Social entrepreneurs are mushrooming in different parts of the world. Inspired by highly successful individuals and role models like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, many of the younger generation are changing the way they do business. Many brands have gained widespread attention because of this new movement. One such brand is Tali Handmade. It is a line of handbags made in the Philippines, which is known for its design, quality and craftsmanship.
Tali Handmade has an extraordinary story. It all started one afternoon when friends, Liza Morales Crespo and Marielle de Leon-Lazaro, visited a correctional facility in the Philippines. Confined within these walls were women who were impoverished and had no means to support their families. After understanding the plight of those detained, they made a decision to help these female inmates. They started teaching them simple design patterns and eventually employed them to weave their original bag designs by hand. The small project started to have a following and eventually became a fully-fledged business. They named the brand after the word “tali”, a Filipino word that means “to tie”, which represents the heart of what they want to achieve—to empower women; to tie that bind and connect women globally.
The story of Liza and Marielle is a special one. Both are working mothers who are successful in their own fields. Liza is the Design Director of her own firm, Liza Crespo Ecotecture, which is a leading architectural design agency with offices in Manila and New York. Marielle, on the other hand, deals in both design and production of clothing and accessories, and manufacturing and importing corporate products in the Philippines. In spite of a rather hectic lifestyle and having a lot on their plate, they took it amongst themselves to solve a complex social problem. Through the Tali Handmade Project, both Liza and Marielle have given women a second chance at a decent life. By perfecting their skills and providing wages, they enabled women to send their children to school, put food on their table and build a roof over their heads. Through compassion and their keen interest to effect change, Liza and Marielle, were able to change lives. The world is a much better place because of these women.