Rowena’s Journey



Hello!  My name is Rowena.

I created Luxilitarian in April 2013.


This is the story of how I got here.


I was born in a beautiful shoemaking town, we are good, hardworking people even if we swear. A lot.


I studied mechanical engineering but I was immediately employed into marketing by Unilever.

They gave me a difficult time in the interview (it was a blind ad) and offered quite a high salary then.

I took the job and pretty much stayed in corporate marketing and consulting for the next 25 years…with periodic lapses of entrepreneurship.

When I finally quit, I started a blog about the marketing tactics I use to manipulate women into buying more cosmetics than they need.  It was a non commercial, critically acclaimed blogger’s blog.





I spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephews. This is Aweng, the youngest one. She is just perfect, not a brat. I don’t like bratty kids.

I dress up for halloween, here I am channeling Amy Winehouse

I established Luxilitarian after a difficult chain of unfortunate events in my life, one of them a big flood in my hometown that took away everything I had but saved all my loved ones, so I am lucky.

Luxilitarian was created when I had nothing but a tiny spark left.

And I hope you find the value in it to support what we are here for.  Because it comes from the heart.

Thank you and may you have graceful travels, always.




Meet Date and Noi of Racha Herb Garden

Meet Date and Noi of Racha Herb Garden


Their Family

A wonderful family, honest and hardworking.

Date is 69,  studies alternative medicine. He is a civil engineer and used to be a contractor.

His wife, Noi is 65, (tea works! Look at her skin, and perfect eyesight) likes gardening and cooking and tends to all the plants in the garden.

They have 3 kind children who they have raised well.

They have 2 funny helpers in the farm (I don’t know, they seem to find me funny everytime I pass.) They give me pellets to feed the fish when they see me sitting my lazy ass by the lake. lol

They have 2 cats, one is shy, one becomes overly demanding once you get her started.

The Racha Herb garden is their family home which they have been struggling to keep.



The place is perfect for those who want to organize a yoga/meditation retreat and they are open to making arrangements with a yoga teacher.


It is also perfect as a digital coworking community as internet is tops and lots of places to hang out and do as a community.


And of course as a personal retreat to writers, or those who are having an eat pray love moment. The place can be booked via AirBnb for short term/long term.


He has a line of teas both dried and ready to drink beverage with limited distribution in Chiang Mai. Each have healing properties – lowering blood sugar, improving the immune system, cancer fighting. I know that this can prosper with the right partners who can repackage and market this online or by classical trade distribution

I offer here photos, videos and description of the their home


Location is about 13 Minutes from Chiang mai International Airport,

20 minutes from Chiang Mai Old Town, accessible by Uber or they can also fetch you for a fee.



They have an herb garden and a vegetable farm


They have plenty of trees – guavas, coconuts, papaya, banana, bamboo, mangoes, more than I can name.

Noi, can teach you how to plant, cut cook their herbal teas .



It has a lake with bamboo tables and chairs and barbecue grills around


a mess hall, a villa, a bar, a gym, a big kitchen, a fun bike path and lots of bikes.

Of course that braggaworthy, “My Office” selfie by the lake.


It has 15 guest rooms that range from bamboo, lanai/container type, concrete that can accommodate 20.


I have taken a video of my bike ride around their garden. Sorry if bumpy, I was scared of falling and biking at the same time, lol.

The rooms are thoughtfully furnished, nice clean beds, fresh towels (arranged like a swan-lol), TV, A/C and Internet. En suite shower with warm water. I didn’t take a picture of my room as it is currently messy. But you can see them here on their airbnb site.

Fresh Food From Their farm

Because I lurv pork




+66 97 295 9979




Italian Leather Tradition, Asian Accessibility

Real value is in people and nature.   Money is just a medium.



After we have sold the beta version in Spring 2016, it took us more than a year to take the next step to production. There are valid reasons why.


We found that Italian leather manufacturing is a dying tradition.


The big brands as “G****i” and “P****a” are killing the leather tradition.

They cut the leather in Italy, send it to Asia for sewing, then send it back to Italy to sew on the label “Made In Italy”. They haggle the cost of manufacturing so low that it is not possible for the Italian manufacturers to survive for long. That’s the sad truth.

This blind leather craftsman closed his shop and sold all his tools and leather to an “avvoltoio”,  those who seek faltering businesses and buy their life long leather collection for loose change.

There are a lot of Chinese sweat shops in Italy who do not pay their taxes and maltreat their illegal, underpaid Chinese workers.  While some of them might be caught and closed down, they reappear back again.  While the Italian leather artisans pay heavy taxes, these Chinese get away scot free.

Italian factories cannot compete either with China, Bangladesh or these Italian Chinese sweatshops. We cannot bring ourselves to work with them for their disrespect of nature and human lives.   Yet, we cannot be correct and be priced right.

The markup for travel goods is Cost X 5 -10.

That allocates for a big retail mark-up (up to  2 – 2.8 times wholesale price) and allowance for  sales agent commission (10%) and costs of a return guarantee (a high 4-7% for new brands).

The profit allocated is usually just half of the manufacturing cost, if lucky, and all marketing costs eat into the profit.

And it takes 3 collections before distributors order from a new brand, an eyeopener, when we participated in MIPEL.

If we want a lasting product that treats and pays workers right and does not abuse the planet, we simply cannot compete.

We also reject “vegan leather”. Because it has become  a marketing term.

It usually is cheap synthetic plastic that will not last and end up in landfills. The term vegan leather was hijacked to make you feel good about buying cheap. And we don’t stand for BS like that.

A landfill where “vegan” leather goes to die.

We want a bag that gets better with age, like a trustworthy friend.

So this is what we are doing:

We partnered with an Italian tannery to do leather vegetable tanning (a more natural process) with strict waste management control to use hide food-by-product from the Philippine cattle industry.

We use this leather for production in Marikina, a beautiful town with a long standing shoe and bag making tradition in the Philippines which right now cannot compete with its Chinese, Bangladesh counterparts. (It is also my birthplace -Rowena).

We would like to invite you to learn about Marikina’s history in this poignant movie here.

The project is managed by industry experts with the help of the able leadership of the townsfolk of Marikina and the guidance of our government.

It took us a long time to set this all up and we are still in the process.

But we believe in doing things right and valuing human and natural resource as the real profit of our endeavor.  It is far more worthy than one bag.  It is a graceful journey-  from us, to you.


We believe in grace.

Beauty of intention and execution.


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