now have more significant opportunities to market and promote their goods and services to locations outside their own regions and are among the world's most successful sellers. Pasig-based online company Craftcha is leading at the number one spot, turning upcycling recycled items such as flour sacks, fabric scraps, old jeans, and obsolete clothes into tote bags, pants, masks, and everyday items.

As J&T Express '#1 Certified Localista, Upcycling Startup Craftcha Gets Free Shipping Services
As J&T Express '#1 Certified Localista, Upcycling Startup Craftcha Gets Free Shipping Services

Out of more than a thousand total Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao entries, Craftcha's entry gained a ranking score of 98.33 percent. The winners who were decided together with DTI were eligible by the following criteria: 50 percent content or the power of storytelling to explain their offers; 30 percent ingenuity of their communications as they expressed their ideas; and 20 percent authenticity or the genuineness of the goods and the degree to which they used homegrown materials.

J&T Express has launched Certified Localista to support online-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and celebrate their founders' hard work, innovation, and nationalism.

Craftcha founder Merlita Manicad shares that during Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, her company was motivated by her harrowing experience: "We set up a business that advocates cloth waste management to minimize the use of plastic bags." These, together with our passion for making products, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and environmental concern, have motivated us to constantly produce sustainable and purposeful goods. In its environmentally friendly, practical, and sustainable goods, Craftcha takes pride.

J&T Express Philippines Vice President Zoe Chi notes that "Filipino entrepreneurs deserve to be supported and recognized for their creativity and tenacity, especially those who have gone above and beyond in the midst of the mobility constraints caused by the pandemic."

In a famous TV series, a budding localist can land a guest slot. This happened to Venus Hate, who created and runs Venus's Philocalist, a Makati-based startup that serves their favorite drinks to coffee and tea lovers. Venus shares that her business idea originated from a layover in Japan where she learned how "Japanese people love and enjoy coffee drips and loose-leaf tea." Her flight attendant experience and credentials also gave her a more in-depth understanding of how the traditional Asian beverage is made by other cultures. Shortly afterward, Venus appeared on national TV for an interview on the ANC Conversations program as she introduced her little biz. In the Certified Lokalista campaign, she is the 2nd place winner.

Often, the output of an organization will satisfy childhood expectations. The Arts and Crafts Handicrafts Store of Sheila-Ann Soriano proudly offers handcrafted woodworks by her very own father, who has been in the industry for many years. The exact needs and expectations of customers are fulfilled by us. We build the imagination of customers with beauty, ingenuity, and craftsmanship,' shares the 21-year-old lady who ultimately fulfilled her college dream of marketing her father's talent.

Some of the Certified Localistas are starting their business because they want to influence their neighborhood. Eco-friendly alternatives such as washable and reusable cotton diapers, drool pads for baby carriers, back towels, cloth menstrual pads, face masks, and bags, among others, are provided by Pearl Sewing Services to customers. The zero-waste lifestyle of owner Jo Anne Pearl Tadeo inspired her to pursue this form of business. In the force of creativity, Made by Pearl beliefs. "We knew right off the bat that we wanted to provide solutions to our long-standing issues," says the Pampanga-based businessman.

With locally-made women's shoes and sandals from Marikina City and Liliw, Laguna, the fifth J&T Certified Localista Top Winner, Uniquely Online Shop, and Gawang Pinoy Shoe, enhances the livelihood of Filipino artisans. This SME has been able to upscale the company through a range of resellers as its consumer scope has grown to 40,000 through Facebook. We are alleviating our hardworking shoemakers' livelihood by selling these items while also highlighting the talent of Filipino artisans. We are incredibly proud that our shoemakers can produce sophisticated shoe designs made with 100% accuracy," shares Mary Chris Koh and Leo Fe Barte, Uniquely Online Store and Gawang Pinoy Shoe owners."

The other companies that complete the J&T Certified Localista winners are Germano's Chili, which is owned by Gerome Panlilio and offers chili garlic products; Ivy Tirazona's Meridian Pet Supplies, which meets the pet needs of residents of Quezon City; Diana Marquez's CHYReativehandSZ, which manufactures and distributes sewn and crocheted products; Batik Atbp, the souvenir shop of Mikel Mendoza, which promotes the Lucille A. Dalida, for gourmet tuyo purchases.

To further champion the Certified Localistas of the region, more exciting events are lined up. Follow the Facebook page of J&T Express ( or Instagram at @jntexpressph to learn more regarding this.

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