MANILA, Philippines - Real passion is when after getting a degree in a certain field of discipline you still pursue another because it is where your heart truly belongs.
Though some never find the courage to take that brave step, Chic Francisco, a 1972 graduate of AB Communication Arts from Maryknoll College (now called Miriam College) took every step she could towards her real passion: dressmaking and fashion design.
Coming from a family of art critics and enthusiasts, Chic (whose real name is Eloisa) recalls that it was her cousins' constant encouraging and positive assessment on her sense of fashion and style that drove her to putting up her first fashion-related business: a made-to-order dress shop.
"Why don't you put up a dress shop?" Chic remembers her cousins asking, and so she did.
Through it, she acquired invaluable knowledge on how to operate within the industry, and then later on she decided to take on greater heights by closing her dress shop and by starting her own fashion school, the Golden Hands Fashion and Arts School.
Chic said she's always been a hands-on dressmaking teacher. However, her deeper objective in teaching pattern-making and fashion design was to equip her able and talented students with ample expertise in the field so they would later on be able to utilize their skills for their own livelihood.
Though she decided to close her school in 2009, her objective remains the same.
Chic is now a mother of three equally successful individuals.
During the 20-year run of her fashion school, Chic also ventured the field of book writing. Over the years, she authored four dressmaking tutorial books: "Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Pattern-Making and Sewing of Various Skirt Styles;" "Simplified Pattern-Making of Ladies' Pants;" "Simplified Pattern-Making of Basic Men's Wear" and "Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Fashion Designing". Now in the age where digital is king, Chic made it a point that her efforts to share dressmaking knowledge will reach more and more talented individuals. And so, she decided to go digital.
Through her official website chicfrancisco.com and a YouTube Channel: Chic Francisco, Chic publishes her pattern and dressmaking lessons online which, for now, are free.
Pride in method
For Chic, before kicking off a full-blown dressmaking lesson, it is important to teach students first how to properly take body measurements. And this was what she did with the first lesson she uploaded online.
Online crowd reception
After two years of going digital, the fruit of Chic's sweet labour, you can say, are the messages of gratitude sent to her by aspiring dressmakers from around the globe.
When she was still running her school, a man visited her school and asked if Chic has an advanced book on fashion design.
Unfortunately, Chic answered she had not produced another book. Then out of curiosity, Chic asked why he wanted an advanced book on fashion design. He answered, "Actually, I am a fashion designer in Dubai and I am on vacation now. You just don't know, Madame, but I learned fashion design from your book alone." This really made Chic very happy that day.
More from Chic
Asked if she plans to continue releasing video tutorials and e-books online, Chic shared with INQUIRER.net that her next e-book on "Simplified Pattern-Making of Ladies' Wear" will definitely be out within the last quarter of the year. But whether she sees herself doing online tutorials for long, the teacher/pattern-maker/entrepreneur with the golden hands answered, "Yes, definitely! That is if I still enjoy what I am doing!"
Chic Francisco's online tutorials are available via chicfrancisco.com and ChicFrancisco.