Last year, we started to a to share a retail space in Cubao X (an indie/vintage/hipster haunt here in Manila) with our friends from the surf-inspired lifestyle shop Coast Thru Life. We — my brother Kayo, his wife Nica, and my husband Ton and I — are collaborating on an “open studio” concept, and we are calling it KENDO Creative. I plan on hold some creative workshops here. Nica held a Meet & Make here last week, and on February 27th, Manila Workshops is running a photography workshop here, too. (Register for that here.)
KENDO serves as an intersection of our individual businesses: Kayo’s HoneyComb digital consultancy; Nica’s Craft Party PH, Ton’s Shophouse Coffee venture, and my Make it Blissful offline events. We had a soft opening of the space and intimate InstaMeet last January 23rd, where we welcomed friends mostly from the Instagram community on the #makeitblissful hub.
The name “kendo” is of course inspired by the Japanese martial arts of the same name. When we were brainstorming the name, Kayo had this idea that our space could be a venue for “sparring” — to spar ideas, thoughts and artistic expressions.
What is an “open studio”, you ask?
We call it an open studio because you can turn into whatever you need it to be. (It’s a lot like Ton’s and my old space, Slate Studio, which we closed down in 2014). KENDO Creative can be a writing space, a meeting place, a photo studio, a place to work or study, a crafts space, a workshop space — whatever it needs to be for those using it.
It’s got lots of white areas which are very Pinterest and Insta-worthy. You can book the place for photo shoots because we have big windows that let in loads of natural light. For those who’ve frequented Cubao X in the past, you will recognize this as Heima’s first store location, when it debuted as a furniture shop here in 2009. (The aqua painted staircase is a remnant of that.)
KENDO is also where we run a slow bar, manned by my husband Ton and Kayo on their shifts at the shop. They serve hand poured specialty coffee and cold brew from Shophouse Coffee Co. Stop by sometime for a drink! The slow bar is open whenever Ton and Kayo are around, but you can also contact us if you would like them to be there for your event or venue booking, like for meetings, discourses, and those types of gatherings.
We enjoyed cakes, provided by our friends at Lia’s Cakes and Pastries, who sent over their scrumptious Avocado Cake and Strawberries Cream Cake. We also displayed goodies from So True Naturals, which were prizes to be won by a lucky participant during our #MiBInstameet.
Perhaps what excites me the most about having KENDO as a creative space is the community we can create within it. There’s a sense of ownership somehow, when you have a space that’s “home” to your community, whether it’s a blog & social media community like Make it Blissful, or a fellowship like Craft Party PH, or any coming-together of like-minded people.
We are looking forward to holding creative discourses and design thinking talks & lectures, too, by our friends in the creative community, the coworking community, and of course, the blogger community. I’m also planning interesting events here, like a flower bar & painting session, a journaling meet-up, and a blog-a-thon (a whole day when we’ll just catch up on our blogging). I’m even contemplating a garage sale, too!
Are you interested in visiting KENDO sometime? We’re usually open Mondays to Saturdays, from 2PM to 11PM. I say “usually” because we sometimes close shop, so make sure to text or message us on Instagram. We are also accepting event bookings, so if you need a venue for your art installation, your product launch, a workshop/lecture/reading, a photography studio… leave a comment below this blog post.
Read other posts about KENDO Creative here:
- Jam Pangilinan: You KENDO It.
- C & V: KENDO is Open!
- Mommy Practicality: Soft Opening of Kendo Creative and the #MiBInstameet
Shop #33 Cubao Expo (Cubao X)
Cubao, Quezon City