Our story began with the creation of a unique bowtie inspired by music, the deep curiosity for use of sustainable materials, and belief in the touch of artisan mastery.
Now with more products in the works, we continue our mission to be:
Driven by our passion to empower and partner with artisans around the world in creating appealing ethical products
Thrilled by the world of the arts and all the adventure and exploration it brings, at times pushing us to extreme situations
Fueled by the need to answer our calling in helping create a better world, with you.
The birth of the rattan bow tie. Words from founder/designer, Racso
This idea of a bow tie made of rattan came up while I was thinking of new ideas for a piece that I could add to my sculptural collections. I was busy doing a bow tie made of wire at the time, a material that I love to use in my sculptures.
Suddenly, Stromae's song Ave Cesaria played on the radio. I played it really loud even if I barely understood the lyrics because I was so drawn to its cultural and island vibe.
And DING! My light bulb illuminates. Why not create a bow tie with an Island feel on it? Made from a material that is abundant in the archipelago where I came from.
The Rattan bow tie was born.
Later I learned that the song was about Cesária Évora, the Barefoot Diva from Cape Verde.
Racso "Racs" Jugarap
I am a basement artist. Why a basement artist? I started this career in our small, dark and damp basement a year ago. Living in a small apartment in Brussels I barely had any space in it to express my creativity without soiling the couch. That’s why I worked in the basement.
But later when my arts started to get noticed and bigger projects came from different directions, I decided to leave the basement and rented a bigger and spacious atelier. That has changed the game for me.
I also had my fair share of failures and disappointments, especially when I was starting this career. Those were tough days. But I guess if you’re really passionate and you love what you are doing, you could train your mind to see those mistakes as lessons and challenges, not as failures. It could toughen your skin and make you learn how to enjoy the process: pick up the nuggets of knowledge along the way - deal with it - never whine and complain.
Before pursuing this passion, I was a chef for 5 years. It gave me the chance to travel around the world and see the energy, beauty, and culture the world has to offer beyond what I knew growing up in a small city in the southern part of the Philippines. It has shown me possibilities that I would have thought impossible.
I have always been that person who loves to inspire others to follow their dreams. I believe that if you’re passionate about something, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. If it doesn’t, just keep following your dreams anyway, because nobody will.
Things I love to do on my free time are reading books, dancing (I was a fire dancer at some point. Youtube Kalayo Racso. That’s me in those videos skinny years ago. lol) Preparing a hearty meal (I’ve been trying to be a healthy eater). I love to meet interesting new people, going to art expositions (Brussels has a lot of those), sharing deep conversations about life to strangers on the train, and last but not least, I love spending time with my dogs.
I am a Filipino-American, born in the beautiful; Philippines. I’m currently living or living to thrive in the diverse melting pot that is Los Angeles, California.
I am an HR professional working in the Entertainment industry. I grew up moving from one place to another with my family and a few times without, which I will highly contribute as to why I have learned to adapt with ease to all types of people and situations, good and bad.
My passions are traveling, the arts and most especially working on non-profit projects. One of the most significant turning points in my life was back in 2009, when Typhoon Ondoy devastated my homeland, the Philippines. Without much to give, I decided to bring the community together and raise funds through a benefit concert. It was a turning point in my life because that was the first moment I felt unstoppable. I had no prior experience putting together a fundraiser nor any type of shows at the level I envisioned to accomplish. But the passion to help the crying children I saw from the coverage of the devastation drove me to make the cold calls, knock on unknown doors and attend local community meetings. Not one door being shut in my face had a negative effect on me but it made me try even harder. With the support of loved ones and friends, I held the benefit concert in Hollywood, headlined by Camile Velasco (Eli-Mac) along with the band, Adam's Attic and a local Orange County band, Station. Since then, I've been involved in a number of fundraising events and shows, became part of the 2012 UNICEF Tap Project core team in LA, and continue to assist local non-profit/grass-root organizations around the world.
I’m thrilled by all the things I have yet to see and experience in this world. I think the saying, “curiosity killed the cat” is one of the most interesting “wisdoms” that is passed on to remind us to be careful about being curious, about trying something you’ve never done before or doing something that’s never been done before. I think it’s so limiting. So I respond to that - curiosity may have killed the cat, but it sure died with the biggest smile on its face!