1 Feb 2019, 09:30 — 5 min read
Business: Kirsten Marie Enterprise
Co-Founder: Judimarilei Melendrez
Year it was founded: 2015
Industry: Fashion Goods and Accessories
Location: Dasmarinas, Cavite
It is a misconception that one needs huge capital investment to establish a business. Often, all it takes to start a business is a great idea and the passion to give wings to one’s dreams.
From starting the business with a borrowed capital of Php 2,000 only, Judimarilei was able to grow her business and now has her own physical store in Dasmarinas, Cavite.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Judimarilei (Judi) shares her business journey.
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
Judi: We’ve got a cabinet full of bags in our house. My mom and I are always on the lookout for sales in different malls to buy bags at a bargain price. That’s how we started an online shop. It all started with a capital of Php 2,000 which I borrowed. After a week, all bags were sold out; thus, we had additional capital! We started the business last December 2015 and it started growing in February 2016. From Php 2,000, it grew to Php 20,000.
"Don't spend the income of your business for a year," that's what I learned after reading the success story of a seamstress who was able to grow her business. I followed her strategy as I was still employed at that time. My family used my income as an employee for our daily expenses and separated our money from the business.
As a result, we succeeded in scaling up the business. We eventually had Php 50,000 capital. After a year, we decided to have a physical store and I resigned from my day job to focus on our business full-time.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
Judi: One of the challenges we faced was on how we could prove that we are a legitimate online business. But we were able to be part of Ensogo at that time, and it was a great way to prove that we are a legitimate business aside from providing our business permits.
GL: What is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of your business?
Judi: We are able to offer affordable yet quality items that are fashionable and elegant. We always test our products first before we launch it to the public to ensure quality and durability.
GL: What are some of the milestones/ achievements of your business?
Judi: We mostly sell online, but before we celebrated our second anniversary, we were able to set up a physical store/showroom to showcase our products. Also, I was chosen as one of the entrepreneurs to represent the Philippines at the TradeConnect event in Singapore. I was able to showcase our products in the international scene. Big thanks to UnionBank GlobalLinker for making it possible.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting SMEs?
Judi: GlobalLinker is like the Facebook for SMEs! You can find someone that can you can partner or collaborate with your business or just simply have an exchange of ideas to help grow your business.
GL: What is your big business dream?
Judi: My biggest dream is to make our brand known and loved throughout the entire country. We are spreading the message to love local products.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Judi: You will always encounter something that you don’t know, don’t let it stop you. You’ve got to LEARN in order to EARN. The internet is a vast space of information, use it. Just like what I did!
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