social media influencers

[Uncle Bob] The carpenters

Roberto Coloma

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[Uncle Bob] The carpenters

Kraig Briones and Ina Medalla

I hope we will have more influencers like Kraig and Ina instead of airhead celebrities who just show off sponsored outfits (with price tags) 

No, I’m not talking about Karen and Richard Carpenter, the ’60s to ’70s  sibling duo who sang sad love songs with catchy pop hooks.

I’m talking about two young Filipina women – Kraig Briones and Ina Medalla – who have shattered glass walls in the traditionally macho worlds of carpentry and construction.

They’re great role models as we celebrate Women’s Month.

These kids have become popular influencers, with large and growing social media followings, and are staunch advocates of female empowerment.

Their looks are a bonus (I bet more than half their followers are men, some of whom care little about carpentry). They know their craft well and produce informative and funny videos.

And as if that’s not enough, they’re also musicians.

Kraig Briones, 22, was born in Tondo, Manila, and now lives in Biñan, Laguna.

She is the CEO of The Genre’s Design, founded in 2017. The company produces customized furniture, cabinets, and other woodcraft.

Kraig has 149,000 followers on Facebook and caters to homeowners who want good custom furniture and furnishings.

While other industries suffered during the pandemic, Kraig’s business took off because many families stuck at home wanted to renovate.

There’s a public group on Facebook for members of the community – called Karpinteros, of course – and Kraig started out by posting  about her projects and sharing her journey as a female karpintero (carpenter) with the group.

Kraig is a tattoo artist too but she and her sister-manager Bjork are not allowed by their dad to have tats.

Ina Medalla, 26, is a global kid. Her dad was an expat engineer who worked in various countries, the longest stint in Canada. Ina has Canadian and Filipino passports.

She is the marketing head of family-owned GLI Construction Services based in Calamba, Laguna. Their shop sells all sorts of power and manual tools on site and online.

Most of the staff are women.

GLI has more than 670,000 followers on Facebook and Ina hopes to reach a million this year. 

What does she like most about her job? “Learning about new things,” she told Rappler. “Most of my friends now are engineers.”

She was working in the commercial  marketing sector when she heeded her family’s call to join the firm.

Now she’s the face of  GLI, starring in videos that are professionally produced in an upstairs room of the shop.

GLI’s vlogs are closely followed by craftsmen and hobbyists, driving their online sales of carpentry and construction tools and machines.

Ina also plays six musical instruments: drums, piano, keyboards, flute, guitar and clarinet.

“I pretend to know how to play cello. I know one bass line.”

I hope we will have more influencers like Kraig and Ina instead of airhead celebrities who just show off sponsored outfits (with price tags) and contribute nothing to popular knowledge. –

Roberto Coloma, better known as Bobby, retired in 2022 after 40 years as a foreign correspondent. He started his career as editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, the student newspaper of the University of the Philippines.

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