Summer is just around the corner, and I'm already itching to pack my beach gear. But first, gotta find the perfect tote! Somehow, the universe always seems to read my mind, and as my hubby and I were driving around Makati recently, I happened to spot these colorful totes in a random shop window along Kalayaan Avenue. Good thing the hubby was game for an impromptu stopover (thanks in part to the lure of the adjacent coffee shop—another gift from the universe), and so I hopped out of the car to investigate!
The little boutique is called Shophouse 8483 (taken from the shop's actual street address), and a peek inside revealed a joyful array of brightly-printed summer bags by MCV Designs, perfect for the sunny season. Mia C. Villanueva, Shophouse 8483 owner and the affable designer behind MCV Designs, told me that she handpicks the material herself, and the bags are proudly produced in the Philippines. Each summer tote is laminated and the inside is lined in waterproof tarp, making it ideal for the beach. “I also like using it when I go to Salcedo Market, since it's easy to clean," says Villanueva. Lightweight, foldable, and roomy, it also makes a great baby bag, gym bag, handcarry, or extra bag to pack for travel (to carry home all your shopping loot, of course!).
Each bag zips closed at the top, features rope handles and two outside side pockets for easy access, and includes a cosmetic pouch. Retailing at P950 each, it's definitely a summer must-have. Now the only problem is, deciding on a print!
Incidentally, the “one-stop lifestyle shop” Shophouse 8483 also carries other bags and accessories designed by Mia, from chic clutches in natural fabrics, to beaded lariats. On the second floor, you can find fashion apparel, fragrances, travel accessories, and soon, shoes. Meanwhile, the adjacent coffee shop is run by Mia's husband, Tommy, completing the cozy set-up.
Shophouse 8483 is located along Kalayaan Avenue, Bgy. Poblacion, Makati City (near Rockwell). For more information, visit MCV Designs on Facebook.
P.S. Love these summer totes? Find out how you can get a chance to win them for free on thehappylab.com.ph.
Looking for something in particular? Let Pierra be your virtual shopper! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.thehappylab.com.ph