Tuesday, August 14, 2012


In one of those boring lunch breaks some 5 years ago, I stumbled on a link to a relatively new fashion haven on Multiply called House of Glamorosa.  The face of the seller looked so familiar to me, like I’ve already seen her on TV or something. Her pretty face exudes drama, fun, and glamour, similar to the kind of dresses that she posted online. Tired and weary, I finally decided to give in to retail therapy to boost my energy, even if the initial intention was only to browse through the shopping site.

What was supposed to be a breather eventually became a habit. Not a bad habit, mind you. I came to love and favour the brand, especially since it is proudly made by a Davaoeña. Whenever my bank account permits, I’d browse through her site, which was relaunched as a Facebook page, to check if there are new pieces I can add to my closet. The selection process is always difficult, time consuming, and, sometimes, even depressing --- as you’d end up wanting to buy everything in every color. The clothes are definitely of high quality and style, and nothing is overpriced. My closet can definitely attest my loyalty to the brand.

House of Glamorosa was conceptualized in 2006 by, then, a budding young entrepreneur named Carine Cabebe. This Accountancy graduate’s first claim to fame was her win in the Closeup to Fame contest in 2005. Hosting and commercial modelling appealed to her for a brief period, as she eventually became engrossed to a more suitable line of interest cum business: fashion merchandise. In 2008, she modified her brand and created House of Glamorosa, an online hub for fashionable and affordable clothes.

A fashion-fanatic herself, Carine understands that women nowadays are not only fashion-conscious, but most especially brand-conscious. According to her, one of the main goals of her online site is to provide closet staples that would complement her shoppers’ existing high end and branded items, resulting to ensembles that exude class and elegance, without having to spend as much.

Her background in Fashion Merchandising in one of the Philippines’ top fashion schools helped a lot in developing her eye for fashion. She personally scours around the world to acquire ready to wear clothing for women, which are inspired by retail giants such as Topshop, Mango, Zara, Forever21 and H&M.

Carine’s exceptional style is evident in the quality of clothes she sells. You can tell each piece was carefully chosen.  Nothing is redundant or plain. The designs are a mix of classic essentials complemented with a pinch of panache and quirkiness to keep up with the latest trends. Each style is limited only to a few shades, with no more than one in stock for each. After all, who would want to be caught dead wearing the same outfit with someone else?

My friends and I frequent Carine’s stalls in Christmas bazaars, and the shop she built in her residence. I’d tag along a friend or two, who have also become Carine’s regular early birds, if I may say so.  “House raids,” as we call it, are more fun coz we get to swim and select through the piles of clothes, before the rest of the population hoard away the good finds.  Just as the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm.

Carine has definitely put a lot of effort in improving her brand and market. Not only does she model the clothes herself (in the company of loyal friends, as well), she also takes care of the dirty work, which include hours of ironing each piece to perfection, polishing some photos on the computer, and carefully setting clothes on hangers and racks. Shipping her stash back and forth, from Davao to Manila, is a different story altogether.

With hard work, she has proudly seen her brand grow. From a simple online shop, it developed into an actual boutique in Davao. Its popularity earned invitations to exclusive bazaars in Rockwell, The Fort, and, just recently, at the SMX Convention Center (for the SUPERB Bazaar, in tandem with the Philippine Fashion Week).

House of Glamorosa is now all set and ready to dress up Davao once again with the latest of its  luxe and trendy wearables, all meticulously chosen to impress the city's most stylish.  Visit Carine’s booth at the Great Kadayawan Trade Fair, happening at the Davao Convention Center from August 16 to 19, 2012.
Story published on my newspaper column, METRO MOM.
A1, INdulge section, Edge Davao, Vol 5 Issue 117, 15 August 2012.


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