How are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello my name is Jackie Marzan and I’m doing well! I’ve been fairly busy planning out trips, changing jobs and networking with other strong Filipinx entrepreneurs!
Tell us more about your business?
I decided to start my business last year after I graduated from graduate school. After obtaining my masters in public health from the University of San Francisco, I really wanted to do something creative. I was also coping with a fairly traumatic time in my life after experiencing sexual assault. From the pain and trauma, I found healing through craft and art. As someone who is deeply invested in public health, I really wanted an educational factor for my business. Upon doing some research, I found that I wanted to try and amplify the native Filipino voice that has been subdued due to various waves of influence and colonization. Researching and writing stories on pre-Spanish colonial native Filipino mythology have taught me more about my identity and how important it is to keep these voices alive.
Is there a specific reason why you chose making jewellery as business?
I wanted to create things that really amplify and accentuate the beauty of my brown sisters. To marry both my Filipino roots and American/Bay Area upbringing, I wanted to use local products, as well as items from the Philippines.
What is your biggest achievement?
Honestly, just starting my business after experiencing a lot of pain, trauma and anxiety. It was important for me channel those negative feelings into something beautiful.
What was one of your biggest struggles?
My biggest struggle is making sure I’m finding accurate information. As much as I enjoy writing stories on Filipino mythology, I’ve also enjoyed researching my own family history. Different jewelry items are named after Filipino deities or after family members. Researching my roots has been pretty challenging!
What does the Filipino Community mean to you?
It means the world to me. I grew up in Orinda, CA, so my community was pretty white. I was probably one of three Filipino kids in my grade. I always wanted to feel more a part of and invested in the Filipino community. After starting my business, I found that my greatest support, besides my family, has been pinays. Words cannot even express the love and gratitude I have for my Filipino community.
What do you miss most about the Philippines?
Besides the food, I miss the kindness, openness and hospitality of Filipinos. I plan on going back in 2020 and can’t wait see how the Philippines has changed!
What are your future plans?
Upon speaking to other pinays, I want to start a support group for WOC and Filipinx women to address the stress, anxiety and trauma brown women face. I also plan on continuing to research various stories to continue amplifying the native voice.
Any advice you want to give to other entrepreneurs?
Please reach out! I’ve been shown so much love and support from other Filipinx entrepreneurs!
A last thing you want to plug?
I recently published my website! Please check me out at: https://www.alahasmayari.com