Starting today, flower arrangements aren't the only way that Marian Rivera can bring warmth and beauty to your home. The actress and entrepreneur is officially launching her own line of decor, Flora Vida Home, and just as with her blooms, you'll fall in love with the pieces the moment you see them.
In an exclusive interview with Preview, Marian tells us all about her new venture, from its inspiration to how she managed to pull it off with only passion on her side:
Everything You Need to Know About Flora Vida Home by Marian Rivera
1. It started during one of Marian's trips to Europe.
Marian says that everything start during one fateful trip to Europe, where she found and instantly fell in love with a piece of toile fabric. It matched her style perfectly, specifically her love for anything elegant, floral, and vintage. She couldn't get it off her mind, inspiring her to create something new that soon became Flora Vida Home.
"Nagsimula 'to kasi I wanted to own it," she says. "Gusto ko magkaroon ng personal na ganitong mga bagay na hindi ko mahanap [sa iba]. Pero hindi ko naman sinasabing ayaw ko kung anong meron tayo dito sa atin. Siguro may hinahanap lang ako particularly sa linen, at sa design na ['to,] nakita ko siya."
2. Flora Vida Home started as a personal home project.
Before she officially began her line, Marian first used the toile fabric to create decor for her own home. She wanted to make sure that it was something she'd love and get for herself, and it turned out to be a success. "Nagustuhan ko siya, sabi ko iba 'yung feel, so 'yung passion ko talaga sa pag-a-arrange ng flowers nailipat ko siya dito," Marian shares.
The actress even compares it to how she feels when her projects are a hit to the public. "Sabi ko ganoon pala 'yung fulfillment para ring soap opera, na kapag may ginagawa ka tapos nagustuhan ng tao 'yung fulfillment na parang hindi mo matatawaran. So ganoon din 'yung naramdaman ko nung nakita ko 'tong mga fabric na 'to."
3. It took Marian almost three years to develop the products.
Marian reveals that it's been two to three years since she started working on Flora Vida Home, and has only been waiting for the right timing. And with most people staying home because of the pandemic, she figured that it was the perfect chance to finally share her project with everyone. She explains, "Coming from outside, ang daming nangyayari, may pandemya, and daming negativity, so this time gusto ko dito pag nasa loob ka ng bahay, meron kang trangkilo." She hopes to bring joy and warmth to people's houses with her designs, because everyone deserves to have a home that feels like a sanctuary.
4. Marian self-studied and developed everything on her own.
Marian deems Flora Vida Home as "sariling sikap," building the project from scratch on her own and by self-studying references online. Still, she admits that she isn't an expert and has a lot to learn about the field, expressing interest to pursue a course related to it in the future. In the meantime, it was receiving constant input from her husband Dingdong Dantes, friends, and sometimes even her daughter Zia that helped her determine which designs and products to pursue.
"Actually hindi talaga biro. May pagkakataon talagang magkakamali ka, mag-a-adjust ka," Marian says, but she was determined to share her creations enough to shoulder through it. She adds, "'Yun kasi ang maganda siguro kapag ginagawa mo ang isang bagay sobrang hilig mo at yung passion mo talaga nandoon, hindi ka talaga mahihirapan."
5. The products include throw pillows, lamp shades, and furniture.
When it came to selecting what kind of products to make, Marian says she started from the standpoint of necessity. She identified what was lacking in her own home and the things she and her family actually use. The first that came to mind were items in the living room, where they spend the most time. "Diyan kami nagha-heart-to-heart talk, laro, nagkekwentuhan, so para maging comfortable ka sa isang upuan, kailangan mo ng comfortable na pillow. So naisip ko yang mga 'yan, yung mga kinakailangan talaga at gusto mong nakakadagdag ng good vibes sa'yo," she explains.
She also wanted essential pieces that can highlight the owner's personality, hence the designs of her lamp shades, from elegant floral prints to an adorable tractor, one inspired by her son, Ziggy. You'll also find Marian's beloved toile fabric incorporated into different pieces of furniture like lounge chairs, ottomans, and dining chairs. And for a personal touch, these can be customized and have letters engraved on the wood!
When we asked what her favorite pieces were, she found it hard to choose before deciding on the lamps and furniture because of how much work they took to perfect. Stating the lamps as an example, she shares, "Sa lamp kasi back and forth 'yan sakin, 'yung specific shape na dino-drawing gusto ko pulido ang pagkakagawa, and the color na matte white or rustic white."
6. Some pieces are made of wood from salvaged mango trees.
Flora Vida Home uses salvaged mango tree wood from Southroad Bay and Paete in Laguna to create some of their products. This helps support the local communities in the area, giving them a source of livelihood during these difficult times.
7. All Flora Vida Home pieces are proudly made in the Philippines.
The brand's fabric may be sourced elsewhere, but Marian stresses that all pieces are handmade here in the Philippines, and that's what make Flora Vida Home unique. "Mahirap magbuhat ng sariling bangko, pero ang masasabi ko, yung fabric na meron ako ngayon ay very unique at hindi ako mapapahiya. At the same time, gawang Pinoy ito," she tells us. "Very proud akong sabihin na ang Flora Vida ay gawang Pinoy."
For more information on Flora Vida Home, visit their official website.