There’s nothing like the gentle, back-and-forth swaying of a rocking chair to soothe frayed nerves and slowly lull you into slumber. The motion harks back to simpler times, of mothers cradling their babies to sleep, and of lazy afternoon naps on a hammock by the beach.
“In today’s world, no one really makes time to sit back, relax, and enjoy themselves,” observes Nezza Tilani, who recently debuted a line of rocking chairs under her label, Stuffed Blu. “The act of rocking is really therapeutic.” (Read: Have You Seen These Rocking Chairs at Malls?)
But what if a rocking chair could offer you, and others, so much more than comfort and calm? That’s exactly what Nezza’s chairs do. A reinvention of traditional rockers (old-fashioned pieces made of wood), the Stuffed Blu rocking chairs are as modern as they can get.
Rocking Chair, Reinvented
Last March, Nezza launched Stuffed Blu—a brand whose name is associated with all things calm and comforting. “Stuffed” refers to the pink stuffed toy she carried with her as a little girl, while “Blu” stands for the color that evokes feelings of tranquility.
Manufactured in Angeles City, Pampanga, home of some of the best furniture makers in the Philippines, the Stuffed Blu rocking chairs far exceeded Nezza’s expectations. “They are seamless, perfect. I couldn’t be happier,” says Nezza, who is based in Singapore. “When you see the product, you know that 100 percent was put into it.”
A quick peek at the designs would immediately make one notice the legs made of galvanized steel (or iron and bronze, upon clients’ requests), the cushiony seat made with Uratex foam, and the durable velvet upholstery featuring colorful collages designed by Nezza herself. (Read: How Can Knitted Toys Help Save Ifugao’s Rice Terraces?) With 10 variants to choose from, a Stuffed Blu rocking chair makes an eye-catching addition to any home.
A Scholar for Every Client
To the clients of these functional forms of art, a Stuffed Blu rocking chair is also a way of giving back. For each rocker sold, a portion of the sale goes to the education of a Filipino child in Angeles City. (Read: Don’t know what to do with your old clothes? Bring them to these four establishments!)
But giving back doesn’t end there. A client is also introduced to the child he or she supports, and the two can communicate through emails or video calls for as often as they like. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved—for the clients, a chance to see the progress of a child they helped; for the kids, the reassurance that someone out there cares.
“One of the most important things in life is a personal connection,” says Nezza. “Knowing that someone cares for you, thinks you’re valuable and capable, can have a really big impact in your life. It’s definitely even more important than the monetary aspect.” (Read: Heart Evangelista Starts Initiative to Help Students in Distance Learning)
Beneficiaries of Stuffed Blu rocking chairs—100 as of this writing—are between 9 and 16 years old. For now, while the COVID-19 pandemic has kept students at home, the funds meant for their schooling has been set aside, ready to be awarded to them once it’s deemed safe to conduct face-to-face classes again.
Sign From the Universe
Raised by her parents who instilled in her the value of helping others and sharing one’s blessings, Nezza says she has always had a heart for helping school children. “If there was any cause I could drive to the world, it would be a child’s education. Because that is the beginning of a child’s hopes and dreams,” she explains.
This is why she immediately clicked with Mark Salta, a Filipino from Angeles City with a background in furniture manufacturing and a passion for philanthropy. As luck would have it, Mark’s sister happens to be a teacher at Sitio Pader Elementary School in Angeles, and is well connected with the different schools in their city. (Read: Mcdonald’s Sets up ‘McClassrooms’ for Online Teachers)
That was all Nezza needed to know. “I felt it was a sign from the Universe, more than anything else,” she said.
Stuffed Blu Rocking Chairs
With Stuffed Blu orders coming in and interviews with potential scholars conducted on a bi-weekly basis, Nezza has her hands full these days. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Echoing Pope Francis’s teachings to be joyful and give attention to the vulnerable, Nezza says, “You don’t have to do so much for the world. Being inclusive and a happy person are small things but they spread to the people around you.”
For inquiries about Stuffed Blu, contact [email protected].