Sometime in the early 2000s, Korean music shot into mainstream status, with the likes of Psy, Girls Generation, 2NE1, and Super Junior making waves in the international music scene. As the years went by, it wasn’t anymore only their music that has become a global phenomenon— their dramas and shows have also become crowd favorites all over the world.
With the rise in Kpop and Kdrama popularity came the thousands of Korean-inspired merchandise and products available to fans. In the Philippines, hallyu fans are able to purchase many of these items thanks to Korean merchandise sellers in the Philippines. (Read: 8 Words You Should Know if You’re a True K-Pop Fan)
Because we’re curious as to what the inspiration of Kpop and Kdrama merch sellers is for selling these hallyu-inspired items, My Pope interviewed Katherine, Nona, and Marielle–three friends who own KdramaMerchPH, an Instagram shop for Korean-inspired merch, and learned what motivated them to start their Korean merch business.
What was your motivation to create Korean-inspired merch?
This business was actually an overnight decision that my friends and I started in August 2020, so it’s only been five months. But we pursued this because we saw the enthusiasm of the Kdrama/Kpop fans for Korean-themed merchandise, and of course because of our love for Kdramas. We were also thrilled that we’re the ones who started to sell these [items] here in the Philippines.
Are your products personally-made or sourced internationally?
We have a partner overseas who supplies us with these wonderful products. We decided to work with an international team because we want to offer unique and premium quality items. At the same time, we also have products that are designed and produced locally, we have our own artist in the team who comes up with the designs. (Read: 5 K-Pop Fans Share Why They Support Korean Artists)
In terms of choosing the products, we sell what we personally like and we also study the interests of the market. Sometimes, we also consider the suggestions they send us via DM. The most challenging part would be keeping them unique and appealing.
What’s your most memorable experience with a Hallyu fan?
There was one who kept messaging, asking us to give her our products for free. She said she really likes Park Seo Joon but has no extra allowance to get one. But you know, we can’t give in every time we get messages like this, so that inspired us to have our first-ever giveaway. (Read: Blackpink Concert: Rosé Debuts Solo Song – Plus Other Highlights!)
In this way, we give the opportunity to more than just one person. That was also our way of giving thanks and showing them that we really appreciate all the love and support we are getting.
What is the best thing about selling Kdrama and Kpop merch?
It’s fulfilling to see so many Kdrama and Kpop fans get their hands on our products. We love that feeling when you know you and thousands of other people like the same things and you share the same fondness and kilig.
You can follow KdramaMerchPH on Instagram so you can cop your very own hallyu-inspired items, too!