Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find women taking charge. As more women are leading the pack and managing their own business, we can all learn a thing or two from their success stories. We talked to seven Pinays on how they set up their online business before deciding to take a leap and display their products at an actual store. They all found their spot at Market Liberty, a modern platform that supports Pinay-owned labels like theirs.
Here’s what they have to say about partnering with the indie retailer:
Name: Regina Aquino
Her business: Studio Regina
What it offers: “Studio Regina is a ready-to-wear fashion brand that aims to uplift women and help them look their very best. [It] also accepts custom clothing to cater to more women of different sizes. The brand started when a friend asked me to design a wedding gown and when I posted it online, I received positive feedback from family and friends. People began noticing my craft! So I started this business that gets me so happy and excited about.”
On making the move: “After creating my online store through IG and FB, I was able to introduce my own brand. The physical store, on the other hand, paved the way to let the customer have a feel of the brand making it look more legitimate.
“Our family loves to go to the mall every weekend. We passed by Market Liberty when it was still under construction. I personally thought that the mall has potential and the mall-goers might actually like my designs! So, we inquired and luckily was able to settle to an agreement.”
Her business advice: “Learn to put yourself out there. It may be intimidating and uncomfortable, but just keep on believing in yourself.”
Name: Jackielyn Tinio
Her business: Meigan Collection
What it offers: “My love for shoes and footwear gave birth to this brand.”
On making the move: “Having an online store allows our brand to advertise freely and reach people through social media. [Now] our physical store gets us the sale through walk-ins. It also allows us to reach our customers in the south.”
Her business advice: “Focus on quality and customer experience first before you worry about sales and quotas. You need to sell a product that’s not only cheap or beautiful—you need to champion products that will stay with them and will be part of their lifestyles.”
Name: Isabel Celdran-Koa
Her business: Mode De Vie
What it offers: “MDV is all about classic pieces with a modern twist. We started in October 2015.”
On making the move: “Not everyone is accustomed to online shopping and there are still a lot of people who like to fit their clothes and feel the fabric before purchasing garments. Having either a small shop or a couple of racks in some multi-brand lifestyle stores like Market Liberty greatly complements one’s online shop.”
Her business advice: “Don’t be discouraged by a slow start. We all have to begin somewhere. If it’s something you are truly passionate about, given the chance, it will bloom in its own time.”
Name: Arianne Denise Lunod
Her business: Simone's Closet
What it offers: “Simone’s Closet is a bohemian lifestyle brand carrying locally-made boho clothes, handmade fabric accessories, home decors, swimsuits, and souvenirs. It began in 2010 on Multiply.”
On making the move: “You need an online store to reach wider markets, say provincial areas, and overseas. Also, you reach a niche market of clients who prefer to buy online and have no time to go out and shop. I think there's a downside to it because clients cannot see, feel, and fit the items if you only sell online. I guess that's when having a brick and mortar shop comes in, to have more customer engagement over our products.
"A physical store helps for my online selling since we are into clothes, and clients need to fit our items before purchasing. And also, it makes my business more legitimate since clients see us in flesh rather than on their computer screens or cellphones. In short, our store simply means we do really exist as a business!”
Her business advice: “Just like any other business, the secret to success is having a pure and passionate heart, the right attitude, a good business concept, and a knowledge of proper financial management.”
Name: Kris Bernal
Her business: SHE Cosmetics
What it offers: “SHE Cosmetics hopes [to bring] quality makeup products to Filipinas. The brand’s first line [features] Cushion Matte Liquid Lipsticks. [Our] products are made in Korea.”
On making the move: “As long as your store is selling well on both platforms, I don’t see any con. It’s important to have both. Not all people are online and updated while others just like the convenience of online shopping. It’s important to tap both mall-goers and online buyers.
"Having a physical store allows customers to see and try my products. It’s more convenient to buy for them, especially in rural areas. Also, no need to wait for shipping.”
Her business advice: “Do what you're good at, produce quality products, and create an effective marketing plan.”
Name: Jasmin Florido
Her business: Buklod Crafts
What it offers: “We sell handwoven native baskets and other home accessories made in the Philippines. I left the corporate world and started working for our family business. My sister and I decided to make an Instagram account to sell our excess stock. We got very good feedback from our first customers so we decided to continue selling online.”
On making the move: “Having an online store is important because it lets you showcase your products easily. [But] many of our customers request to see our products in person since it's hard to imagine the size when you buy it online. We started getting regular visits from customers at our office as well since it's our stockroom. That's when we realized that there was really a demand for us to have a physical store. [Market Liberty] understood our products are bulky and they were able to allot a space for us where we can display our products well. We were also told that most of the sellers there are local sellers which is a plus for us."
Her business advice: “Love your business! Grab every opportunity if it feels good. Take risks and don't be discouraged at the first sign of defeat. Hard work pays off!”
Name: Felicia Capulong
Her business: Kurin
What it offers: “Kurin [is] an everyday cleaner powered by Japanese technology that increases the pH level of water and food-grade potassium carbonate. We started this business just late last year.”
On making the move: “Having a physical store is also very important so that our clients can access their items while they are already out. We wanted to see whether our following would respond to having a physical store and true enough when we put our items in Market Liberty, our clients were happy to know they were readily available when they would head there.
“I would always enter Market Liberty to check new and unique finds so when we found out from a common friend that there was an opening, we grabbed the opportunity. We’re just so happy with this store and find such a bustling and happy culture in it.”
Her business advice: “Listen to your clients. Know what they want and find a solution to their problem. That’s what we are here for, right?”
These Pinay entrepreneurs all have found their new platform at Market Liberty, a multi-brand lifestyle store that helps Pinay-owned online and independent labels expand their business. Ready to upgrade yours? Follow Market Liberty on Instagram and Facebook . For more inquiries, click here.