Lomography Partners: Satchmi of Manila, Philippines

Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs, and today we're speaking to Ronald Sy of Satchmi, Manila.

“The allure of analogue lies in its ability to evoke emotions and memories” shares Ronald, one of the three co-founders of Satchmi – a long-time Lomography film partner, vinyl record, analogue lifestyle store, and cafe situated in Manila, Philippines.

Ronald, along with his co-founders Aislinn Chuahiock and Edric Chua, had the initial intent of creating a space where younger generations could have access to vinyl records and where people from all generations could come together through music. They strongly believed in the unmatched sensory experience that comes with analogue music and film photography and set out to grow Satchmi in such a way.

Ronald describes Satchmi as an "experiential store" that celebrates the tangible experience of film and its impact on people's lives. As soon as you step into Satchmi, you'll be greeted with the sound of a vinyl record playing in the background, along with shelves lined with vintage analogue items, and all kinds of books on film photography. The store's windows are designed to inspire and invite you in, while the aroma of coffee fills the air.

We had a conversation with Ronald regarding the early years of Satchmi, it’s conceptualization and how its origins tapped into childhood memories that turned into a passion to pursue. We also discussed what analogue represents in today's age, exploring the essence of what Satchmi is and why it continues to thrive.

Shot on the Lomo LC-A 120

Hi Ronald! Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?

Hello! I'm Ronald Sy, serving as the managing director for Satchmi and Filmfolk.

What does analogue mean to you?

Analogue holds a special significance for many, including Satchmi and Filmfolk. Analogue, in this context, represents a tangible and immersive connection to the past—a bridge between generations. The essence of analogue music and film carries a unique charm that resonates with authenticity and a sense of nostalgia. The tactile experience of handling vinyl records, the warmth of analogue sound, and the tangible nature of film photography create a sensory engagement that digital formats often lack.

The allure of analogue lies in its ability to evoke emotions and memories. Each crackle on a vinyl record or imperfection in a film photograph tells a story, adding a layer of depth and personality that goes beyond the sterile precision of digital reproduction. The curiosity and engagement stem from a desire to preserve and celebrate these genuine, tangible connections to the past. Analogue, in essence, becomes a vessel for emotions, triggering a range of feelings and memories that contribute to a richer and more profound appreciation of the arts.

Shot on the Lomo LC-A 120 with Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 800

Tell us about the early years of Satchmi. What was it like in its conceptualization stages with your co-partners? What were your goals, philosophies, and hopes at the time?

Satchmi, established in 2012, has a mission to make analogue music accessible to the younger generations. This endeavor gave rise to the Motorino, a portable vinyl record turntable player. Initially, we sold vinyl records and Motorino online and at bazaars. In 2014, we were invited to set up our flagship store in SM Megamall. The Satchmi store there is designed to be an experiential space where visitors can listen to vinyl records while enjoying a cup of coffee—a concept that was groundbreaking at the time. SM Megamall embraced the idea with excitement, and we seized the opportunity promptly.

As we progressed, we sensed a missing element in our offerings. In 2015, we expanded our analogue experience by venturing into film photography, giving rise to Filmfolk. Despite the risks involved, we boldly invested in acquiring a substantial supply of films to meet the growing demand in the Philippines. In terms of changes, the retail and entertainment industry may have evolved, and technological developments could have impacted how people consume music and visual media. However, the commitment to analogue experiences, evident in the emphasis on vinyl records and film photography, likely remains a distinctive aspect of Satchmi's identity. The enduring appeal of tangible, immersive encounters with music and imagery may continue to resonate with individuals seeking a departure from digital formats in our ever-changing times.

Shot on the Lomo LC-A 120 with Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 800

From vinyl to film photography, Satchmi has become a contemporary pioneer of the analogue world. What inspired you and your partners to create a company, more so, a lifestyle, centered around these analogue mediums?

When Satchmi began, my curiosity revolved around the process of acquiring a vinyl record. My childhood love for vinyl records, stemming from my father's involvement in repairing jukeboxes in the 60s, was a driving force. I reached out to Edric, who shared a similar passion for vinyl records, and together, we developed the concept of Satchmi.

The resurgence of interest in vinyl records and analogue experiences in recent years suggests a continued appetite for the tangible and nostalgic elements that Satchmi offers.

Adapting to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements while maintaining the core values of analogue music and film experiences could be crucial. Expanding the product range, exploring collaborations, and leveraging digital platforms for online engagement might be avenues for growth. Additionally, creating unique, immersive experiences in physical spaces, akin to the flagship store concept, could continue to set Satchmi apart.

What’s your favorite ‘Satchmi’ memory from the past 5 years (event, campaign, product launch, etc.)?

The Satchmi 'Vinyl Day' and launching the Motorino.

Do you have a favorite corner of the cafe/store?

The listening room. This space is designed for individuals to disconnect from the external environment and fully engage in the experience of enjoying analogue music while sipping on coffee.

Shot on the Lomo LC-A 120 with an expired Ilford Delta 400 purchased from FilmFolk

What does Lomography mean to you? What is it about the brand that resonates with Satchmi’s goals/philosophy?

Personally, Lomography means breaking away from traditional photography by encouraging a spontaneous and experimental style to capture moments uniquely.

At Satchmi, Lomography fits well with our dedication to analogue experiences, bringing a visual aspect that heightens the overall sensory engagement with the arts. The brand aligns with Satchmi's philosophy by celebrating the beauty in imperfections and the unexpected outcomes of analogue photography.

Satchmi's commitment to diverse artistic expressions aligns with Lomography's emphasis on creativity, community, and the joy of capturing genuine moments. Together, they create a lively and dynamic space for enthusiasts who appreciate the authenticity and creativity of analogue photography.

What’s the Satchmi legacy? What do you hope to achieve with it presently and in the future?

Satchmi’s legacy encompasses our commitment to preserving and promoting analogue experiences, particularly in music and film. We aspire to create a lasting impact by providing a platform where individuals can engage with and appreciate the authenticity of analogue formats such as vinyl records and film photography. Presently, we aim to continue fostering a community that shares a passion for these timeless mediums.

Looking towards the future, our goal is to inspire and educate future generations about the cultural significance and sensory richness inherent in analogue experiences. We hope that Satchmi will be remembered as a pioneer in reviving and sustaining the appreciation for analogue music and film. Through ongoing innovation and dedication, we aim to ensure that the legacy of Satchmi continues to thrive, leaving a lasting impression on those who value the tangible and authentic aspects of the arts.

Quick Questions

Describe Satchmi in three words.

Analogue, Innovative, Community.

Analogue: This word captures the core essence of Satchmi, emphasizing its dedication to preserving and promoting analogue experiences, especially in music and film.

Innovative: Satchmi demonstrates innovation by integrating traditional analogue elements with modern concepts, such as the experiential store and the inclusion of diverse artistic expressions like Lomography.

Community: Satchmi fosters a sense of community among enthusiasts who share a passion for analogue music and film. The brand's initiatives, events, and collaborations contribute to building a community around the appreciation of authentic and tangible arts.

What Lomography product embodies your favorite vinyl record?

The Lomo'Instant Wide camera is kind of similar to a vinyl record. It preserves moments in a unique and authentic manner. Utilizing instant film, it produces tangible, one-of-a-kind outcomes, reminiscent of the distinctive sound engraved on a vinyl record. Both mediums embrace the analogue experience, providing a nostalgic, hands-on approach to capturing memories or savoring music.

If you were to photograph your favorite artist or band, what Lomography camera and film stock would you use?

The pairing of the Lomo LC-A+ camera with Lomography Color Negative 400 film has the capability to create images with warm tones and vignetting, contributing to a timeless and classic quality in the photographs.

If you were a Lomography film stock, what would you be and why?

I love the classic style of the Lady Grey film, appreciating life's subtleties with an elegant touch. My refined sense of style, akin to the nuanced shades in Lady Grey film, means I navigate life with a sophisticated approach, finding beauty in simplicity and elegance around me.

Key Information

Official name: Satchmi
Address: 4F SM Megamall Fashion Hall, EDSA Cor Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 1550 Kalakhang Maynila
Services: Cameras, gear, film, vinyl records and turntables, coffee and meals

Head on over to the Filmfolk for all your film photography needs, and visit Satchmi if you'd like to browse these items in-person and shop for vinyl records too.

Film photographs scanned and development by Sunny16Lab.

Want to see your favorite store featured in our magazine? Please send us an email at wholesaleinquiries@lomography.com and we will check them out!

written by macasaett on 2024-01-21 #partners #manila #philippines #analogue #lomography-partners #film-store

Mentioned Product

Lomo'Instant Wide

Lomo'Instant Wide

We're thrilled to introduce the Lomo'Instant Wide — the world's most creative instant wide camera and lens system! Combining high quality craftsmanship with versatile features, the Lomo’Instant Wide is the instant camera for any and every person who revels in capturing every beautiful, bizarre and bewildering moment in a creative, super wide, crisply sharp and perfectly exposed way.

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