My Mother's Mother
I remember her towering over me as she handed a Twix bar to me. Like her aura, she was a giant. Like her voice, she was a force. My grandmother exuded formidable presence whenever she was in the room. Remembering this overwhelming feeling as an adult makes me wonder how accurate my memories are.
My grandmother Fé at 36 raised nine children on her own when my grandfather passed away. Without much help, she was able to support her clan on a dismal teacher’s salary in the Philippines, a little more than a decade after the second World War. She was resourceful and began growing more than enough fruits and vegetables for my mother and her siblings. Whatever was left, she sold. Whatever was earned, she invested in her young children.
My mother, as the oldest daughter, was 14 years old when my grandmother was widowed. When I talk to my mother about motivation, it was not motivation that drove her to do her best – but necessity. Two generations of strong women coming together to raise a family was not a common situation. They took on the traditional roles of men, as the breadwinners in our family. In a way, the inspiration for Fé Everyday Goods is the amalgamation of male and female energies as bold and solid force.
When I think of the determination that one needs to endure inescapable realities and the tenderness involved in raising one’s offsprings, the name Fé comes to mind. “Fe” also is the chemical symbol for iron, a sturdy yet malleable metal. It bends with some heat, and rusts almost instantaneously. Drawing this connection, I knew that the name was meant to be. It’s how I celebrate my grandmother, mother, aunts, and sister. They have deeply carved my family’s values and influenced the men that they’ve raised to be better citizens, fathers, husbands, and humans. Fé celebrates all of them.
As time passes and as Fé Everyday Goods gains traction, my memories of my grandmother become clearer to me. Whether or not they’re accurate, it’s not the point in my remembrance. It’s about preserving this inspiration of strength and vulnerability that I’ve distilled into my designs. I hope that you feel the same when you see and experience Fé watches and clothes.
The last time I saw my grandmother was at my parents’ home. Being cold, she asked me for her cardigan which she always put over her shoulders, not putting her arms in the sleeves. She asked me for candy as we watched her favourite Blue Jay come up to bat. It was butterscotch. No longer the towering figure that I remember when I was smaller, she enjoyed the treat on the couch, without a care. After a long life, and seeing her family grow, she earned it.
The Fé minimalist watch is now available in Room 2046, for more details on the timepiece that transcends generations click here.