Marvelous Ms. Melba Transforms Plain Water Hyacinths into Statement Bags

A few years ago, RULA was invited to teach in a small community in Pampanga.  A lot of women showed up but only one persevered to learn how to make the bags and eventually, earn from it.  That one woman was Melba Garcia. 

At that time, she was bravely fighting breast cancer. She needed to earn extra income in order to support herself and her kids’ dreams. Nothing stopped her from learning the art of bag making. She  immediately grasped the opportunity to learn from RULA fashions. To this day, Melba is still making beautiful bags. With each bag she continues to make, Melba shows her determination and passion to make life better for her and her family.

Melba Garcia (left) is looking good and is very proud of her daughter, Kate. Both her daughters, Kate and Chimie, have graduated.

Melba’s variety of bags is quite interesting. She not only uses old, glossy magazines but water hyacinth as well.  Water Hyacinth is a type of plant that grows rapidly fast. Though it has beautiful flower blossoms, it has the ability to make bodies of water lose supply of oxygen. If water loses its oxygen it can kill any animals that live in those bodies of water. Melba made good use of these water pollutants, transforming them into beautiful bags.  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Melba is the perfect example of this great saying.

Here are Melba’s bags made from water hyacinth. 

Melba’s bag made out of water hyacinth. The water hyacinth used here was dyed to have that reddish effect. It looks so simple and elegant for any day-to-day outfit!
This the natural color of water hyacinth. Melba gets the water hyacinth from another lady, who patiently dries the water hyacinth under the sun. Then Melba laminates (by hand) each strip of water hyacinth to get achieve a smooth finish.
Melba’s coin purse made out of water hyacinth.
It’s hard to believe that this beautiful bag is made out of something that actually pollutes our waters.

Here are the other bags carefully and beautifully crafted by Melba Garcia.  These are all made from pages of glossy magazines. 

Melba’s coin purse looks like it was made out of leaves with those green magazine strips. Another obvious way to show that RULA bags are eco friendly and safe for the environment.
Melba’s bag is the perfect size for a shoulder bag that can be used everyday. It is colorful and vibrant just like Melba.
A more simple style of the RULA bag made by Melba. Her technique is so clean and flawless.
Here is another picture of a shoulder bag by Melba. It has closer details of her bag to show the vivid colors of ink on the magazines.
The gradient of the paper really adds depth to the bag. Melba was able to beautifully make her bag stand apart from our designs.
Melba made a pattern for this bag. It’s so unique and she was definitely able to innovate with her hard work and dedication.
Melba changed up the color scheme for this bag. This is a great statement piece with anything you wear.
Melba Garcia’s awesome team.

If you want to order from Melba Garcia, you can contact her at +63939-489-8133. We hope her story inspires you and encourages you to be a part of our RULA family soon!