I first encountered NaRaYa when I was still in college. Robinson's Midtown was newly constructed then and featured a lot of new shops, one of which was NaRaYa. I loved the display of fabric bags in the shop window, but I never ever ventured in. Why? Because I thought that there was no way I can afford all those pretty bags! The boutique looked expensive too.
Well, I'll let you in on a little secret: NaRaYa bags are actually very affordable! They have purses and pouches that sell for only P99 and up while the big bags range from P500 to P1000+ (bags that cost this much are as big as a suitcase). For the cheap price, you don't get cheap quality. I said in my post last Saturday that I was surprised by the quality of the NaRaYa bag I got; the stitches were fine and straight and the fabric used was top notch. I also loved the water-repellant lining!
Ms. Cecille, the owner of NaRaya Philippines, invited me to visit the store in SM North EDSA after reading what I wrote. She was super nice and accomodating, telling me all about NaRaYa and giving me a mini-tour around the store. I was amazed by what she told me about the bags!
For instance, did you know that NaRaYa bags are made by hand in Thailand? That explains the quality and attention to detail in each piece. They don't have factories here or in anywhere else but Thailand. Every aspect of the store is also replicated from the Thai flagship store, even down to the displays!
Aside from quality control, one other thing that NaRaYa prides itself in is the cleanliness of their stores. You won't see any dust gathering in corners here!
One of their bestsellers
Aside from the bags themselves, I was also impressed by Ms. Cecille's passion for the brand. She actually trained with NaRaYa in Thailand to better appreciate the bags; part of the training was working as a sales lady in one of the stores. She's very hands on and detail-intensive. I appreciated that she was also using a NaRaYa bag when we met - and take note, it's not for show, because her bag looked well-used!
She was using the pearl gray checkered version
Overall, it was a very interesting tour for me. It certainly dispelled a lot of notions about the brand. Will I be buying from it? Definitely! I'm eyeing one of the purple bags. ;)
Oh oh, let me show you what Ms. Cecille gave me as a thank you gift:
Bag P800 (if I remember right) and clutch at P500
I chose a luxe black checkered bag with a big bow (!). Very stylish, very sophisticated and most importantly, it's versatile. I've actually been using it all week! I plan to use it forever, haha. I also got a clutch bag so I can put my small stuff in it as well as use it by itself for evening events.
I love it when I come across underrated brands like NaRaYa. What do you think of it?