Markki Stroem hires retrenched ABS-CBN employees for his clothing business | Inquirer Entertainment
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Markki Stroem hires retrenched ABS-CBN employees for his clothing business

By: - Reporter
/ 12:15 AM May 15, 2021
Markki Stroem

Markki Stroem

Markki Stroem knew that venturing into business during a pandemic is a big risk. But it was one he was willing to take if it also meant being able to help fellow Filipinos whose livelihood have been upended by the ensuing health crisis.

The singer-actor, together with his entrepreneur friend Wesley Que, recently introduced Evry, a new clothing line that employs displaced local sewers, as well as ABS-CBN workers who lost their jobs after the government shut the network down.

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“The pandemic is obviously a very risky time for us all. People are having a hard time; some are getting retrenched. But we have also realized that it’s time to help others by providing them jobs during this pandemic,” Markki said in an email interview with the Inquirer.

The idea to hire retrenched ABS-CBN employees was something that has been on his mind since last year, after seeing “beloved friends who helped me in the industry” lose their jobs.

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Evry also has a scholarship initiative for the sewers’ children—a portion of each item’s sales goes to the fund. “It’s a tragic time for everyone. I vowed to do my best to help out as much as I can. In a time like this, it’s important to be kind. I know our anxieties are getting to us but we also need to continue looking out for others who are suffering in the shadows,” he pointed out.

Business partner Wesley Que

Drawn to entrepreneurship

While he’s best known for his work as a music artist and a theater actor, business, Markki said, is something he has always been interested in since he was young. And so in college, the Filipino-Norwegian celebrity took up marketing management as one of his majors at the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland.

“I have always valued hard work and dedication. I was always drawn to entrepreneurship courses, and I have been raring to start a business ever since,” related Markki, who also opened the wellness center HeHeals last year. “It requires a lot of commitment and focus to give life to a product.”

Stroem

Own label

Markki, 34, started out in the entertainment industry as a fashion model about 12 years ago. So perhaps it was only fitting that he finds himself starting his own clothing brand now.

“I have friends in fashion and I have always looked up to them as artists,” he said. “I wanted to place my mark on a brand without marks; a brand that you can wear with everything.”

Evry specializes in minimalist shirts made of soft and breathable custom-made fabric, dubbed as FLO. Markki said they hope to target a niche market, and at the same time, join the #SupportLocal movement for local business owners.

“A few years ago, I walked into a clothing store abroad and was floored by the selection; everything inside was plain high-quality T-shirts. When I returned to the Philippines, I tried to look for similar quality fabric. I was disappointed though… I found a few, but I felt the price range was too much for what they were offering,” he said, explaining the inspiration behind Evry.

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The brand’s concept also suits his current lifestyle and work as a host for RX 93.1’s award-winning radio show “The Morning Rush.”

“This is perfect for people like me, who don’t want to worry about what to wear when I wake up at 5 in the morning to go to work. I don’t want to have to think about what I am wearing,” he said.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Markki Stroem, Wesley Que
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