MOs Design is housed in a three-story building filled with some of the world’s top furnishings brands, so called based on “all the letter M’s and O’s in our names,” owner Mawen Ong explains. Ong and her husband David opened the store 10 years ago with a simple vision: “When we started, there were few players in the market and design was a bit of a hard sell,” Ong disclosed.
Through the years, Ong added to MOs Design’s portfolio that now includes Natuzzi Italia commanding all of the second floor, and a gallery on the third level that is home to other premium lines such as Ligne Roset, Vitra, Tom Dixon, and Sancal, to name just a few.
Ligne Roset Ploum sofa and Sancal Tortuga chair
“The market has become more sophisticated,” Ong explains, “with architects and designers guiding their clients on what to buy, what are relevant to their spaces, or which investment furniture or accessory is a good design piece.”
Tom Dixon lighting fixtures and Anglepoise lamp
As it expanded, Ong’s daughters joined the business. “To realize that they wanted to work for the company, which was a dream any parent would wish for,” says Ong, who relinquished some of the roles she relished so that her daughters, Meagan and Melody, could “grow into the business.”
Mawen Ong with her daughters Melody and Meagan
Melody, the eldest, joined the family business in 2012 as a management trainee and is currently the brand and marketing manager for both MOs Design and BoConcept. She recounts a recent breakthrough in the contract market as a proud moment when she personally handled the furnishing of a Makati hotel. “There’s no other place I would like to work at than MOs Design, where I hope to be able to help grow the company,” says Melody.
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For both, the family business has been part of their lives early on. “I used to shred paper at the office during summer back in my elementary days,” Meagan discloses. “But now it’s a bit more than that, I should hope!” She enjoys learning about design history and culture. “The intersection between those is fascinating,” she says.
There is a man who’s quietly cheered the three ladies through MOs Design’s ten years in the business. According to Ong, “My husband, David, was actually the one who convinced me to do all this. I can’t imagine what I would do without his foresight and vision.”
MOs Design, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, 403.6620.
In Japanese-occupied Manila, an American woman who was known as "Madame Tsubaki" ran a night club that offered drinks, music, and companionship to homesick soldiers. It was a front for a spy ring that funneled information and supplies to guerilla groups outside the city.