Bonded by a shared passion for the arts and popular culture, strong independent local label POLLY PATCH creates wearable pieces of art that will always be there for you.
If you’ve met someone who really, really, really wants to zigazig ha, there’s a high chance that this person might just be your next best friend. ‘Cause if there’s one very important lesson we’ve learned from the ‘90s queens Spice Girls, it’s that friendship never ends, and this rings true for the spunky people behind Manila-based label Polly Patch. First creating a bond as Fine Arts students at University of the Philippines, it was a little bird that told the two best friends to pursue their passion. “We tweeted ideas how artists from other countries could sell their art as a brand and [questioned] why we weren’t we doing it here with the right approach of branding,” recalls the two. “One thing led to another, we started Polly Patch just right out of our college allowances. Now, we’re four in the team!”
“Our local art scene is essentially young, but it is thriving.”
Drawing inspiration from the coolest girls in pop culture, Polly Patch traces back to their younger years when it comes to their art. “We play around our childhood nostalgia, anime, video games, and favorite movie characters. Basically, being a kid in the ‘80s and ‘90s is what really inspired us,” shares the two. “It was a vibrant era where patterns were being played around, badass women in movies were showing up, and arcade games were the craze.” Popping shapes, lines, and type designs in playful hues and clean details, they’ve produced stickers, pins, and patches that will fulfill all your nostalgic desires, from novelties like the Super Soaker and Bubble Jug, to cult icons such as Léon: The Professional’s Mathilda and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’s Clementine, up until anime classics like Doraemon and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Currently, Polly Patch has expanded its merchandise, producing zines, postcards, prints, shirts, and the like as well. They’ve even found themselves an evil twin in their latest venture, Polly Tuf. “There’s always excitement when you’re starting up a brand. We were executing ideas that we were so excited to offer, we were doing things that fuelled our passion to do more art,” adds the homegrown label. Although being an independent creative isn’t as glamorous as it sounds, surrounding yourself with the right people–and not just “knowing the right people”–can actually do wonders. Just ask the local art heroines behind the brand, they exactly know what to do when that fire inside starts to fade: “We go back to the core of our brand, and it’s being bonded with your best friend.”
Polly Patch has gained a huge cult following here in Manila. What are some challenges you guys had to face?
Polly Patch: One of challenges is the demographic of our market, since we have teens but also have yuppies. It’s like, “Do we get older too? Or do we touch a certain market younger than us that we’re not familiar with?” But we’re evolving and shifting–we can’t stop that from happening. We’ve also recently launched Polly Patch’s evil twin Polly Tuf (@polly_tuf), which is part of our experiment in extending our brand to a different market.
Do you guys find it difficult to be a creative here in Manila?
P: Our local art scene is essentially young, but it is thriving. We’re lucky to be with the amazing artists from Local Loca and to have these equally amazing supporters every time we do our pop art marts and bazaars. But we definitely wish for more creative hubs like galleries, shops, exhibits, and boutiques where homegrown brands, designers and makers like us can flourish.
“We go back to the core of our brand, and it’s being bonded with your best friend.”
Being so deeply involved in our local art scene, what are some of the best parts about it?
P: The best part is collaboration. You meet and collaborate; you get to exchange ideas and also help the artist promote their art. Usually, it’s the artists we collaborate with that we admire the most. We’d like to collaborate more since there are so many amazing artists here in Manila, but we got our hands full as of the moment!
What is your ultimate dream project that you guys always wanted to do?
P: It’s more of like a goal now. We could say that our ultimate dream project right now is to set up a studio and shop with our upcoming merchandise goods with Bad Student Press (@_badstudent).
Lastly, what’s coming next for Polly Patch?
P: More collaborations for local and international artists, so stay tuned for that!