Thursday, September 15, 2016

From scrap bottles to riches

Have you ever thought of transforming your used wine and medicine bottles to a home décor or kitchenware? I nearly thought it was impossible until I met Precy Perez, owner of Yssa’s Crafts.

When you walk along the booths of the Negros Trade Fair, Precy’s flattened bottles will surely catch your eyes. In an interview with the owner herself, she revealed that all her products are recycled bottles. She buys them from scrap boys who regularly drop by her house in Bacolod. They get used medicine and wine bottles from dumpsites, hotels, restaurants, and junk shops. These materials undergo a cleaning process and are baked at a high temperature in a ceramic oven.

Back in the day, Precy used to do ceramics and exports them. However, in the year 1999, her sales dropped because the buyers opted to go to China to buy ceramics. In effect, she lost 30 workers and had financial difficulties. Despite this challenge in her life, she continued to sell her products with only 2 workers by her side. 

During a show in SM Megamall, a customer showed her a picture of bottle chimes and asked her if she knew how to do it. Funny thing is she said yes even though she really didn’t. However, since she’s a chemical engineer, she already had an idea on how to do the product. Precy gave it a try and it became a hit when she sold the bottle chimes locally.

During the firing, Precy doesn’t always get the desired shape because the temperature is not uniformed. Because of that, a defect gives birth to other products. Her products now include saucepans, serving dishes, home decors, and bottle chimes – her “golden egg”, she said. Recently, she’s been working on medicine bottles as vases/planters which are orders from the USA.

Precy treats her business as her bread and butter. Although she’s at the peak of her career, she never forgets to share her blessings to others especially to the less fortunate. Her purchasing of the recycled bottles from street children and mothers without income is her way of helping them. She even shared that late at night, these people would knock on her door and beg her to buy the bottles because they haven’t eaten yet. She couldn’t take such kind of situation that’s why she’ll always buy from them regardless of the time of the day.

At present, Precy Perez is the head of the gifts, décor & houseware sector of the 31st Negros Trade Fair. She regularly joins fairs, even international ones like the annual Manila Fame. She’s been receiving orders of her products from countries like Belgium and USA.

She treats her craft as a special gift from God. It was through her business that she was able to redeem the properties of her parents which were mortgaged.

On a personal note, Precy said that she’s very happy with what she’s doing. She has redeemed her confidence because of her growing business. Being an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, she said “Kapag may sipag at tiyaga, may biyaya.”

31st Negros Trade Fair "One Sweet Spot"
September 14-16, 2016, 
Glorietta Mall, Makati

About the Author

Patti Salas

Author & Editor

The Negros Trade Fair is the longest running provincial trade fair in the Philippines held annually in Metro Manila since 1985.

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