— Oscar M. Lopez
Chairman, Lopez Group Foundation, Inc.
Last August 4, Ms. Resse Fernandez, President of Rags2Riches spoke about their success story to a select audience at the Lopez Memorial Museum. Rags2Riches began in 2007 and embarked on its project in Payatas, Quezon City, with the belief that what the community needed were opportunities that would enable them to achieve a quality of life that enhances their dignity as human beings, and as creative and skilled persons. It now works with 21 communities in Metro Manila, and is going to the provinces to look for other communities.
Working with communities that are organized or that are in the process of being organized, Rags2Riches does research on the community as well as the market to which Rags2Riches hopes to connect the community, in order to create something that is sustainable. The products of Rags2Riches which are home and fashion accessories were initially sold in bazaars but are now sold in high end shops and boutiques. It is now hoping to penetrate a larger international market, and to expand its lines of home and fashion accessories.
The journey to get to where Rags2Riches is now has been challenging, and it continues to be so, but Rags2Riches has a system that provides it with checks and balances, and a philosophy that stands upon four bottom lines (People, Profit, Planet and Positive Influence) that enables it to find ways to overcome the challenges. Some challenges include design. Rags2Riches addressed this by exposing the artisans to products of high quality and appealing to the market, creating the Artisan Academy where among the module is Color Theory, and a Design Council where this could be addressed.
Alma Quinto, artist, Petty Johannot of Museum Foundation of the Philippines, Inc., Mercedes Vargas of Eugenio Lopez Foundation, Inc., Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags2Riches, Maritess Pineda, Zonta Makati, Susie Quiros
Jose Carlos Campos of Lopez Group Foundation, Monica Tan of Lopez Group Foundation, Nina Quintos, Araceli Gamboa, Dario Pagcaliwagan of Lopez Group Foundation
Guest from ADB
Mark Ruiz, Irene Marcos Araneta, Tara Soriano, jewelry designer