ChoosePinoy Exclusives: Studio Miguela

ChoosePinoy Exclusives: Studio Miguela

Doing art for business and leisure is one thing, but doing it with bigger purpose, and for a good cause is another story.

Meet the owner of Studio Miguela, Miguela Sajenes, the eldest of 5 and a CPA by profession in the banking industry, pawrent to a cute poodle, and a fan of books and art. 

Studio Miguela

Q(ChoosePinoy): What has your creative journey been like?

A(Miguela): Really started back in school, I remember my art materials back in school where I used to do portrait sketches. I didn't get into painting up until 2013. Paused for years, but resumed during the pandemic. Art became a diversion for me during these challenging times.  


Q(ChoosePinoy): So Studio Miguela was also born during the 2020 Pandemic. Would you say that it was a way of coping through the lockdown?

A(Miguela): I'm really a fan of Heart Evangelista, I saw early on during the lockdown that she had started painting again. And it was also her way of coping during the lockdown. It inspired me to also try and take up painting again. I saw, too, that Heart had been able to donate tablets out of the proceeds of her artworks.  And it made me think of giving back through art, but I didn't know how. It was not until a former boss of mine encouraged me to do hand-painted bags, which made sense, fast to put together and to share with others.


Q(ChoosePinoy): What's your inspiration/motivation?

A(Miguela): I've been really looking for a venue to help with education. I originally wanted to do vlogs, but realized it wasn't my personality, and I wouldn't be able to sustain it. I also thought about raising awareness or building awareness about children who are breadwinners.  

This resounded with me growing up, I was able to finish my studies with scholarships.  A part of my childhood was like pang-kabuhayan. We weren't a well off family. So it was truly a slow rise thankful to education.  I even experienced having to sell vegetables in night markets just to get by.

Luckily enough, I came across individuals who helped me in the form of school supplies and books. And so I strongly feel I should give back in the same way.



Q(ChoosePinoy): You mentioned that you're giving back to schools, tell us about your beneficiaries.

A(Miguela):  I currently work with my alma maters San Jose West Central School where I spent my elementary years and San Jose City National High School. 

San Jose West Central School

"San Jose West Central School 

"San Jose City National High School"


Q(ChoosePinoy): So far on ChoosePinoy we've seen hand-painted bags on abaca as your medium. Why was abaca your choice of a canvas for Studio Miguela?

A(Miguela):  A former manager of mine had asked me to paint on a bayong. From there I realized that the medium worked.  I wanted my bags to be like an actual painting, but still a bag. And I discovered that the closest medium I could do that with was with abaca. It doesn't have ridges and holes. And I could just prime it, and it would be the best to paint on. 


Q(ChoosePinoy): What's your usual theme with your bags, and where do you draw inspiration?

A(Miguela):  I would say that as a starting point, a lot of the designs were special requests by friends.  But as an inspiration, a lot of the designs on my bags come from my photographs while traveling. These landscapes are special memories to me. 


Q(ChoosePinoy): As an entrepreneur, what would you say are the challenges that you are facing?

A(Miguela): As a start-up it's really being on your own. Without help, I have to take care of everything from creating the bag, sourcing the materials, portfolio shoots, as well as finding a steady supplier of abaca for my bags.


Q(ChoosePinoy): What advise would you give people exploring entrepreneurship and for those who are already in business.

A(Miguela): I've tried a lot of ventures in the past but I believe what I'm doing now, the artwork and the painting is the best fit for me. It's business and leisure for me at the same time because I'm passionate about it.

My advise for entrepreneurs, stick with your passion because you won't get tired of doing it kahit paulit-ulit or kahit gaano mo pa katagal ginagawa.

For those who are in business already, put your heart into your business, and have the genuine desire to help others. Especially to those who need it most.

It doesn't matter how many times you fail because it only takes one successful project and one yes to launch your dreams to the stars.


Support Miguela's cause! Find the different hand bag lines on