Reese Fernandez-Ruiz is the President and Founding Partner of Rags2Riches, an eco-ethical lifestyle brand based in the Philippines that creates urban artisanal home and fashion masterpieces. Central to Rags2Riches’ mission is the community of artisans who are lifting their families out of poverty through carefully crafting products from upcycled and indigenous materials. Rags2Riches has fostered sustainable partnerships with these artisans as well as Philippine designers who re-imagine and interpret urban artisanal skills.
For the past five years, Reese and the Rags2Riches team have been able to build an eco-ethical, high-value fashion in the Philippines that has trained 800 Filipino community-based artisans. Reese and the company have also been recognized internationally through the Business In Development Challenge Award, Ecouterre, Fast Company and Sundance Channel among others.
Thanks to her work with Rags2Riches, now considered one of the most successful and pioneering social enterprises in the Philippines and in Asia, Reese has been recognized as one of five Rolex Young Laureates for 2010, the youngest recipient in history of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service for 2010, Young Entrepreneur Awardee of the World Entrepreneurship Forum 2011 and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum 2012.