METRO MANILA / LIFESTYLE / Crafts
Founders: Maan Agsalud and Roma Agsalud
1. What got you started with this brand? What was your inspiration? What is the idea/concept behind it?
Popjunklove started as a home-based craft business in 2007. My sister and I only had P5,000 as initial capital at that time because we were our family’s breadwinners. Honestly, the concept was highly dependent on any side hustle that would fit our small budget. That’s why we ended up upcycling our old toys at home into trinkets and accessories. Fueled by the positive response to our initial collections, our passion to craft was born. From trinkets, our collections grew into dolls made from scrap fabric and more.
My sister and I joined pop-ups for almost a decade before we were confident enough to put up our own brick-and-mortar space. We were fortunate enough that a great space opened up in Katipunan, but at that time, it was too big for our small craft business. That’s when we decided to share the opportunity with fellow creatives who we have met in bazaars and fairs. In 2015, Common Room was born. Common Room PH is a shared retail space that houses products of more than 100 local artists and makers. Our first home led to other retail opportunities for the community. Now, we have homes in Power Plant Mall, Alabang Town Center, and Ayala Bay.
2. What is your personal favorite product from your brand?
My personal favorite is Popjunklove’s chibi plush dolls inspired by my fave K-drama and K-pop idols (K-IDolls). I used to avoid watching K-drama and following K-pop idols because I can get hooked easily–with work as “mother hen” for Common Room and lead designer for Popjunklove, I cannot afford to fangirl. However, this excuse disappeared during the lockdown. Suddenly, I found myself immersed in the world of all-things-K! Luckily, our market in Popjunklove can also relate. The plushies suddenly became our way to bridge the gap. They were great conversation starters whenever we wanted to reconnect with our supporters.
Recently, we also revived our custom plush orders for the “Dolls Who Dare” and “Long Distance Dolls” campaign. We gave our supporters the chance to thank their healthcare heroes with their very own custom plush doll. Following the success of the initial campaign, we then extended this to include custom plushies of family members who wanted to reconnect with loved ones who they cannot be with physically due to social distancing.
3. What do you want people to experience with your brand/product(s)?
We want to bring them back to that precious moment of happiness–whether it was from a scene from their fave K-drama episode or a special day with their loved one. The thought that our handmade products can rekindle these feelings brings us so much joy and fuels us to continue our craft.
4. What tips and advice can you give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out or are planning to start their own brand?
Instead of focusing on the things that are hindering you from taking the leap, focus on what you have. What can you do with these things? What are your strengths? What are your interests? The point where all these three intersect is your next great idea!
5. What’s next for your brand?
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that all future plans can change in an instant. With this new year, the focus will be strengthening other streams of income for the brand. We will continue to strengthen our presence on the digital front, on top of supplying for partner stores.
6. What other additional information and details would you like to share?
Our items are available at all Common Room PH branches and on its web shop. To know more about our community of makers in Common Room PH, you can also subscribe to our Youtube Channel or be our patron in Patreon.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has trusted us over the years and continues to support local and small businesses in the country.
Follow Popjunklove on IG!