Common Room x Make Space Today Pop Up and the Tatak backstory

In case you haven't heard myself a long with the Tatak artists are at SM Aura Premier for the rest of the holidays.

About two years ago I was part of Common Room Alabang. That was my first experience at consigning my stamps in a mall space. I just jumped at the opportunity without the right frame of mind or any expectations.

Being based north of Metro Manila I had to personally deliver my stocks to Common Room in Alabang. Restocking often involved me rushing to Alabang after work hoping I would make it in time before closing and then worrying about how I am going to get a ride home. This would take away at least 2 hours from my already sleep deprived self. (Hello, Marz Today as in- she sleeps during the day huhu.)

My little space in Common Room Alabang during the holidays with matching Christmas Lights because ho ho ho.

That carried on for about 6 months. The pressure of meeting the demand took its toll on me considering that it was Christmas season. By January I bowed out of the retail space because my vasculitis started to flare up and although the sales were wonderful, risking my health was not worth the trouble.

Knowing what I know now, this experience made me aware of the challenges involved in being in a retail space. It felt close to impossible for someone like myself (who has a day job and does this as a side hustle) to turn into a sustainable venture if I want to be in a mall space.

This year I felt that I was ready to return to a mall space but knew that I needed help. I turned to my usual collaborator Lui (@Sayitwithstamps) if she would be interested in joining a maker space that offered retail workshops apart from a retail space (this is oversimplifying what Make Space Today does for us!)

Basically I had imagine Tatak as a platform for stamp artists so that they can enter a retail space without having to think about weather they'll meet the minimum number of stocks or worry about giving up their lives to make money on the side.

The Tatak artists Lui, myself and Mara

I thought of other possible collaborators who would be interested in testing this model out. Luckily I came across Mara's booth at a Common Room pop-up event. I knew that she too was juggling stamp-making, a job and being a mom on top of that.

That being said the three of us would get together for the first time at the Make Space Today pop-up in Maginhawa in May. To be honest, we had no clue of what to expect. Being part of a space that allowed us to operate on a learning curve was a pleasant experience. The pulse checks offered at Make Space Today pointed out things we didn't know we can improve on retail-wise.

As things have gone swimmingly in our Maginhawa space we took on this pop-up in a mall to test ourselves. (Again south aaahhh) I am not complaining since BGC is pretty much half-way for all three artists.

photo by Make Space Today

That's pretty much what I've been up to these days among other things. I hope this time we'll survive the holidays since we're offering our stamps in this new area for the first time.


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Name: Marz Ren | AKA: 認馬摯
​Marz is a handmade stamp artist turning things and people into stamps since 2013

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