If you’re looking for unique furniture and home items (like that rattan bed you saw on Pinterest), you need to visit this new furniture store in Taguig.
Casa Consunji is Maggie Wilson-Consunji’s newest venture with business partners Parul Shah and Janela Cuaton that boasts of beautiful pieces sourced from all over the world and are perfect for the bohemian abode. Maggie give us a short tour of her casa and talks to us about what she finds most fulfilling about her new business over a cup of coffee.
What’s your inspiration behind Casa Consunji?
"My background is interior design and I love decorating homes. I always find myself looking for items that are not so expensive but I find that there is no middle market in the Philippines in terms of furniture. It’s either you go with high-end international brands or go local but wait 5 to 6 weeks and I still find it quite expensive. There’s nothing in between that can be considered affordable luxury. I thought of Casa Consunji to fill that gap in the market."
"You won’t really find our pieces inside any other furniture store. Being a true-blue beach babe, I wanted a store that represented that so a lot of our products has a tropical and coastal living feel. All of our items are handmade and I can say that because I source them personally. Also, we source from small businesses – we don’t source from large manufacturers, which is something I’m very proud of."
What kind of retail experience can people expect?
"I want people to walk into the store and feel as if they’re at home. I added a café so while shopping or waiting, they can have a cookie of a cup of coffee. I want people to feel relaxed and make them want to stay a little bit more and welcome them into what I feel is a little piece of my home."
Casa Consunji also has a cafe that serves coffee and light snacks
What’s your creative process in putting together your collection?
"Each collection would always have certain elements such as organic materials. For our first collection, we have pieces made of raw handwoven cotton and petrified wood while metals come in brass and copper."
"We source our products from all over the world – from India, Indonesia, Vietnam and locally – and we make sure we have pieces from different countries in the store at all times. Whenever a customer walks in and asks about a piece, it’s really nice to be able to tell them the story of where it came from and how it was made and that adds to the value of the item. If you’re investing in a piece, it might as well come with a beautiful story."
Is telling stories the most fulfilling part of this new business?
"Absolutely. My philosophy in design is that I want every piece to have a story because I love hearing them as well. I love knowing little details like the name of the guy that made our rattan bed or table."
"Whenever a customer walks in and asks about a piece, it’s really nice to be able to tell them the story of where it came from and how it was made and that adds to the value of the item. If you’re investing in a piece, it might as well come with a beautiful story."
We know just how busy you are with your show and now your new business. What are some of your self-care rituals that help you relax?
"I always make sure to visit my dermatologist at least twice a month for a facial and have my skin checked because I’m always exposed to the sun when I film for my travel show. I also love getting massages – I have this amazing woman who comes to my house and she gives me the best deep-tissue massages. And if schedule permits, I would take a few days off and go on a trip with my family and disconnect. I was in Dubai with them recently and I went off social media for a few days and it felt liberating."
What are you looking forward to this year?
"I’m really looking forward to growing the store. We’re going to open our second store within the first quarter of the year. We also have a lot of interior design projects lined up. Aside from that, I’m filming the second season of my travel show."
What are the things you learned in the process of starting a new business?
"When you’re a start-up, it’s important that you know the business inside and out. You can hire people to help you but it’s crucial that you know how things are done. I can easily hire a financial consultant but I want to know how everything is done just in case one of us gets sick or is unavailable."
Maggie wearing Antigua drop earrings
"Always be open to learning new things and understand that you don’t know everything. When you’re open to suggestions and learning from people who have more experience, it will be easier for you once your business starts operating."
"Don’t be too excited – make sure you plan everything out. Starting a new business is always so exciting but take your time and make sure your structure is in place. It was difficult for me not to share little tidbits of what I was planning but it’s always nice to be able to surprise people when your brand is ready to launch. You’ll always make mistakes but if you prepare, you’ll make less of them."
Follow Maggie: @wilsonmaggie
Follow Casa Consunji: @casaconsunji
Photography by Sheila Catilo (@sheilacatilo)