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Pili Ani: Discovering new wonders

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Rosalina Tan’s foray into organic farming 25 years ago did not exactly yield the results she was dreaming of. After the crumbling of her business, she felt dejected, but was consoled by her children’s understanding and efforts to help her recover.

Her passion for organic farming led her to the pili, a fruit-bearing tree endemic to the Philippines, and found mostly in the Bicol region. She initially just wanted to help pili farmers selling their pili oil on the roadside. She researched on the pili, and out of her stocks of extracts, she made essential oils, soaps, and lotions.

“Hobby ko lang ‘yung paggawa ng mga products, and I would give them as gifts to my friends and the friends of my children. Nagustuhan naman nila,” recounts Rosalina, owner of Pili Ani.  

 

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Soon, her daughter Mary Jane Tan-Ong realized that her mother’s new venture had potential and started helping her. Doing her own research, Mary Jane discovered the wonders of elemi, the resin found in the pili tree. It is known for its fragrant smell, health benefits and skin rejuvenating capability. They started developing new products and attending exhibitions in the United States. In 2016, they launched Pili Ani.

As more Filipinos know about pili nuts more than its cosmetic benefits, Pili Ani’s initial plan was to export their products abroad, and then bring them back to the Philippines. However, their partnership with Kultura, one of their first retailers in the country, has helped them tap the local market.

“Our partnership with Kultura has taught us more about the retail landscape. It also helped us introduce our brand to the local market and exposed us to their foreign tourist buyers,” Mary Jane, Pili Ani’s CEO, says.

 

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Pili Ani’s essential oils, lip balms, soaps and lotions are some of their top-sellers locally. Its ageless concentrate, on the other hand, is a big hit among foreign buyers. Inspired by their belief in their products and the potential of the Pili, the mother-and-daughter tandem is setting sights on loftier goals.

“Pili Ani’s ultimate goal is to put a small imprint in the global beauty industry. Kung ang Morocco, may argan oil, the Philippine has pili oil,” Mary Jane says.

Pili Ani and other products are available at Kultura located in SM Malls. You may also order Pili Ani and other uniquely Filipino items at www.kulturafilipino.com.   

For more than 60 years, SM, and its affiliate brands like Kultura, has been home to thousands of MSMEs. As SM grew, so did its MSME partners. From those years of partnership, SM and MSMEs once again stand together to build back stronger. 

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