WHEN IN MANILA loves taking photographs! Point in fact, we won the Best Photo Blog Award at Globe Tattoo’s Tatt Awards this year. We simply just can’t get enough of taking pictures with our digital and film cameras, camera phones, and other photographic gadgets. Nowadays, not only daily #selfies via Instagram is considered trendy. Instant photography and Fujifilm Instax cameras are definitely in, too.
I am a rabid fan of analogue photography and this is why I love using Instax cameras, too. I know a bunch of stores where one can buy these adorable cameras in Manila and Lil’ Whims, a local business ran by two siblings, is one of the best places to go to whenever you want to have one for yourself or to give to your loved ones.
We did an exclusive interview with Miss Joni Ang, the co-owner and co-manager of Lil’ Whims. Read on and find out how Lil’ Whims started with just an online store and paved their way to becoming Manila’s hippest one-stop Instax shop!
WIM: How/When did Lil’ Whims start?
LW: Lil’ Whims officially began operations in February 2012. Before that, it was just an experimental exclusive online business, which we called “Polaroid PH” to target online buyers who are into instant photography in the Philippines, specifically Fujifilm Instax. We honestly didn’t expect that our little online biz would be successful back when we were just starting it in 2010, but it fortunately did. In 2012, we decided to register the business and open a store at The Collective in Makati. Most customers, especially parents, are wary of buying online so having a physical store can help build our customers’ trust.
WIM: Who are the people behind Lil’ Whims?
LW: Lil’ Whims is owned and managed by me, Joni Ang, and my brother, Jeremy Ang. My brother manages the physical and online store, and handles walk-in customers and online orders. On the other hand, I’m in charge of online marketing, purchasing, business compliance, and website/social media updates.
Jeremy (or “Jhem” to our customers) worked as a Technical Support Representative before he decided to run a business so he could have more control over his schedule and get to have more time with his family. I, on the other hand, have been in the digital marketing and web industry for 8 years now, currently working full-time for an Asian cruise line. I am used to running online marketing campaigns so I’m able to make use of what I know and apply it on our business. Our marketing efforts are mostly, if not purely, online.
WIM: Why is instant photography awesome?
LW: Instant photography is awesome because it is a form of instant gratification right before your eyes! Just point, shoot, and out pops out a photo that you can keep in your wallet, hang/display on the wall, or, like what most people do, take a picture of using your phone to post on social media. Instant photography is perfect for people who love capturing and preserving special moments right there and then.
WIM: What are Lil’ Whims’ bestselling products?
LW: Right now, our bestselling product is the Instax Mini 8, specifically the Pink Mini 8. This is the latest Instax camera, which is slimmer and a lot more advanced than its predecessor, the Mini 7S. Aside from the regular Instax films, the Pandora Instax Mini Film with its whimsical design is also a hit among Instax enthusiasts. Under the Accessories category, the synthetic leather bags, transparent protective cases, and photo albums are our buyers’ favorites.
WIM: Aside from your physical store in Makati, how else can people avail of Lil’ Whims products?
LW: Aside from coming to our store located in Makati City, people may order thru our website, which we recently just revamped. Payments may be made through BDO / BPI bank deposit, GCash, or Paypal. As soon as payment has been settled, we ship out orders that normally arrive at our customers’ doorsteps in 1 to 3 days.
And because I love instant photography (and cats!), I’m giving away a Garfield Instax Mini 7s Bundle from Lil’ Whims to one lucky When in Manila reader!
The package includes (1) Garfield Mini 7S camera, (1) wrist strap, (1) camera manual, (4) AA batteries, (1) 10-piece Garfield mini film pack, and (1) Garfield mini bag. Isn’t this awesome?!
To join, just follow the 5 easy steps below!
Note: This contest is open to anyone who is living in the Philippines. The prize may be claimed via going to Lil’ Whims store or via shipping.
I will announce the winner on September 04 (Wednesday) on my Twitter. Stay tuned! Updated:
— e r i n (@basterda) September 4, 2013
WHEN IN MANILA, make sure you relive the your favorite moments and capture them using your very own Instax camera from Lil’ Whims! (All photo in this article were provided by Lil’ Whims.)
L I L ‘ W H I M S
The Collective, 7274 Malugay Street,
San Antonio Village, Makati CIty
10:00am to 7:00pm, Tuesdays thru Saturdays
Facebook: /polaroidph + Twitter: @polaroidph