April 9, 2021
DIVERSEcity’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Program is helping Philippines-born Rhona Doria bring textiles by women artisans in her homeland to Canada.
In the Philippines, there is a centuries-old Indigenous style of weaving called hablon.
Coming from the Hiligaynon word “habol,” which means “to weave,” these intricate, colourful textiles are popular in the Philippines and help support women weavers and artisans, especially now during the pandemic. They turn these cotton and rayon fabrics into home linens and décor, face masks, fashion accessories and apparel.
Philippines-born Rhona Doria, a participant in DIVERSEcity’s free Immigrant Entrepreneur Program in Surrey, BC, wants to help her countrywomen by sharing their cultural products in her adopted country of Canada.
“After the pandemic hit, my old roommates from college called me up and invited me to be part of this business in the Philippines,” says Rhona, who had 20+ years of business and operations experience before immigrating to Canada five years ago. “The idea of the business is to bring Filipino products here, handwoven by artisans and weavers. I found the business idea interesting because it’s going to help those women and their husbands who lost their jobs during the pandemic.”