Selina Selma-Romualdez Crafts Her Legacy In Furniture-Making

Selina Selma-Romualdez goes after her dream and revives a dying industry, creating inimitable furniture enjoyed by local and international clients alike.  

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s December 2023/January 2024 Issue.

Cebu, known for its rich cultural heritage and exquisite craftsmanship, is home to some of the world’s most talented furniture makers. Among them, Selina Selma-Romualdez has carved her niche in the industry by supplying one-of- a-kind furniture pieces to hotels and private residences worldwide. Her journey is a remarkable testament of how women can balance their lives by running a successful furniture business while raising 3 children.

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Selina’s journey into the world of furniture making was not just a career choice; it was a calling. From a young age, she displayed an eye for design and a keen interest in doing business. After all, her family background includes having parents who were in the furniture industry. She and her brother, Vito Selma, got their head start in the furniture business by being exposed to their parents’ business. Selina shares, “We worked together fresh out of college. Two clueless kids trying to make two different paths and moving forward together, side by side. My parents’ company, Stonesets International, is really the epitome of a model company. We witnessed this from the ground up thus, we were heavily exposed to it and it was really our playground.”

Selina Selma-Romualdez

She elaborates, “Vito and I just had this strong connection already with furniture because it was
such a natural fit for us. We didn’t realize that our trips and dinners with buyers were already an
early immersion for us. Stonesets International serves traditional and heavily carved furniture. When Vito and I worked together after College, we slowly incorporated our own styles.”

Her initial curiosity blossomed into a deep love for the craft as she spent countless hours learning about the intricacies of woodworking, weaving and design as she brings her artistry, dedication, and passion to her craft.


Selina’s opportunity to cement her mark in the furniture industry fell into her lap. Selina says, “I couldn’t refuse a dream that I was pursuing. There was a business that was closing shop and the original proprietors were hoping that the next owners would be young but experienced, and one who would take the company to new heights, as we have carried on the name of their company.”

Selina Selma-Romualdez intends to build a mini empire of master weavers to keep the furniture industry alive

So eight years ago, they continued Obra Cebuana, which had already been in existence for 34 years. “When we acquired Obra Cebuana, we really expressed to them that we are really committed to prolonging their brand name and we promised them to keep the same workforce, designers and the real essence of the company. 

The brand name was perfect to keep because our main thrust was to also introduce it to the local market. Back then, this business was 100% export only.” Selina and husband Justin run the company together and it is their intention to build a mini empire of master weavers with the purpose of continuing the craft that was once considered as a sunset industry.


Selina’s talent did not remain a local secret for long. Word of her unique pieces began to spread, catching the attention of hoteliers looking to infuse their properties with distinct Filipino pieces with world class appeal. The couple’s dream of also supplying local markets is gaining ground as they have been supplying local resorts and projects with their pieces apart from exporting their furniture around the world. This successful venture would see Selina’s furniture gracing the lobbies, suites, and dining areas of beautiful properties in and out of the country.

Local and international clients alike have enjoyed the unique pieces of Obra Cebuana

“One of our biggest achievements was serving the APEC summit of World Leaders. Our pieces have stood the test of time and they are still standing firm, currently serving its third administration. Personal international favorites of mine are a private game reserve in South Africa and Hawaii’s famed Kona Village, an Architectural marvel that was recently awarded with many accolades such as best hotel by Architectural Digest and Condè Nast. I praise local projects equally and my favorite collaboration to date has been Manami Resort in Sipalay. It was such a breeze working with a dear friend on this dream of a project. I enjoy serving clients that can visualize their aspirations without having to deal with technicalities. Last but definitely not the least — collaborations with my brother, Vito, will always be cherished for its purposeful missions behind these special projects,” she shares.

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia December 2023/January 2024 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos by Larlo Ray. 

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