In today’s tech-driven world, it’s super easy to shop for everything we need online; however, it’s a bit hard to find locally-made products for gift-giving to foreign friends and clients! I usually find local shops that resell artisanal finds — which would mean double or triple its original price, or those that are created from abroad but are labelled “Pinoy-made”. I used to wish for an online hub for purely Pinoy craftsmanship, but not anymore because Betsy has recently been launched in the Philippines! Betsy is a digital creative hub that aims to connect Filipino artists and artisans to the right market for their craft. They gather all these local talents in one site, empowering enterprising individuals to turn their passion into profit all year round.
I used to wait for bazaars towards the end of the year to gather my #ProudlyLocal gifting needs, but with Betsy around, that’s one thing I can access anywhere and anytime while also ensuring that the artisans behind the products I buy are really Filipinos!
What to Expect
Betsy’s website has eight main categories as of this writing — Arts and Crafts, Bags, Clothing and Accessories, Furniture and Decor, Little Treasures, Make-up and Skin Care, Shoes, and Travel. These are further segmented into a person’s interests like dolls, action figures, stuffed toys, games and puzzles, and collectible items under the “Little Treasures” tab. The website is still being populated so I highly suggest choosing from the main categories or using the search feature.
It works just like any other e-commerce platform. You’ll only need to add the items you want in your cart, select Checkout, and fill out the Billing and Shipping Details. Payments can only be made via GCash or PayPal at the moment, but Betsy delivers worldwide so it’s easier to send a local gift to your foreign friends.
They have little knick-knacks for all ages and genders so I’m sure you’ll easily find something for your loved ones. Here’s a peek at some of the items in my cart to give you an idea:
For those who want a pop of color in their homes, artists sell their paintings via this platform, too!
A brainchild of Netherlands-based Filipina Judy Anne Santos-Sierszula, Betsy was inspired by one of her travels with her sister. Having browsed through several small artisan kiosks scattered all over the city, she and her sister thought: What if these artisans could have a dedicated online space where they could thrive?
“Just about anything and everything is sold in the huge online marketplaces,” says Santos-Sierszula. Handcrafted pieces are sold alongside mass-produced merchandise in these platforms and it can be challenging for customers to appreciate the difference between the two.
She adds, “In the Philippines, there’s no distinct space for pieces we consider as special – unique pieces made with the artist’s heart and soul.”
However, Betsy is more than just an e-commerce platform; it is a creative hub with resources to help these artists hone their craft and scale.
“We will have resources on creative inspiration, small business advice, features on emerging artists as well as insights from thought leaders in the industry,” Santos-Sierszula elaborates. “We believe in giving Filipino artists the recognition and value they deserve.”
Where to Sign Up
While the site continues to be populated, Betsy continues to be on the lookout for emerging talents and is open to collaborations with student organizations and arts groups. Commissioning and online auction features will soon be available, and they’re just getting started! Interested artists, artisans, and crafters can sign up at www.betsyph.com. Once registered, they will be guided on how to set up their virtual store.
For shoppers who are interested to purchase local items, simply register as a customer under the same link.