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Punchdrunk Panda: practical and purely Pinoy products

* originally published on Yahoo Philippines, also seen on Vera Files *

Nowadays, a wide range of products are readily available to consumers through the Internet. The real challenge in having an online business is how to make one’s products stand out from the competition.

Punchdrunk Panda (PdP), a company engaged in online selling, offers unique and functional “world-class” Pinoy goods that showcase the talent of local graphic designers.

Founded by Gail Go and Jen Horn in mid-2007,  PdP has an exclusive product line that includes casual shoes, laptop sleeves, camera straps, and smartphone cases, among others. Some of their best-selling products are those designed by artists Manix Abrera, Rob Cham, and JP Cuison.

Punchdrunk Panda products
“Our missions are to give Filipino designers and illustrators an unconventional canvas on which to showcase their work and create conversation starters, to create proudly Pinoy-made products that show off Filipino creativity and capability, and to give you unique, functional, and awesome-looking products to express your personality and support for Pinoy products and designers,” Go explained.

The company has an awesome roster of contributing artists with distinctive styles, such as Alessa Lanot, Diego and Ge Mapa, Saab Magalona, Selena Salang, and Tof Zapanta, among others.

“They (artists) are very passionate about their work, (which is) like an extension of their personality. Consumers dig that,” Go shared. “We do not limit ourselves to a certain style but we’d like it to be familiar and distinctive: familiar to the consumers but distinctive in a way that when you see an artwork, you’d go ‘Hey, that’s (an artist name) art’.”

What makes their products truly Pinoy aside from being designed by local artists is the fact that PdP tries to manufacture them in the country. “As long as we can find a manufacturer in the Philippines, it’s still cost efficient,” Go said.

PdP started because of Go and Horn’s shared frustration with the lack of affordable and functional laptop sleeves. “Jen and I combined our powers to design the funkiest, yet most practical laptop sleeves. This idea eventually trickled down to other products on which graphic designs aren't conventionally applied,” Go shared.

She went on: “Jen and I started PdP because of our passion for creativity, essentially. As PdP grew, we needed an equally passionate member and we were lucky to have found Nica Kim (their honorary partner and operations manager).”

In 2008, PdP got their first retail partner, LapDance Bags. They created a new direction for their products and incorporated graphic design, as well. Go and Horn quit their jobs the following year so they could focus on their business.

Not long after their successful graphic-designed laptop sleeves, they thought of designing ladies’ casual footwear. They also collaborated with local artists in launching “cool things,” like artist webisodes, blogger hangouts, and Community Creativity Camp.

PdP is also known for the Anteroom Sessions event, which it started in 2011.  The marketing event featured local artists, bands, and entrepreneurs.

Anteroom Sessions 2
“Anteroom Sessions is something that we are so proud to have initiated,” Go said. “It’s been a huge success to date and it’s unfortunate that I physically cannot repeat this for this year. It’s hard when I’m half way across the globe. My staff is not ready to run it by themselves.”

Go moved to Canada a couple of years ago where she has since been remotely managing PdP. “I have a staff and they help me with the day-to-day operations. Thank God for the Internet,” said Go, who does fulltime brand marketing for ConAgra Foods Canada.

Meanwhile, Horn and Kim no longer take an active part in PdP.

In February, PdP started an initiative to enable Filipino consumers to give back to the community by donating 10 % of its sales to local and sustainable organizations, such as Save the Philippine Seas, Got Heart Foundation, and Muni PH.

“Upon check out, consumers are asked to select one of the three organizations and we’ll donate 10% of the total invoice to the selected organization,” Go explained.  “(We at) PdP personally know these organizations and we believe in their initiatives.”

Punchdrunk Panda has gone through big leaps already. It has redirected its products’ designs to make sure they convey a meaningful message.

PdP will release a brand new product in May which, Go said, is “going to be school-related, so stay tuned.”

“For our coming May product launches, our designs’ themes will be on personal growth and development, local culture and travel, and energy conservation,” she said. “It’s an exciting challenge for PdP and the artists that we work with. But we really want to inspire Filipinos through our designs.”

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Punchdrunk Panda: practical and purely Pinoy products

* originally published on Yahoo Philippines, also seen on Vera Files *

Nowadays, a wide range of products are readily available to consumers through the Internet. The real challenge in having an online business is how to make one’s products stand out from the competition.

Punchdrunk Panda (PdP), a company engaged in online selling, offers unique and functional “world-class” Pinoy goods that showcase the talent of local graphic designers.

Founded by Gail Go and Jen Horn in mid-2007,  PdP has an exclusive product line that includes casual shoes, laptop sleeves, camera straps, and smartphone cases, among others. Some of their best-selling products are those designed by artists Manix Abrera, Rob Cham, and JP Cuison.

Punchdrunk Panda products
“Our missions are to give Filipino designers and illustrators an unconventional canvas on which to showcase their work and create conversation starters, to create proudly Pinoy-made products that show off Filipino creativity and capability, and to give you unique, functional, and awesome-looking products to express your personality and support for Pinoy products and designers,” Go explained.

The company has an awesome roster of contributing artists with distinctive styles, such as Alessa Lanot, Diego and Ge Mapa, Saab Magalona, Selena Salang, and Tof Zapanta, among others.

“They (artists) are very passionate about their work, (which is) like an extension of their personality. Consumers dig that,” Go shared. “We do not limit ourselves to a certain style but we’d like it to be familiar and distinctive: familiar to the consumers but distinctive in a way that when you see an artwork, you’d go ‘Hey, that’s (an artist name) art’.”

What makes their products truly Pinoy aside from being designed by local artists is the fact that PdP tries to manufacture them in the country. “As long as we can find a manufacturer in the Philippines, it’s still cost efficient,” Go said.

PdP started because of Go and Horn’s shared frustration with the lack of affordable and functional laptop sleeves. “Jen and I combined our powers to design the funkiest, yet most practical laptop sleeves. This idea eventually trickled down to other products on which graphic designs aren't conventionally applied,” Go shared.

She went on: “Jen and I started PdP because of our passion for creativity, essentially. As PdP grew, we needed an equally passionate member and we were lucky to have found Nica Kim (their honorary partner and operations manager).”

In 2008, PdP got their first retail partner, LapDance Bags. They created a new direction for their products and incorporated graphic design, as well. Go and Horn quit their jobs the following year so they could focus on their business.

Not long after their successful graphic-designed laptop sleeves, they thought of designing ladies’ casual footwear. They also collaborated with local artists in launching “cool things,” like artist webisodes, blogger hangouts, and Community Creativity Camp.

PdP is also known for the Anteroom Sessions event, which it started in 2011.  The marketing event featured local artists, bands, and entrepreneurs.

Anteroom Sessions 2
“Anteroom Sessions is something that we are so proud to have initiated,” Go said. “It’s been a huge success to date and it’s unfortunate that I physically cannot repeat this for this year. It’s hard when I’m half way across the globe. My staff is not ready to run it by themselves.”

Go moved to Canada a couple of years ago where she has since been remotely managing PdP. “I have a staff and they help me with the day-to-day operations. Thank God for the Internet,” said Go, who does fulltime brand marketing for ConAgra Foods Canada.

Meanwhile, Horn and Kim no longer take an active part in PdP.

In February, PdP started an initiative to enable Filipino consumers to give back to the community by donating 10 % of its sales to local and sustainable organizations, such as Save the Philippine Seas, Got Heart Foundation, and Muni PH.

“Upon check out, consumers are asked to select one of the three organizations and we’ll donate 10% of the total invoice to the selected organization,” Go explained.  “(We at) PdP personally know these organizations and we believe in their initiatives.”

Punchdrunk Panda has gone through big leaps already. It has redirected its products’ designs to make sure they convey a meaningful message.

PdP will release a brand new product in May which, Go said, is “going to be school-related, so stay tuned.”

“For our coming May product launches, our designs’ themes will be on personal growth and development, local culture and travel, and energy conservation,” she said. “It’s an exciting challenge for PdP and the artists that we work with. But we really want to inspire Filipinos through our designs.”

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