Name Game: For Tessera co-founder Papat Aquino-Fider, A Sparkling Piece of Jewelry Should Also Be A Reflection - LA Lives

“Tessera isn’t just a brand, it’s something far greater.”

In Ancient Rome, cubic tiles were used as personal identifications of social status and eternal commitments. Called “tessera,” these were prevalent centuries ago, found rom Greece to Kerman, Iran.

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A Filipina decided to uphold this ideal 10 years ago through a jewelry brand. “To me, Tessera isn’t just a brand, it’s something far greater,” says co-founder Papat Aquino-Fider.

According to its website, Tessera began as a passion project of Aquino-Fider’s husband Carl. “I started out selling monogrammed and custom-made diamond necklaces before venturing into the retailing and selling of wholesale diamonds,” he recounts.

What Aquino-Fider always envisioned for the brand was it to be a precious representation of major parts of one’s life. She wants Tessera to be present at everything: weddings, balls, birthdays, and even coronation nights.

They were the ones who brought to life Catriona Gray’s stunning “Three Stars and The Sun” and “Alab at Dangal” ear cuffs as well as the “Pearl of the Orient” drop earrings, which she wore when won Bb. Filipinas and Miss Universe in 2018.

“Today, we have more than a thousand internationally certified diamonds in our collection, ready to be selected and made into your next heirloom,” Fider says. “We specialize in engagement rings and bespoke fine jewelry.”

Sparkling identity

Aquino-Fider, who celebrates her birthday today, wants every piece that they make be a reflection of those who wear it. In 2011, she was inspired to use jewelry as an emblem of identity.

She then introduced monogrammed necklaces in the local market. Aquino-Fider started a fad of gold-cladded initials worn as necklaces with Tessera by PAF, even though she and her husband founded the brand only at their home.

In just a few years, big names in Philippine show business were also already donning these pieces and posting them on social platforms.

“When celebrities fell in love with the monogram necklaces and uploaded and tagged Tessera on social media, a flood of requests poured in, and I was the one who answered them all,” Aquino-Fider says.

However, the overwhelming amount of orders was not much of a challenge for her, a former banker, who has always been excellent in sales. Now, she is entrusted as vice president for sales for the company, leading a young retail team selling engagement rings and other diamond jewelry.

And, while the future remains uncertain, Aquino-Fider is ready for any challenge. It’s all a matter of owning who you are in the same way that monogrammed diamond necklace confidently on your neck says it.

As one post on their Instagram goes, “Be the bold and beautiful woman that you are.”

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