Ancan - DAMDAM


Celebrating origins and stories otherwise forgotten, Ancan creates objects that carry a piece of a place and people. A new narrative rooted in age-old methods, it conveys the same beauty that heirlooms do when aged with time. Here, its story as told to us by Ancan founder Bea de Jesus.


 ”We value the practice of passing down things. Like the stories we were told as children, some of the best stories stay with us and continue to stay as long as we pass them on. 

The word Ancán is derived from Angkan, which means family and ancestry. It’s a store of objects and accessories designed and found using techniques and materials I found interesting that are mostly - if not all - handmade using traditional methods.”



“We've always chosen materials with the environment in mind. Most, if not all, are natural, processed by hand and without the use of harmful chemicals. Although not perfect—we've had to use nylon threads for example for durability—this is kept to a minimum.

Our production is done in small batches by small communities of artisans which prevents us from making more than necessary. Working conditions are kept optimal by paying artisans what they ask for or more, and a number of them actually work from their homes.

Everything handmade requires time and we want them to be happy doing what they do, so lead times are based on what's ideal for them, versus us dictating which typically leads to stress and affects the quality of work.”

「私たちは常に環境を考慮して材料を選択してきました。 全てではないにしても、ほとんどが自然で、手作業で処理され、有害な化学物質を使用しません。 耐久性のためにナイロン糸を使用する必要があることもあり、完璧ではありませんが、最小限に抑えています。

私たちの生産は、職人の小さなコミュニティによって少量ずつ行われているため、必要以上のものを作ることができません。 職人へは公正な賃金を支払い、労働条件は最適に保っています。また、多くの職人は自宅で働いています。


“I am always looking for new materials and I know I’ve only scratched the surface but right now I still love Abaca. Most of the abaca plant can be used, unlike those where other parts of the plant go to waste once the finer bits have been picked out. It’s especially versatile and can be used for a wide range of things. Different weights allow different applications—heavier, coarser fibers for heavy use like rugs, rope, etc., up to the super fine (which is actually already pretty hard to find) can be used for loomed textile, which are surprisingly fine and soft!

Making these objects requires skill that takes decades by a group of people to perfect. It’s influenced by the place they live in and their ancestors—how this becomes a part of their identity and culture is valuable. For it to be overlooked or underappreciated to the point that it will be lost is really sad, which is why it’s important to preserve them.”



“The things I treasure most are things from my mom or dad or stuff my grandparents passed on even if they’re old or broken. The history behind them makes them special to me.

I want to chase that same feeling with the objects I offer. In a world that moves quickly, it is nice to have something made slowly and with intention, that means something and has a story behind it.”