Meet the Team

Kumusta! We’re Fides & Grace. Co-Founders. Collaborators. Cultural champions. Enterprising Filipinas.

This photo was taken in February 2020 in front of Gallery 76. This space showcased the works of the talented Hernandez sisters, Kass and Lauren of Crossing Threads, and their ‘DUALITY’ exhibition, which brought together a beautiful union of textile art and textile apparel made by Filipinas. Here we were joined by Cebu-based Anya Lim, founder of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, a Philippines-based social and cultural enterprise focused on elevating Filipino culture through contemporary and circular design to sustain livelihood. Together, we candidly discussed the theme THE COMMON THREAD - “Weaving identity and connections between two lands". A heartfelt conversation that continues to inspire and shape our evolution as Filipinas living on the unceded lands of Wurundjeri country. To balik (to give back) to the bayan (land) from which we were born, and inspire others to do the same. This was a moment amongst many that has inspired Merkado. An online marketplace to discover and celebrate all things Filipino owned, made, and sourced from our barrio of makers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and thoughtful brands – both near and far.We hope you join our BALIKBAYAN journey, and learn more about the stories of our merchant partners on Merkado.



Fides Santos Arguelles
Co-founder, Marketing & Business Development

Fides is an independent business consultant, venturing on her own as Fides & Associates after 15 years at City of Melbourne. Fides’ work supports small and big business in retail, hospitality and government. She brings abundant business acumen, industry connections and visionary thinking to her leadership role within The Entree.Pinays.


Grace Guinto
Co-founder, Project Development & Storyteller

Grace brings a wealth of corporate and business advisory experience from her time at PwC in the US and Australia, and Coles Group, a trusted retailer, delivering quality, value and service to everyday Australians.

Grace is also chief baking officer and owner of Sweet Cora, a thriving catering business inspired by the food of her late mother, specialising in Aussie and American desserts with a Filipino twist.