Beyond the luxury products it churns out, the workspace of Valdes siblings Bea and Marga reflects the keen design sensibility of the women running it
When Bea Valdes set up a workshop in 2004 to craft belts, bags, and jewelry, her workspace then was little more than her mother’s kitchen where she was joined by three of her craftswomen. But as her business grew, so did the workforce, and she would move operations to bigger spaces that would fit the amount of people she works with as well as the product inventory. Eventually, the business reached a point where building a new space big enough to contain it was better than constantly moving from one location to another. Joined by her sister Marga, Bea finally settled into a new space in April of 2015.
The place used to be a two-storey juice factory that sported green and red walls. With the help of their mother, the sisters were able to transform the building into a three-floor manufacturing space that is perfect for their design process. They were also able to add a couple of gardens without having to tear down the old structure. The sisters wanted enough light and air to circulate throughout the space, thus the open layout, the windows, the high ceilings, and the white walls. Outside, the building is surrounded by a tall wall covered with vines.
The sign BEAVALDES, done in gold, welcomes visitors to the showroom where clients can look at the latest collections. To make the space more comfortable and relaxing, a garden was set up next to the canteen. On the second floor is the main work area where all the brand’s pieces are made by hand. The work tables placed in the middle of the floor accommodate a group of 35 artisans, while set against a wall are sewing machines. In another corner, rows and rows of custom acrylic cases hold pieces from past collections. The Valdes sisters’ office is also on this floor. The third floor meanwhile is a workspace for bigger projects, where a photo studio and another garden had also been set up. The third floor garden is where the sisters’ kids can play whenever they bring them along to work.
Because Bea and Marga spend eight hours a day here, they wanted to make the whole place as comfortable as possible. On top of that, they also want to show a different side to manufacturing: that it doesn’t have to be housed somewhere that’s dark and cramped—that light and air are unofficial but necessary ingredients to any well-made product. •