A throwback to the playful bohemian flavor that defined the sixties and seventies, Anagon Collection’s “hippie and hip” pieces are handcrafted by accessories designer Ana Gonzales.
Ms. Gonzales owes her style sensibilities largely to her father—a man whose appreciation for all things Beatles and Volkswagen helped shape her own personal aesthetic. “I think that even if we’re not really on a post-war stage, the youth of today are in our own revolution of being free,” she says. “That’s why a lot of kids can easily relate to Anagon Collection.”
Her appreciation for accessories goes beyond the short-lived trends in the segment. “They reflect dreams, emotions, desires [and] can be one day considered a treasure when they pass this on to their children,” she says.
A University of Santo Tomas alum, Ms. Gonzales has been creating offbeat accessories long before earning her degree in AB Journalism. What most would see as a fork in the road, she’s used as an opportunity to carve out her own career path: “I love art and business, and I think Anagon Collection merges these two,” says Ms. Gonzales. Indeed, her two great loves have been known to intersect: Her past writing gigs, particularly that as a contributor to Candy Magazine, allowed her to benefit from her close ties with the glossy, which has since featured some of her pieces in its pages.
“The difficulty in being a young entrepreneur for me is that I really started from scratch,” says the 25-year-old Thomasian. While she knew her way around beads, charms and wires, Web-based entrepreneurship remained an uncharted territory: It was only when Anagon Collection went online in 2005 that she was initiated into a then unfamiliar field of business, one that included couriers, payment options, and running a website. “It all happened step-by-step, I learned from experience.”
As her own boss, working at home certainly has its perks. In the five years since Anagon Collection made its debut, however, she’s learned that fixed itineraries are near to impossible for her unpredictable working weeks—something that can be both physically and emotionally taxing. “There will be days that you have to have the discipline to push more and to reach your goals—even when you’re all alone in this,” she admits. “You have to have really big dreams to strengthen your will in this business.”
Now that vintage is in vogue among local fashionistas, Anagon Collection hopes to stay its course despite a new slew of competitors. She encourages the budding entrepreneur to be unique, but adds that a little well-timed branding won’t hurt, either: “Be ready for copycats,” she warns. The vintage-inspired store itself isn’t keeping still: Ms. Gonzales continues to refine her trade, most recently by taking a short course in Fashion Styling at the School of Fashion and the Arts.
“Be interested, and be interesting,” she advises those aspiring to join the ranks of self-employed accessories artistes. “You have to be experimental, but you have to know what people will really wear.” Already a master at wire art, her customized wirework designs, which now range from jewelry to bookmarks, are among the shop’s bestsellers. And with an influx of brides-to-be joining her growing client base, she’s also begun delving into wedding accessories and souvenirs.
For details, visit anagoncollection.multiply.com or contact Ana Gonzales at email@example.com.
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