Posts Tagged ‘online shopping’

AVA.PH is the Home of Beautiful Things-A Repost from Ystyle

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2012 at 3:10 am

Hello dear followers of The Soul Train!

Would love to introduce you to my newest “baby” my online magazine called AVA-ZINE which you can check out on:

I’d like to share an article written by Audrey Carpio of YStyle and I invite all of you to either shop on or read Ava.zine 🙂


Many thanks and enjoy!

You can also read the full article here:

Objects of everyday beauty, at
BENT ANTENNA By Audrey N. Carpio (The Philippine Star) Updated May 18, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments


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Totes cool: Tongue-in-cheek statement totes from Charro y Churro
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Online shopping in the Philippines is coming of age, and thank God. A friend of mine just got tabbed with a P6,000 bill in customs fees for something FedExed from the States. Why bother, when we’ve got wonderful options right here? A couple of weeks ago we witnessed the grand launch of Zalora, an e-commerce site with more than 5,000 fashion and home products. While Zalora is an inclusive shop, selling a great range of brands while constantly adding stock, the new site is more of an exclusive store, featuring a number of interesting and not mass-market brands, handpicked by a cast of “curators,” personalities in the style industry.

“Memories endure because they are attached to objects in the real world,” founder Oliver Segovia writes in his introduction to the website. “We are, quite literally, our beautiful things.” Ava is the boutique shop within the mall, so to speak, with a carefully chosen collection of future memory-makers. The style council consists of designer Tippi Ocampo, tattooed foodie Erica Paredes, momtrepreneur Bianca Elizalde, creative director Luis Espiritu, tailor Abdul Salam, bag lady Amina Aranaz, blogger Christine Dychiao, and Katrina Holigores, founding editor of Ava’s e-zine. Kat, my former editor at Metro and a current YStyle columnist, tells me more about this newest endeavor.

YStyle: First of all, what is Ava, how did it come about, and what does it want to be?   

Katrina Holigores: is an e-commerce site that was founded by CEO Oliver Segovia and his team. He had the idea of creating a local, an online world where people could shop for beautiful things. Alex Lapa, of the Reluctant Stylista, serves as creative director. I came onboard early this year to create Ava.Zine (, the editorial arm to the e-commerce site. The intention behind this e-zine was to not only give concise yet informative content on design and lifestyle choices to online shoppers but also to give them tips on how else to enhance the way they live with good taste from our “experts” who we’ve called idea-listers.

What are the roles of the curators?

These curators list their ideas of what are the best or must-haves that has to offer while our contributors give their insights on (for example) the pros and cons of online shopping, how to shop for your boyfriend or husband or how to integrate art into your everyday life. Luis Espiritu will be coming up with his own section soon wherein he will give a visual documentation of design inspirations he finds on his numerous trips and events he finds himself in, not to mention the chic men and women he has been able to style throughout the years. Watch for it!

How do you choose the brands you work with?

We select products based on their quality. They are pretty to look at, unique and not readily available. Plus, they’re well-priced and can be considered valuable additions to anyone’s wardrobe or bag of beauty goodies.

Tell me about some of the products you are highlighting this month.

We’re proud to announce that we’ve now got a line of Tyler women’s wear, retro-looking handsets for your mobile phone from Native Union (very trendy in Hollywood now), Aranaz bags and School of Satchel totes. More products are being added to our inventory every month so it’s a great idea to be a part of our mailing list to be the first to see what’s new on offer.

What’s the shopping experience like?

The shopping experience is relatively straightforward, you get on the site, click on the shops or sales tab, or, you can click on Ava.Zine to see what our Idea-listers recommend and then you pay via Paypal for what you want. Item then gets delivered right to your doorstep within a couple of days, provided it is still available as some of our products move really fast!

You can also ask the editor for advice and recommendations or even send a query to any of our Idea-listers since their blog or twitter link is located right under their names.

 What’s in the next Ava.Zine?

For our next issue, we’ve nominated about 30 women who’ve done well on the world-wide web, female entrepreneurs and put them out on our FB page for people to vote. The response was pretty incredible, so you can see in our main feature who came out in the top 10.

All in all the goal of the team of Ava is to give its subscribers (both new and old) a seamless shopping experience plus informative, quality editorial that just makes their time online a little more entertaining and even educational.

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Great Ideas-a one stop online shop

In Philippine Star Column on August 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm

By the time you read this, it is very possible that the first strains of holiday jingles are being played in your near environment and the malls are slowly turning into Tinsel Town. This is the start of the often-loved and often-dreaded season of giving, and giving, and more giving. It may sound exaggerated but if you happen to really be friends with all of the people in your FB and Google Plus Circles, then a panic attack right after making your lists is inevitable. Mallrat I am not, but I do love giving gifts, hunting for veritable treasures for close friends and families. Nowadays though, combining work and the trials and tribulations of having a life outside of work results in an extremely lazy and sometimes uninspired gift-giving me. Thank goodness there are now options for people like me who want something special, unique but don’t have the energy to hit the shops like they used to do.

Great Ideas, a website created by Cay Rodriguez-Araneta, recently entered cyberspace with the mission of offering unique gift items and ways to package them differently. Their ideas are, of course, not just limited to St. Nick’s special day, but for other occasions such as birthdays, baptisms and even wedding favors. “I’ve always liked giving gifts and wrapping them really nice — each year with a different theme,” explains Araneta. “A couple of years ago, a friend of mine handed out cute bag charms as a way of saying thank you to the gals who treated her to a birthday lunch. This started a tradition,” she continues.

It was searching for the perfect giveaway that led her to the discovery of many unknown suppliers. Seeing the benefit in pooling all these resources, this former food stylist decided to create her one-stop online shop, and Great Ideas finally launched last Aug. 18. In selecting the items for her website, Araneta always weighs their practicality: each has to be something that she can also use for herself. Some of the best-selling items on the site are the Big Ol’ Reversible Bag and the art caddies which are usually ordered as giveaways for birthday parties and for weddings. Almost all of the gifts and the way they are packaged can be customized to fit the buyer’s needs. In fact, Araneta was reluctant to show photos of already-made packages in order to not limit one’s imagination in collaborating with her on the perfect gift and its presentation.

If your inner Santa Claus has decided to turn into a Grinch this year due to budgetary restrictions, have no fear, Great Ideas takes your spending into consideration. “We have personalized paper products that start at P120 then we have wooden pieces in the P2,000 range. There are a lot of exciting things in between, though,” shares Araneta.

Getting the items after ordering online is a breeze. Take note that there is a lead time in the customization process on a per-item basis, but payment can be made via bank deposits and delivery options are also available for bulk orders. You can do all this with a simple phone call or through cyber communication, a good way to avoid the crush of holiday shoppers, not to mention traffic jams and parking problems.

Most of the items found on the site are not ones you would normally find at retail stores, so it makes choosing a special gift, at least for me, that much more fulfilling. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine someone wanting to tailor-fit an event just to accommodate a giveaway.

Stress is certainly a part of our lives, so finding sites like these, in my opinion, bring back the joy of discovery and nurture one’s imagination. One’s own creativity is further enhanced with the spirit of finding something truly special for the people in your lives. Even if it’s a gift en masse for your staff or your co-workers, the simple intention of exerting a little bit more effort in selecting something different, unique and still useful and practical further enhances the spirit of gift-giving. Find fulfillment as Araneta did when she witnessed the silly grin and glint in the eye of a satisfied customer once receiving the finished product. What a great idea she had, indeed.

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To find out more about Great Ideas visit: or call 0917-5342236 or e-mail