While everyone was busy playing hide and seek or hopscotch in grade school, Erica Rodica was busy selling everything and anything from ice candies and snacks to accessories. She even used to rent out her Goosebumps and Archie Comics collection to her classmates! Even when college and internship demanded so much of her time, school and internship stress never stopped Erica from selling, which earned her the title 'Serial Entrepreneur.' Find out how this young gal turned her passion for selling into a successful swimwear brand.
How it started. "Originally, the plan was to sell fancy jewelry under Eika Accessories. However, come summer time, I thought I should try out selling bikinis since it was on-trend for the season. When the first collection sold out in just a few hours, I knew I was on to something."
Why Eika Swimwear? "Eika Swimwear's flagship products are fun and colorful bikini tops and bottoms which you can mix and match as you please. Since there's an unspoken rule that once you've worn an outfit (or a bikini, in my case) and posted on social media, you are not to be seen wearing it again. From there, I saw the need in the market for affordable ways to stretch the wearability of their bikinis."
Aesthetic. "Young, confident and fun!"
Young entrepreneur. "To say that being a young entrepreneur is hard is subjective, but being a one is truly challenging. It really gets you out of your comfort zone and forces you to grow up fast. As long as you're passionate about your brand and you enjoy working on it day (and night), it becomes easier to bear."
Drawing inspiration. "I draw inspiration from fellow entrepreneurs around me. Whenever I hear their success stories, I am more inspired and determined to further my brand."
Team effort. "For the first two years, I’ve been doing everything solo—from customer service, fulfillment, marketing, sales and even delivery. Eventually, I knew I had to work with a team to keep up with the growth and to keep on growing. Working with a team has both its pros and cons. I used to fear to work with a team because I would have to be accountable. I had to learn to manage them as well. Handling a group of people with different personalities is scary. But when you find the right people for the job, are able to delegate well, and create a fun working environment, then having a team is definitely worth it."
Little challenges. "There are quite a lot to mention! But a few would be how to handle copycats, hiring the right people, and choosing good locations for physical stores."
Staying original. "Eika Swimwear releases new bikini designs almost every week which has limited stocks only. Once a design is sold out, it's forever gone. Aside from the wide selection of designs, our prices are affordable for the market."
What's next? "We are currently planning to expand to lifestyle items and offer customized swimwear as well."
"Find a need in the market and offer a solution for it."
To young budding entrepreneurs. "In order to succeed, you must have faith. Faith in your brand, faith in yourself, and faith in the Lord."
Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!