Kahoy-an Furniture: From old, reclaimed hardwood to sophisticated woodworks

The start was rough, the fall was steep, but the rise was meant to soar.

Rufino Santos’ MPS Woodcraft was once a subcontractor of a large furniture exporter in the country reigning in the ’90s. Creative designs and sophisticated woodwork reached the foreign shores and it thrived. With the onslaught of market saturation, where products fall short of demand, in gradual decline it lost its prevalent markets.

In 2006, the mother company faced financial difficulties and stopped operations since then. In the aftermath, MPS Woodcraft, reliant to its mother company, was directly affected; all that were left to them were savings, knowledge, skills, and years of furniture-making experience.

The tragedy did not stop Rufino Santos from taking another course from going beyond being a part of any company; now, they set their eyes on becoming one. Working through getting enough funds to have enough capital, the Santos family was able to raise Php1 million.

With that enough money, MPS Woodcraft morphed into Kahoy-an Furniture, registered as a corporation in 2007 and was given the name, for that moment: RF Santos Group of Companies. And yet, Kahoy-an Furniture, a name that made its way in wooden furniture and furnishings, will remain.

With the environment in mind and an advocacy to share, the company makes its products from reclaimed hardwood from old houses. It then renews and perfects the wood used for the comfort and satisfaction of clients.

The legacy of Rufino Santos would soon be in the hands of his children: Ryan as General Manager, Rosette as Sales and Marketing Manager, with the other two children helping out in design and lay-out, while another one continues to be a doctor of medicine.

At this time, it was the moment to start the company at the right track. A first for the company: its first store alongside Caltex Mega station in NLEX at the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

Seeking help from government, Kahoy-an sought assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry in Bulacan. Since then, the company was able to attend various seminars and training programs – furthering development and productivity of their business.

2007 was a great turning point for the company. The Likha ng Central Luzon trade fair in that year was one of the significant breakthroughs for Kahoy-an, according to daughter Rosette, Marketing Manager. It widened their networks and they were given the opportunity to display the company’s work in a prestigious mall like Rustan’s for one month, free-of-charge with the help of DTI-Bulacan.

Kahoy-an continues to patronize agency’s trade affairs such as: Sikat Pinoy, GTH Bazaar, regional and local affairs among others.

In 2012, export had been sustained in Japan, Europe, and Asian countries up to present. A prime example of that development can be seen last June 18 & 19, 2016 wherein Kahoy-an generated ¥707,788.00 sales during their participation in the Philippine Festival in Tokyo, Japan.

Creating wider networks, the company had been able to expand its outlets.

Partnering with Manila Fame abled them to showcase, once again, sophisticated woodworks in the One Town One Product (OTOP) Pavilion last March and October 2016, Manila Fame Edition.

Today, Kahoy-an increased its number of workers to 25 and had graduated asset size classification from ‘micro’ to ‘small’.

The products of Kahoy-an had even reached South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Mr. Santos and his family believes in living a purposeful life with God. This was brought to life by helping a church foundation with the mission of feeding street children and sending them to school. Kahoy-an’s story is a great example of being proactive and persistent; opportunity-seeking is a must-have for every entrepreneur to become a success.

With the growing market, Kahoy-an still believes that the local setting carries great opportunities and that the company is looking forward to establish local outlets in prominent cities and municipalities around the country. –Vinson F. Concepcion