Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Cristina “Tina” San is actually a friend of my friend’s friend. Connect the dots, if you please.

Her name never really rang a bell to me until I stumbled on her Facebook page where she sells her fabulous hand-made accessories. At first glance, one would be tempted to buy every piece she has posted in her page. Sometimes, before one could even type in “hm (abbreviation for how much)?” in the comment space, she’d update each photo caption with SOLD, repeatedly, all the way to the last item in the album. Everything sells like pancakes. Ironically, it came to my luck that she only sells one piece per design. My purse had let out a sigh of relief at this revelation, as it would not be depleted to a smaller size given the unavailability of my choices in Tina’s stock room. Whew. Another triumph for Shopaholics Anonymous.

Her considerably priced creations are modified versions of designer gems you can buy in any high end boutique. Tina finds inspiration for trends like bibs, bejewelled scarves, chunky layered beads, and many more. She never fails to amaze me and my stylist/ photographer-friend, Ayie, with her great eye for style. Her accessories have become conversation pieces, as well as inspirations for fashion shoots here and there. We’ve always wondered how she puts together elaborate and intricate patterns, without the aid of a professional artist.

Tina shares the back story of her accessory line, Tinitch Accessories. “I have always loved working with my hands, doing all sorts of arts and crafts. I started making my own accessories back when I was 18 yrs old. They were much simpler in design. Mostly wooden beads and nylon strings.”

I got hooked to designing jewelries when my friend asked me to recreate an expensive necklace she saw in a mall. What started as a hobby of combining beads, cords, and semi-precious gemstones for friends and family, eventually became a successful and creative venture that drew interest from many jewelry lovers.”

Tina yearned for a formal training in this craft, but found the internet as a better source of techniques and how to’s. “I wanted to join workshops but didn't have the time. I just learned on my own through online tutorials in YouTube. I get my inspiration online, surfing websites like Etsy and Pinterest. Fashion blogs also stimulates the creative juices in me. I love browsing though outfit posts, checking out different ways of matching clothes with accessories. My list of style icons include names of stylists and fashion bloggers local and US based fashion mavens such as Camille Co, Aisa Ipac, Kryz Uy, Rachel Zoe, and Daphne Guinness.

From personal flair to a full-blown brand, I’d say Tinitch Accessories exemplifies Tina’s individuality and style. Friends describe her as funny, eccentric and unpredictable. Her fashion style is more on the subtle side. She follows trends, but sticks to the basics. She puts emphasis on one piece of clothing, making it stand out to establish a statement look. I guess this is where her accessories come in handy.

“I never work by set, nor do I work along the usual method of putting up a whole collection. Inspirations come in from left and right, and I make and upload whatever pops in my head. A simple pendant necklace takes 5 to 10 minutes to produce. A beaded chain necklace can be finished in 30 minutes. A sewn beaded necklace with an intricate design can take long hours.”

Nevertheless, hard work and endurance paid off. Her wounded fingers have created masterpieces that graced newspapers and magazines. 

photo by: Rap Yu from ArtMovement Studios

photo by: Rap Yu from ArtMovement Studios

Celebrity endorsers like Solenn Heussaff wore creations by Tinitch Accessories in fashion shoots (photos of which were featured in different publications), as well as TV shows.

The beautiful Solenn wears Tinitch! Thanks to Eric Poliquit! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eric-Poliquit-as-a-Stylist/195223820491691 and Paulo Castro

Tina’s accessories even graced the aisle of a friend’s wedding. She dedicated one of her most elegant designs for her bestfriend’s bridesmaids in a wedding back in January. 

Tina wore one of her hand-made earrings to her best friend's wedding.

“I don’t have an assistant. I do everything on my own. What I do is fun and fulfilling, but it’s also bloody laborious. This is the reason why I am taking baby steps in going all out with my accessory line."

"I dream of putting up my own store one day, but for now, I'm happy with my online store. I don’t pay for extra fees and rent. I can take your store wherever I want and check on it 24/7.”

Visit the Facebook page of Tinitch Accessories to see more of Tina’s works. For orders, you may call or text her at 0917-7078462.

All photos courtesy of Tina San.
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
Page 15, A1 of INdulge section, Edge Davao, Vol. 5 Issue 87, 04 July 2012.


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