By KC Santos
PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA- Eileen Menguito believes journal writing is important in cultivating literacy among young Filipinos. “The more you write, the more educated you become. When you are enlightened, the bigger your aspirations become,” says Eileen.
Eileen promotes journal writing through her business Free Verse Paperie which she runs with partner Louie Gutierrez.
Established late last year, Free Verse Paperie sells hand-made journals. Eileen says the business aims to strengthen hand-made products in the Philippines amid numerous mass-produced commodities that often sacrifices quality.
Eileen shares that the products they sell use acid and lignin free paper which they woul manually bind to become journals that are not as expensive as imported paper products.
“We just thought that we don’t really need to depend on foreign manufacturers when we can make our more affordable version of the same product but with added value,” Eileen says.
Majority of the paper mills that have devised ways to use less wood pulp in producing acid-free paper sheets are based abroad, which is why the materials Eileen and Louie use are imported.
Eileen says the kind of paper they use “is fit for those who take writing to heart.”
Acid-free paper is ideal for journals because it does not undergo discoloration. If treated carefully, journals made from this kind of paper can last up to 500 years.
The cover designs are mostly bought from abroad but Eileen and Louie are now working on original “Old Manila” designs. For now, consistent customer favorites are their vintage and whimsical designs.
“We made sure that the covers would excite the customers and would get them in the mood to write,” Eileen says.
Eileen, who is a freelance writer, shares their business is always a “struggle for perfection” because their products are all hand-made and still prone to wear and tear.
Their products can be found in bazaars. Eileen and Louie sell their mini-journals for P50, their Carnival Collection Doodle Books for P115 and their hard-bound journals from P250 to P325. They also accept customized work for companies and organizations ordering in bulk.
The two entrepreneurs say they will be putting up a store in Power Plant Mall by October.
For Eileen, journal writing will remain an indispensable tool for anyone who wishes to organize and write down thoughts and beliefs.
“We can still express our vision through blogs but given all the distractions found online, it’s still better if you note it down in something you can take anywhere with you,” Eileen says.
Free Verse Paperie journals are one of the products exhibited at the 15th Food and Drinks Asia 2011 and Food Franchising 2011 currently on-going at the World Trade Center in Pasay City until September 4.
Get more information about Free Verse Paperie
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