Take your time and explore this quaint little shop in Kapitolyo.
At the height of the pandemic in 2020, visual artist Martie Datu started looking for ways to express her creativity and skills while helping small communities in Bicol, Romblon, Ilo-ilo, and La Union. What began as a hobby creating candles and soaps quickly turned into an online business.
The Fine Life Market, which first came about online at www.thefinelifemarket.com, catered to different cities and provinces in the Philippines. Encouraged by the popularity of her website, and wanting to inspire her customers to make environmentally positive changes in their lifestyle, Martie decided to create a brick and mortar shop in the heart of Kapitolyo.
The Fine Life Market is a one-stop shop of purposeful, beautiful, and sustainable products for home and personal care, kitchen and Filipino home furnishings and slow-living lifestyle products. Building and growing a slow-living community that actively participates in a push for a more sustainable future.
All the items in the store are Philippine-made and offer an all-natural, reusable, and high quality home and personal care products, kitchen, and home furnishings. These slow-living lifestyle products that promote better health and well-being whilst positively impacting the environment with a smaller carbon footprint. The Fine Life Market means to teach their customers to advocate for sustainable living at home by providing accessible and convenient eco-friendly product alternative solutions.
Shop for products such as all-natural liquid castile hand and body soaps, healing balms and aromatherapy shower tablets. Help save the environment by buying reusable items such as beeswax wraps, abaca food covers, artist-crafted charger plates, and reusable paperless towels.
Got time to spare? Take a seat at the in-store Katha Kape Cafe — a coffee shop where people can enjoy Philippine coffee. Katha Kape’s coffee is a mixture of high quality Arabica and Robusta beans, from the provinces of Benguet and Batangas. Pair it with a pastry and enjoy a respite from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle.
The Fine Life Market encourages a “mindful shopping,” experience, where customers can take their time, learn about the products and their benefits as well as inspire more conscious consumerism, supporting local artisanal communities in the Philippines. The store encourages customers to connect with the store as it will soon become a community hub for workshops and other activities.
Aside from slow and deliberate consumerism, The Fine Life Market also advocates for the protection of children from Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) in partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is a global organization which aims to help local authorities protect 400 million people from everyday violence for 20 years. In the Philippines, they are focused on working with the Philippine justice system on the online sexual exploitation of children. As Freedom partners of IJM, a fixed percentage of sales are donated to help protect and rescue children from OSEC.
Words and images by Tedrick Yau.