MY LIFE IN FLOWERS
Finding home within multiple cultures around the world hasn’t lessened Pristine Lampard’s sense of community. Quite the opposite – it’s merely expanded her commitment to care for her own (wherever that may be). The socially-conscious entrepreneur and founder of Hong Kong-based furniture collective, Dalisay Collection, has long worked to uplift society’s underrepresented members in order that we might all flourish.
Pristine’s desire to support others shows in all of her projects. During her time as programme director with RUN Hong Kong, her ‘PATHS for the Future’ education programme created job opportunities for refugees, asylum seekers and victims of torture. Now her vision has shifted to honouring her own Filipino roots, showcasing the country’s artisanal makers to a global audience.
Living in Hong Kong with her husband, with whom she built the brand, Pristine founded Dalisay Collection as a celebration of her heritage. Its logo is the national flower of the Philippines, the sampaguita, representing reverence for this rich culture.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in the US – in Texas, but was born in the Philippines and have been living in Hong Kong for 8+ years. I worked in technical roles in finance and software before transitioning into the nonprofit sector. Before founding Dalisay Collection, I was the Chief of Staff for the Akilah Institute in Rwanda and Programme Director for RUN Hong Kong. When I was growing up my parents wanted me to be a doctor and for my sister to be a lawyer – now we are both working in creative industries instead! My parents are super supportive of all the career turns I’ve made, but even I am surprised that after studying math and economics at university, I find myself working in design.
Tell us about the journey in launching Dalisay?
Before starting Dalisay Collection, I spent years traveling and working with nonprofits and social enterprises in East Africa and Asia. Through this I was able to start curating my own small collection of handcrafted pieces from around the world for my home in Hong Kong. This led to the founding of Dalisay Collection – where I could provide furniture with unique designs and make the experience hassle free, sustainable, and most importantly, acknowledge the people and materials behind the pieces.
How does your creative process at Dalisay work?
When we’re creating a new collection, the creative process starts with inspiration from our clients, the makers, or the materials. As the founder of a creative business, I have to think about how all of those different aspects come together. There is a lot of back and forth collaboration and trial and error, but because we create in small batches, this means we can push the limits with our designs and take more risks.
“Most importantly, acknowledge the people and materials behind the pieces.”
What are your biggest creative inspirations and influences?
I’m heavily inspired by nature and natural materials which is reflected in many of the Dalisay Collection designs and I get much of my creative inspiration when I’m outside and moving – running, hiking, kayaking, or at the very least enjoying my outdoor space at home. I’m also inspired by some of the beautiful ancestral homes in the Philippines which are historic homes that families have preserved and maintained for generations. They often have a lot of traditional design aspects and antiques and I love learning more about the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines. Dalisay’s first indoor living collection really pays homage to this but in a modern way.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Having an emphasis on natural, solid wood was very intentional. On the one hand, it’s durable and can last for a long time. If solid wood is damaged, it can be easily repaired, refurbished, and refinished. That’s not the case for furniture made with particle board, laminate, or even wood veneer. At the same time it’s naturally beautiful and meaningful. Every piece of wooden furniture we make will be different because we can’t duplicate the natural wood grain. Wood can have a long lifecycle and because we work with reclaimed wood, every piece has a history, a story. We all have our own unique story to tell, and so do natural materials. We welcome our clients to be a part of creating the next chapter for each of our solid wood pieces.
“My hope is to bring recognition and appreciation and to also create meaningful work that helps keep artistry alive in a world of mass manufacturing.”
What drew you to Filipino craftsmanship?
I was born in the Philippines and although I moved to the US when I was one year old, living in Hong Kong for the last 8 years has allowed me to reconnect with my heritage in many different ways. Filipinos know that there is such a rich history of craftsmanship in the Philippines, but it’s not something that is very widely recognised outside of the country, despite being the manufacturing home to many global furniture brands. With Dalisay Collection I wanted to change that and to bring real recognition to the talents of the craftsmen on the global stage – not just as a small ‘made in the Philippines’ label or as a souvenir. My hope is to establish lasting appreciation and to also create meaningful work that helps keep artistry alive in a world of mass manufacturing.
What sparked your interest to bring Filipino craftsmanship to Hong Kong?
One turning point for me was seeing a Christmas decoration for sale at a major retailer. I recognised it immediately as something from the Philippines as it is a significant part of the culture and the material is very recognisable. Of course there was no acknowledgement of this from the retailer. I really felt an urge to create a change in the furniture and decor retail world, starting with where I call home – Hong Kong!
Community building is a big part of your life. How do you foster this through Dalisay and advocate this outside of work?
One of our company values is to build a community where globally-minded individuals can come together and be part of a collective that values meaningful and inspiring pieces and work. This community shares stories, inspiration, and experiences. This includes clients, designers, and craftsmen alike. I also collaborate with organisations locally in the Philippines like Habi, the Philippine Textile Council, which aims to preserve, promote, and enhance the Philippine textile industry.
You used to be a food and travel blogger. From all the places you’ve traveled to, which place inspired you the most?
It’s been so long since I’ve been able to travel, so I’ll opt for some local destinations instead – I have really been enjoying exploring Hong Kong’s outdoors the last 2 years, particularly some new areas around Sai Kung and Plover Cove Country Park. It’s a reminder that we can find beauty, inspiration, and culture at home without having to hop on a plane (though I’d love to travel again soon!).
What are some of your favourite collectables you gathered from your travels?
I used to travel frequently between Hong Kong and East Africa for work. This included being in Rwanda just days before my wedding and hopping on a plane for a work trip just a day after I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It wasn’t always easy being away during those times when my mind was also occupied by big life events, but some of my favourite items I brought home were from those trips – a traditional, Agaseke, or ‘peace basket’, which was a wedding gift from a friend and colleague, and a small quilt and baby toy sewn with kitenge for my little one on the way.
How do you create an inspiring space at home?
Now that I am primarily working from home, my main living spaces transition through many phases throughout the day – from an office, to a school, to a fort for the kids to play and finally a relaxing space to unwind. What really helps my whole family, especially me, is to have natural elements in the home and to move our bodies. We keep the windows open for natural light and fresh air. Our home has lots of plants and fresh flowers and our outdoor spaces are like extensions of our indoor living spaces – I eat, work and find inspiration at home on the balcony or rooftop. I’m in a rustic phase at the moment – lots of natural finishes and materials, but still sophisticated.
You’re also a mother of two. How has having children changed your interior style and home?
My home is definitely more busy now – especially with two kids. I have to balance design with storage and practicality. One of my favorite pieces from the first Dalisay indoor living collection is a big storage coffee table where I can hide a lot of the less attractive things we need at home – toys, school supplies, or fitness equipment. Although we still own a lot of things, I try to declutter and make sure everything has a place at the end of the day.
This season we’re celebrating Mother’s Day and all things maternal here at The Floristry. What does the maternal mean to you?
Maternal to me is that instinct and urge we have as mothers to care for and protect our children. It starts when they are growing in our tummies and once they are out, we always try to do what we think is best for our kids.
How do you weave nature and flowers into your everyday life?
Living in the city, my connection with Mother Nature is honestly critical to my physical and mental wellbeing. I crave it when I’ve spent too much time away! I don’t always have a green thumb but I incorporate a lot of natural plants and fresh flowers into my home design indoors and outdoors. I also love adding to our collection of plants and flowers when entertaining.
What are your favourite flowers? How do they make you feel?
Simple and sweet – my son loves to pick wildflowers for me on walks or hikes and I love those tiny treasures!
What’s next for you?
With summer approaching it hopefully means more beach time, swimming, and waterfall hikes. Workwise, we’re launching a new line for Dalisay Collection that will help further reduce waste from fast furniture and support circular design!
Follow Pristine’s creative journey @pristinelampard / @dalisaycollection