At a young age, we are still discovering our strengths and our weaknesses, our passion and fire, and our goals and aspirations. These are the factors that will lead us to our future. For a young lady like Tisha Rose Chavez, her early discovery of her talent jumpstarted her drive towards being a girl boss artist.
When Tisha was 11 years old, her fighting spirit made her choose her own path that led her to the discovery of her gift.
“Our mom required us [siblings] to take piano lessons but ‘di ako naging interesado talaga so I said that I wanted to take a painting class instead. The lessons started with pencil drawing, oil pastel, acrylic paint, and finally, oil paint.”
She took these art classes every summer for years with her mentor, Mr. Richard Perez.
As painting became one of her niches, Tisha had the opportunity to incorporate her talent in art into fashion. It all started when her sister, Danielle, was in need of a unique gown for their promenade. Her sister insisted to let her paint on the gown.
“Nagpakita siya (Danielle) sa akin ng pictures of Heart Evangelista’s works and that inspired me even more. After that, several relatives of mine started to ask me to paint on their gowns.”
Building her brand
Tisha was then inspired to start the business after the hand-painted gown went viral on Twitter. She got several calls from clients, asking her to create one for them. However, due to the pandemic and events being canceled, she was forced to pause the business.
But Tisha and her sister didn’t completely stop generating new ideas for her craft.
“My sister got an idea that I should make artworks specifically made for printing on fashion pieces para mas causal and affordable compared to directly hand-painted dresses. Originally kasi, we have a family business, Tribo Bikolano, wherein we sell souvenirs and personalized items. My sister said that we should use the equipments of the business to maximize the use.”
Because of their ingenious ideas, the brand Tisha Chavez Painted Fashion was born. This ever-growing entrepreneurship is continuously penetrating the fashion industry by generating more amazing products and designs.
Of all the products from her various collections over the years, Tisha named the Astra Puff Sleeves top from her 2020 Christmas Collection her most favorite one.
“Most of my paintings are actually crammed and a lot of them I didn’t fully enjoy painting. But with this painting, I didn’t feel rushed and [making] it made me feel like I was also in that place. I rarely feel proud with my artworks but I’m actually proud of this one. Looking at the painting reminds me of the bliss and contentment I felt when making it, so it’s still my favorite product until now.”
The Highs and Lows
Amidst everything Tisha has encountered throughout her business venture, she shared her favorite experience with her clients that really makes it all worth it.
“My favorite interaction with a customer was when someone randomly messaged us to thank us. And to say that she appreciates us for making a political statement with our products despite the possibility of backlash. I felt the genuineness of her message and it made me feel really appreciated.”
Currently a Fashion Design and Merchandising student at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Tisha shared her struggles when it comes to balancing her work and her studies.
“There were a lot of times na stressed out ako with my projects and exams but we needed to release a new collection. Ang sister ko really busy with her classes and tests din so it’s quite exhausting.”
However, they still manage to get through these because of the never-ending support of their parents.
It is not uncommon for relatively small business owners to face struggles when it comes to managing everything. As an independent brand, they are hands-on in everything that goes on with their products.
“Kapag mayroon sale ang Shopee or may nagviral na post about us, we get a lot of orders. And maraming times na nahirapan kami. Hindi naman kasi pwede na i-rush ang pagtahi since need din na good quality ang lahat ng products namin.”
And because she is an art student, she tends to get burnt out. Thus, it affects her headspace when it came to creating new products.
“…binubuhos ko ang lahat na creativity ko sa outputs ko and draining din siya so nagkakaroon ako ng art block after. I just procrastinate until few days are left until our photoshoot so I have no choice but to paint.”
Beginning of a long journey
Like any other true artist, one must have inspiration for the art they produce. Tisha shared the things that make her want to continuously paint and create products for her brand.
“I get most of my inspiration from impressionist paintings and landscapes. I have a lot of them saved sa Pinterest in order to motivate myself. When I choose the theme of a collection, I base them on my interests and on things that I find comforting para ma-motivate ako na magpaint.”
Because she and her sister are still studying in Manila and their products are produced locally in Bicol, Tisha is yet to determine the next step for her business.
But what she is sure about is the clear future of her continuing her brand.
“I can actually see myself doing this for a long time. After I graduate, ang plano ko talaga is completely magfocus sa TCPF.”
As she plans to venture into the world with the business on her shoulders, she expressed her gratitude to those people who supported her from day one.
“Thank you so much to everyone who supported us from the start. We would have never gone this far without your support. Forever grateful ako and I appreciate everything you do to help us.”
And to all other small business owners out there, Tisha has something to say to you.
“If things don’t go the way you want, remember that we have our own pace in improving so don’t give up and just continue doing what you are passionate about. Be creative and take risks but also be smart and careful din. Maging kind ka sa sarili mo and practice self care. Hindi naman nagrerevolve ang whole world mo around your business, so remember na magtake din ng breaks and gumawa ng things na genuinely nagpapasaya sayo.”
Good luck, Tisha! May your business flourish and bloom like the flowers you wonderfully paint.
Gabriela Alexandra, or better known as Alex, is currently a journalism student at Bicol University. She likes to call herself a struggling artist, an idealist, and a hopeless romantic. She may wander around a lot, but she is never lost.