Imagine doing what you love, fulfilling a purpose, and being your own boss while you’re at it! Starting something new is always scary, but the first step to making dreams come true is always taking that leap of faith. Just take it from Queenie Ong, the gal behind Eye Know Right™, who turned her passion into a business venture that allowed her to be her own boss in her 20s.
Here’s how she turned her dreams into reality through Lazada:
1. Can you tell us about yourself? What was your job before starting your online business?
My name is Queen, I’m an international branding, marketing, and advertising specialist. Fresh from college graduation, I was 21 years old when I started my online business via Instagram and Viber. Bootstrapping everything and with no manpower, my partner, now husband, DIY-ed everything to make our first brand, Eye Know Right™, mark its own humble name in the online eyewear industry.
2. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur? Can you tell us how much your capital was when you were just starting out?
I think growing up, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit in me. I started selling stickers when I was in Grade 2 to have my own jeepney fare. In college, I was always known to have the biggest and geekiest eyewear due to my extremely poor eyesight. I needed a frame that would cover my vision wherever I look. My university mates were asking me where I got them so I had an idea to turn it into monkey business. Coming from a humble family background with no affluence, we started with P3500 worth of capital to purchase a few stocks and packaging materials. We naturally had this business idea due to solving my own eyesight problem that unintentionally resonated with a lot of people. Today, we always start a brand with an authentic and close-to-heart problem in mind.
3. What were your goals/expectations when you were just starting out?
Fresh from graduation, I knew that I am not meant for a 9-to-5 job. My only goal was to exceed the average daily pay, [which was] P500 [back then], while doing the things I love which is advertising.
4. Can you tell us how much you made during your first month and how much you’re making now?
I was already happy to make P100k per month when we were starting out. Today, with the help of my awesome teammates in the company, we’re happy to reach up to 7 digits per month, per brand.
5. What are some challenges you encountered when starting out?
It’s not exactly a challenge but bootstrapping everything is both exciting and tiring for us. It made us understand all the facets in order to run a sustainable business that is now entrusted to our equally talented colleagues.
6. How different are they from the challenges you’re facing now?
We still encounter similar challenges like before but now, we already have trusted heads and colleagues who manage these challenges equally the same or even better.
7. How has Lazada helped you and your business?
We were heavily reliant on one social media platform and one website landing page. Whenever these channels crash or encounter bugs, we are directly affected by the pitfall. Lazada gave us another opportunity to organically contribute to our success rates. It paved the way for more brand visibility and amplified our company’s core purpose.
8. How has it affected the people you work with?
We have trusted teams who relentlessly focus on our growth in Lazada, especially the Digital Marketing Team. The Marketing Department now not only lay all their eggs in one basket, unlike our first few years.
9. What’s your advice to budding entrepreneurs and business owners who are currently feeling uninspired or unmotivated?
Don’t skip the process. Entrepreneurs need to encounter hard stops and pitfalls in order to learn a necessary upward. The journey is not a straight line and there’s never a time wasted even if you fail along the way. We only win or we learn, there’s no losing.
If you want to check out Queen's brand, just head over to Eye Know Right™'s Lazada store. On that note, here's some exciting news: Lazada's highly anticipated 6.6 Mid-Year Sale is happening from June 6 to 8 and it's where you can enjoy 6x stackable vouchers, 60% cashback with no minimum spend capped at P60, 10% Lazada Bonus with P500 minimum spend, and of course, fast and free shipping!
So, there you have it, Cosmo Girls! E-commerce platforms like Lazada have changed the game for Filipino entrepreneurs and have served as the springboard for success stories like Queen. So if you've been wanting to be your own boss for a while but are not sure how to do it, remember: You too can turn that hobby into an online business that brings you and other people joy and satisfaction.
With Lazada allowing entrepreneurs to get the ball rolling from the comfort of their own homes, anything is possible, all you have to do is take the first step. How’s that for being your own boss and fulfilling your passion?