Wine and Flowers with Soleil Ignacio and the Women of Saglit by Flower Ranch Cafe
by Some Love Team·
Somewhere in the middle of the haywire and textures of Poblacion, Makati exists a warmly lit mom-and-pop shop called Saglit, a second offspring of Flower Ranch Cafe. In the constant quickening of the new, Saglit takes the opposite direction, paying homage to time-honored walls and sheltering hand-built furniture, a thoughtful array of dried and fresh flowers. As soon as we entered Saglit, we were suddenly nostalgic for ancestral homes we haven’t visited in so long– we felt just right at home. Saglit, perhaps a moment in time, transports you to a certain feeling of warmth and familiarity, who would’ve thought of all places in Poblacion you can feel sentimental with a cup of rose tea cold brew in hand.
Saglit is run by a team consisting of a matriarch, two daughters, and their partners. Soleil, the ate, an Illustrator/Designer takes the lead in flower arrangement, and also in the creative direction of the shop. She brought life to dried flowers in a market that, initially, didn’t care much for it. Her partner, Kris, is her confidante, fire stoker, and trusted karpintero. The younger sister, Woja, does impeccable woodwork. You’ll see this all around the shop. She’s also the master brewer, maker of unique coffee cocktails such as the crowd favorite: Lavender Espresso Tonic. Alongside Woja behind the bar, is her partner, Maai. Together, they focus on crafting high quality drinks. The sisters are visionaries, and their partners, pragmatic creatives that bridge theory into practice, easing projects into fruition.
Before Flower Ranch Cafe became a reality in the family, there was an ordinary flower shop run by Evangeline, Soleil and Woja’s mom. It was these times when their mom was doing the work of two people to support her kids. She’d start very early in the morning to get to the flower market and pick choice blooms herself. Later, she would expand her work force as her small business grew. Soleil and Woja, were helping out here and there, but things really took a turn when they convinced their mom to learn design professionally. Evangeline took an interior design course to help the business. There, she learned about various design philosophies, one of which is Adaptive Reuse, the practice of repurposing old buildings to serve a new one. While Evangeline worked on keeping up with her children’s creative knowledge, Soleil was already getting crafty, changing how flowers should be arranged in their shop. After a trip to Korea in 2016, the family took home with them the inspiration for a new kind of flower shop that will be known as Flower Ranch Cafe.
It’s amazing how well this family works together. In a world where it’s generally advised to stay away from working with family, the girls (and guy) of Flower Ranch taught us that respect for each other’s ideas and abilities will go a long way. It’s also the trust in one person to make a sound final decision that has ushered in their success. Soleil shares a little bit more about her in our Q&A below:
Some Love Team: What drew you to flowers and do you think flowers and your art practice have something in common?
Soleil: As an illustrator one of my favorite things to draw ever since were flowers. I love the lines different flowers produce when drawn; the softness and rough textures all go well together.
SL: As a designer, what are the ways you can incorporate design and function together to create a beautiful and meaningful space?
Soleil: I think creating a beautiful and meaningful space is just incorporating your own personality to it! Instead of just directly copying from another look, think of how you move within and through the space and go from there. Get your furnitures from secondhand shops—for me, finding those jewel pieces makes me feel really proud and accomplished hehe. Add your own trinkets from your childhood, travels, or whatever that gives you a random fun memory!
SL: As a creator, it’s bound to happen that there will be days where you feel like you can’t begin to bring a pencil to the surface of the paper, much more so creating a piece you’re actually quite pleased with. What do you do when you get the “mean reds”?
Soleil: If it’s client work, i have no choice but to force the creatives juices HAHA. But to help with that, i go to a new environment and try working from there; i also check works from my favorite creatives—but not too much because it might just make me feel insecure rather than inspired wahahahah
SL: Tell us about the dynamic you and your family (aka the Flower Ranch team) have working together.
Soleil: It’s great because we all have our own focus with what we should be doing for the business, and also there’s comfort in the work environment with being familiar with each other.
SL: Your works invoke a strong but soft and feminine vibe... How would you describe your style?
Soleil: I’ve been at this for a decade now but i always fail at describing my style wahahahaha. I guess i just really like portraying the female figure—strong and asserting.
SL: What are your favorite kinds of projects or work? Murals? Illustrations for print?
Soleil: Murals are very rewarding but i think i like illustrations for print better!
SL: What do you like most about being a woman in this day and age!
Soleil: Whewww hmm what do i like?? I love that im in the point in my own life that i dont feel any less ‘beautiful’ or ‘womanly’ with how i dress and look—with my shaved head and all haha. And i appreciate that society has also started accepting different people that doesn’t fully conform to society.
SL: We’ve had a couple of glasses of the Frauen power with you and the girls, is it weird to ask if you resonate with a bottle of wine? 🌸
Soleil: Yeah why not! Haha. Cute and pink outside but with a kick and strong taste char hahahaha