Creative Director Martine Cajucom, Giving Her All To Sunnies Studios
Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year has a reputation of awarding game changers for their contribution to society. One of this year’s nominees is Martine Cajucom, creative director of lifestyle brand Sunnies Studios.
Martine Cajucom left a comfortable life and a job she loved in LA so that she could move to Manila to helm Sunnies Studios. The umbrella group for several lifestyle brands started as an offshoot of Charlie, a clothing brand by Cajucom’s cousin, model Georgina Wilson. Sunnies started as eyewear, but soon proved to be so popular the group decided that it had to be its own entity.
Sunnies Studios currently has four directors—Martine Cajucom as creative director, Georgina Wilson as marketing director, Bea Soriano as operations director, and Eric Dee Jr. as finance director.
Aside from Sunnies eyewear kiosks and the upcoming Sunnies Cafe, the group is also working on an optical eyewear concept that they’re rolling out next year. “It’s exactly the same business model as Sunnies that we’ve been doing,” Cajucom says. “We believe in quality aspirational but it’s at accessible prices for everyone, so it’s free eyewear exam, the actual pair of eyewear, and prescription lenses, all for PHP 1,999. We’re trying to revolutionize the optical prescription eyewear game hopefully. We’re also developing for next year, so that’s happening in February.
“We’re also working on international expansion and that’s going to be really, really big for 2016 for us,” she adds.
But for now, it’s the cafe that has everyone’s attention. “The cafe has been our dream project and baby for six months. The funny thing is, last year, when we celebrated Sunnies BDay, we said, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if we opened a cafe?’ Sunnies is known for being a lifestyle, and we wanted to do more brand extensions.
“The cafe was a very natural extension for us. We—all four directors, and even just everyone on the team—everyone is a foodie; everyone is obsessed with food, it’s a big part of our lives, so we said we were going to open a cafe!"
“The food that we’re creating and the dishes that we’re making, they’re kind of like home cooked, really yummy comfort food. I’m really excited about that. Our dream for the cafe is somewhere you can go if you want to have brunch or if you want to have dinner, have coffee, have cocktails, so it’s really an all-day thing.”.
As creative director, Cajucom steers the brand in the right direction. “I’m in charge of giving life to the brand and having a vision for the brand,” she says. “I guess what I contributed is my overall experience in my previous jobs and my vision of what I think is cool right now. I was very inspired by California obviously because that’s where I grew up, so I think naturally those things inspire me. It’s literally eternally summer, and with the color palette that I like. I guess I gave the brand a little more life from my perspective and personal experience,” she says, adding that a big part of the brand’s success comes from her team. “My creative and marketing team where everybody is hand selected, and everybody also gives a lot of themselves to the company and a lot of vision to the company so it really is a lot more like a collaborative creative group of people than just the person navigating it all."
Sunnies Studios’ success, Cajucom says, stems from the ideas, effort, and dedication of its founders and the team they built. Working for a brand she loves and believes in has, in a way, made marketing easier, more intuitive. “We created a company that we ourselves like and wanted and didn’t see locally. People always ask, ‘How are you so good at marketing?’ You know, I always say that marketing is really more intuition than anything. That’s what Sunnies was. Sunnies was just intuitive business for us all. I understand what young people want because I’m a young person, so I create content and we produce materials and we produce products that we want ourselves,” she says.
Photographs by Jinggo Montenejo
Shot on location at Kirov Showroom, Rockwell
This article originally published in Metro Society. Changes have been made for Metro.Style.