Through their atelier Mayfair & Co., three sisters redefine the conventions of homemaking
When they would hear the term homemaker, sisters and entrepreneurs Ivy Reyes, Iris Pineda, and Imee Magdaraog visualize a typical stay-at-home mother. However, they always felt that being a homemaker was more than this traditional stereotype. So, when they established Mayfair & Co., they endeavored to redefine what it actually means to “make a home”.
As they grow the brand while leading multifaceted lives, the sisters realize the homemaker is not exclusive to a certain status or gender. “Making a home is not just about tidying,” youngest sister Imee says, “but living and making sure the people in your home are able to live their lives well and with joy.”
“The role of the homemaker then...is to make beautiful design liveable, usable, and easy.”
The three sisters established Mayfair & Co. during the pandemic. “We saw an opportunity in the home improvement market because [people] are all at home,” Imee shares. They built the brand to be a solution that marries design and function. Through the atelier’s home organizing products, they make it their mission to make a difference in the lives of homemakers and their families.
The Women Behind the Scenes
In running the business, the sisters know it takes more than a merging of their expertise. “It’s a funny dynamic,” Iris comments about working with her sisters. “Yes, we’re all family but we’re all BFFs… we understand each other’s strengths. There’s a lot of respect in what each strength is, and there is a lot of trust.”
Imee adds, “I learned not to react, but to listen first before I respond.” Armed with a background in interior design, she is now the Creative Director of Mayfair & Co. She works with her eldest sister Ivy, the atelier’s head of Brand and Marketing. Ivy was in a multinational consumer goods company before moving to Madrid as a full-time homemaker while handling several businesses remotely.
Meanwhile, Iris handles Global Supply Chain at Mayfair & Co. The role is perfect for her—after spending years with a digital media firm in the advertising industry. She also runs their family business on wholesale trading.
The sisters may have different backgrounds and are each expressive about their vision for the brand. Yet they work to arrive at a common ground, merging their passions to fuel Mayfair’s growth. “What makes Mayfair different is the trust and the bond has been way there longer,” Iris says.
“One of the things I really embrace is to never think that you are less than what you are… It doesn’t matter that I am a woman. I can be as strong as a man. I can succeed regardless of my gender. I can take on whatever a man can take on.”
Living at home takes a different narrative from building one. It takes heart, hard work, patience, and commitment to make the home one wants to live in. It should be the home one is proud of and feel comfortable in, a “haven” as Ivy calls it, or a “sanctuary” as Iris refers to it.
Everything they do now in building their homes is rooted in what they learned from their Mom. She was both a corporate executive and a homemaker. “I’m seeing how she handled herself in her career [and] that’s where I gravitated to,” Imee shares, bringing to mind the driven spirit of their Mom.
Imee fondly reminisces about their childhood when their mom brought them to school, worked the entire day, and still had time to help them with their homework. “The level of parenting is really high,” she laughs, eyes struck with awe over their mom’s commitment to the values of gratitude and hard work.
Iris chimes in about what she appreciates the most, “One of the things I really embrace is to never think that you are less than what you are… It doesn’t matter that I am a woman. I can be as strong as a man. I can succeed regardless of my gender. I can take on whatever a man can take on.”
When the sisters started building their careers, they kept in mind that they don’t need to choose a particular mold and be confined within it. “It’s the kind of mindset we want Mayfair & Co. to enable women to [have],” Ivy says. Be it a homemaker, a career woman, a single parent, or any other life pursuit, they can always strike a balance and have a beautiful home at the same time. They can leave it to Mayfair & Co. to keep their house cozy and in order. Ivy adds, “You’re able to create the haven because it simplifies a lot of things and still looks pretty.”
Now that Ivy and Imee have their families, and Iris takes care of their parents, they are living their own vision of what a modern homemaker is. A modern homemaker is about creating a space where all family members thrive and enjoy living in - including yourself. Ivy envisions a person who wants to create a haven, the same way she does. She wants her children to attain that feeling of “staycation” rather than seeking comfort and entertainment elsewhere.
The comfort draws from the way the homemaker “orchestrates,” as Imee defines it. Through Mayfair’s products, she wants every family member to feel represented. They see their needs, wants, and other things they value in the house. “Mayfair empowers [my] kids to do things on their own because of how we have designed [the house],” she explains.
In the Comforts of a Home
A typical day for each of the sisters differs yet is largely similar in balancing building a career and caring for the family. For mothers Ivy and Imee, a portion of their day involves tending to their children’s needs before and after they immerse in their work.
Any mother can attest to the difficulty of this challenge. It is why despite having a productive day, the three women would reflect on how each of their days went. It becomes an evaluation where they think about what they prefer in contrast to what everyone else needs at home. Imee shares that what works for her is sticking to a calendar to which Ivy agrees. “I have to timebox to distance [each aspect],” Imee clarifies. She ensures she has ample time for her family, her work, and for herself.
Iris explores a little different approach. “I’m a big fan of compartmentalization,” she says. When she gets home from work, an imaginary wall is built within her mind. From reading books and watching K-Dramas to hanging out with friends, Iris unwinds and sees to it that work doesn’t overtake her life.
Design with Purpose
“Mayfair is a life solution.To me, it helps makes sense of things. It’s easy for you to see things [and] to group them.”
In designing their houses, all sisters share a liking for a neutral palette. “We got this from our mom,” Iris says. When one steps into their home, light tints like soft beige welcome the guests, creating a bright yet pleasant atmosphere all around.
The fondness for such hues is part of the reason behind Mayfair & Co.’s signature palette. It makes sense, given the broad target market of homemakers. The colors can easily complement any house design. Yet the sisters emphasize the brand is not simply about the aesthetics of the products. “It’s truly a marry of beauty and utility,” Imee says.
The sisters are meticulous with the planning and development of products. They come up with designs that work to make people’s life at home easier, rather than going with what suppliers can provide. From the specifications and proportions to the materials and overall look; they review the design and usability of each. “I think that’s why Mayfair works,” Iris muses. “Our products are not just ones you can easily get somewhere. They are all exclusive.”
Some may dismiss these as simple household items. People buy them to store essentials–and that’s it. But the sisters understand the bigger roles they play.
The jars, for example, are surprisingly highly functional pieces. Ivy shares how “it reduces stress because I know everything’s in order, everything’s decanted.” Everyone else in the house benefits from this. They can easily find a certain snack or condiment, and know if they need to restock. The jars get rid of the extra effort and time spent searching or asking the family for their needs. Plus, there’s no need to style them because they are beautiful on their own. Even when using them while cooking or baking, they never make your space look cluttered or messy.
Imee echoes a similar sentiment. “Mayfair is a life solution,” she says. “To me, it helps makes sense of things. It’s easy for you to see things [and] to group them.”
With her condo-style living, Iris struggles with the limited space. This is where Mayfair’s products help her maximize what is in her house. The risers, for instance, allow her to display spices and seasonings, making better use of her kitchen shelves and cabinets. “That’s the next level that Mayfair does,” Imee points out. “It enables people to bring life to their own spaces, their own lives, and manage that in such a way that you celebrate it.”
“The role of the homemaker then,” Ivy says, “is to make beautiful design liveable, usable, and easy.” If there are guests coming, the family doesn’t have to scramble to clean. Mayfair’s products are beautiful enough to be around, without compromising quality and functionality.
Imee recalls an experience where a customer relayed their preference for open shelves to the designer. The designer was apprehensive about the look once the kitchen essentials come in. “No, Mayfair can do it,” the customer had said with confidence, shedding all concerns. “That’s why Mayfair thinks about those things so they don’t have to,” Ivy stresses. “That’s why the products are what they are because you don’t have to think about it. We’ve thought about it for you.”
This kind of connection with customers is what gives the sisters pride and satisfaction in life, on top of having a happy family. As the pioneer of stylish organizing solutions in the country, “Mayfair gets the loyalty,” Iris proudly says.
Sisters Ivy, Iris, and Imee may be a family, but even running the business, they bring all types of homemakers in mind. No matter their career, background, and house aesthetic, these three women entrepreneurs bring Mayfair to people to make their lives beautiful and easy.