When I posed the question on twitter, “Who is the ultimate Glam-O-Mama?” Daphne Osena-Paez topped the list. I agreed emphatically, undeniably, completely 100%! As her former “F” co-host I met Daphne when her first daughter Sofia was born. Eight years later, this super Mama has had 2 more gorgeous daughters Lily and Stella.
From the very start I admired Daphne’s calm and collected demeanor and stylish take on things. To me she was like the sophisticated, worldly older sister that you aspire to be like but secretly know you could never be quite as chic or put together. Daphne is a loving mother who has three beautifully mannered, thriving daughters which is a testament to her mothering principles and she is a true inspiration to all of us.
Daphne tells us what she is currently busy with (makes you wonder when she has time to sleep) and shares some suggestions for mothers who want to create beautiful yet functional spaces for their children.
Take note: the woman is so successful her name is trademarked!
What is happening in Daphne’s world these days?
I’m still hosting Urban Zone which airs in ABSCBN every Sunday night and globally in TFC. I am also the producer of the show so that part keeps me busy. My shoot schedule is quite light, only once a week. And everything else I do at home while I hang out with the three kids. In the past couple of years I’ve set up my brand of home products – which bear my name. I have bed linens in Our Home and SM Homeworld, Daphne Furniture in Rustan’s and fine jewelry in Accessory Lab. I also have a blog (http://daphneosena.livejournal.com) which I now treat as one of my products as well, so that I make sure it never gets neglected. For the two home products I have partners who do the operations. The jewelry is a one woman show. I am currently busy cooking up new products for my line. I can now announce that I’m working on a design picture book – inspired by Urban Zone and my blog. National Book Store is co-publishing it with me. It’s a lot of work. I am also very active with Unicef right now because their focus is on maternal health and infant mortality – causes that are close to my heart. I do a lot of activities with them – visits to communities even in Mindanao, talks with mothers about breastfeeding, press conferences about breastfeeding issues from a policy point of view. On top of all this I’m renovating my kitchen.
You have a home line in SM Home World and Our Home. How did this come about?
Well, after our show F ended prematurely — I like to always stress that, haha — I had a lot of time to think about what I want to do. I didn’t accept other TV offers, instead I focused on getting my dream show produced. And that’s Urban Zone which is right up my alley. It’s a show about how people live, it’s about design and architecture. And in the back of my mind I’d always dreamt of coming up with my own products – ones that reflect my brand. So while doing UZ I had time to set up my brand “Daphne Osena Paez”, “Daphne Living”, “Daphne Furniture”. I worked on the legalities first, trademarks etc. Even though I didn’t know how to get from A to B. The show was building a very strong following among people who dream about having their own homes. UZ has a strong community. At the same time, my blog was also building its own community. I was also in the process of renovating my home and creating a little world of prettiness for my daughters. So it all came together, my brand represented the world I live in – an old wooden cottage with a modern vibe.
My first licensing deal was with Linens Direct. We came up with the idea of creating a line of luxury bed linens that reflected my look – a bit classic but not too traditional, still modern and chic. I introduced the idea of fashion for your bed. Linens Direct was already selling in Our Home so it was natural to get some shelves for me. In a few months the Daphne line in one branch of Our Home became number one, so they gave me more branches, and eventually we got SM Homeworld too.
Daphne Furniture is currently sold exclusively in Rustan’s Makati and Shangri-La. This is my newest baby. The finest handcrafted wooden furniture that reflect classical shapes but have modern and current textures. Most are one of a kind pieces that are meant to be accents or focal pieces. I have a special collection of Daphne Chairs that come in candy colours like – cotton candy, pistachio, vanilla nut, robin’s egg. (I will email you photos of the furniture…)
Have you always been interested in designing home accessories and furniture?
I do not consider myself a designer. And I’m not an interior designer nor am I a decorator. In my two home lines I set the design directions but we work with industrial designers and textile designers. Ultimately I set the tone, direction and the character of the lines. I’m the brand and the soul of the products. Each item represents my point of view.
To answer your question, yes I’ve always had a creative streak. I got a scholarship to the best university that offered Fine Arts in Canada but I didn’t accept it. I wanted to be in a more academic environment, so I chose University of Toronto and got a degree in Fine Art History and Urban Planning. In Art History I focused on the Antiquities – Greek and roman art to the renaissance period. So I do have formal training. I have a strong appreciation for all the art movements. I could talk on and on…
I’ve always had an appreciation for beautiful objects and furniture and even architecture. But I never imagined I could pull this off on my own. The funny part was when we lost F, I was told that I was getting too old for TV and that I should be doing something like what Martha Stewart was doing in her shows. I was a bit offended then. But it actually sparked an idea – to get into licensing and to create a world. A “Daphne” world. In the immediate future I want to have a line of home scents, eco-friendly cleaning solutions, paint and lamps.
You are a noted fashion plate in the manila scene. Have you ever thought of designing your own clothing line?
I once toyed with the idea – especially a line of children’s clothing. I made cute kimono tops for little boys and girls one Christmas season and sold them at bazaars. That was my first taste of entrepreneurship. It felt good. But it was also a lot of work. I could have stuck it out but my heart wasn’t totally in it. I’m not good with keeping inventory that has sizes. Too much math and stats involved. Also I enjoy fashion too much that I just want to be a consumer rather than a creator.
What are some tips for mothers who are either in the process of conceptualizing their nurseries or who may want to add to existing children’s rooms?
- You don’t have to spend so much money on creating a nursery. There are many affordable solutions or “looks for less.”
- Don’t do anything too permanent. Babies grow up fast, unfortunately. Their needs will change. While they’re infants you need comfort (especially for you while you’re breastfeeding and changing diapers). When they’re toddlers you must make sure the room is baby-proofed.
- Create zones for different purposes – changing area, sleeping area, toy area, storage.
- Use baby-friendly non-toxic paint
- Get a good quality crib – Our crib has been the same for all three babies. It’s a wooden crib from Mothercare. Classic, no frills, wood. But while I was pregnant with Stella, I ordered a custom-made cradle for her from Kenneth Cobonpue. I knew it was a totally impractical splurge. She only used her Le Petit Voyage for 7-8 months then I moved her to the wooden crib. But I figured since she’s my 3rd girl, she’d be using all hand-me-downs. I want her to have her own special crib – custom-made for her by no less than Kenneth Cobonpue.
- Allow kids to grow with their room. I gave my girls a basic and classic bedroom with a grown up bed. But I let them put their own mark of creativity in their own space – they hang their art work, they decorate their own shelves.
March 22, 2011 by Amanda Griffin-Jacob