She is Carissa Cruz-Evangelista who joins the short list of Filipino
designers and exporters, a home-grown talent who is proud of her roots.
With her family background and education, one would hardly expect a young
lady who would plunge head long into a job that is not simple and laid
back. Her first job just out of college was at the Center for International
Trade, Expositions and Missions or CITEM where she spent two years. Her job
was to assist exporters and join trade missions abroad. Then she spent
another five years or so at the Regional Operations Group of the Dept. of
Trade & Industry where she worked with the different provinces to roll
out the different programs of DTI. She remembers particularly her
involvement in the One Town One Project program of DTI and the
developmental work she did for our SMEs.
Carissa grew up in a family of entrepreneurs from both sides. Her aunt,
Josie Natori is known in international fashion, for instance, and it is no
surprise that Carissa would be drawn into the industry. Her first outing
was at the Manila FAME, the country's premier export trade show. Here, she
was exposed to different international buyers, and this is what she
considers as her baptism of fire.
This is because Carissa believes that if you put a Made in the Philippines
label on your product, you must make sure that the quality is indeed world
class.The first product she launched was a series of metal bags, seven
pieces in all with matching bangles and for these she worked with the
artisans of Bulacan.