How I Started: Happy Hoodies
Hoodies are a great way to stay cozy amidst the breeze, but Happy Hoodies found a way to combine fun and functionality with cute character hoodies! We had a little chat with Rica Tai one of the co-founders of Happy Hoodie to share with us how they started Happy Hoodies.
How it started. "Back in college, three of my friends and I saw an ad from the BGC foundation calling for business ideas. The chosen ones would be given 40,000 pesos seed money and the opportunity to launch their products in the Christmas bazaar of BGC. We sent our idea, got chosen, and sold our products that Christmas. It was a hit so we decided to continue selling in other bazaars, and eventually online through social media platforms."
Why Happy Hoodies? "We decided to sell character hoodies because during that time, all the hoodies that were available seemed to look alike—all of them were plain and had nothing special on it. We have always expressed ourselves through the clothes that we wear, and took inspiration from toys and kiddie costumes. We figured out a way to make fun hoodies that may be worn by both kids and adults! We wanted to bring out the kid in everyone with a Happy Hoodie."
Young entrepreneur. "Being an entrepreneur while being in school was definitely a challenge. There were a lot of situations wherein we had to prioritize one over the other. However, as the years went by, we learned how to properly manage things, delegate tasks, and be more efficient in getting things done. Having a business on the side was our creative release since our courses were very theoretical with very minimal artistic expression. It was an outlet where we explored our imaginative side."
Drawing inspiration. "We draw inspiration from anything. From trends, nature, comics, and movies, you name it!"
Team shuffling. "We started out as a group of four friends from college. After graduation, some of our friends decided to focus on their day jobs. So now we're just two people working as a team."
Team effort. "Working in a team meant that we had more ideas going around, and we could rely on each other for multiple tasks. But it also meant that we had more people to get approval from in making decisions."
Little challenges. "When we started our own careers after graduation, it was difficult getting everyone's schedule together to discuss about the business. This made decision-making and execution of our plans slower. The business went under the radar for a while. Eventually, we had to ask everyone to re-evaluate their dedication to the venture, and assigned tasks only to those that can give time for Happy Hoodies. This way, things moved faster and we were able to revive the brand again."
Staying original. "When we started, we were the only ones who sold 'cutesy' animal hoodies. There was no competition. We made our own designs, and we made everything locally. Since we joined different bazaars, we were able to talk to our clients. We adjusted our designs, sizing and even the material based on the feedback we got. When competitors started popping up after a few years, we learned that they were mostly sourced from China. The advantage of that was they were cheaper. On the other hand, the quality of hoodies they got was dictated by their suppliers. We're happy to say that Happy Hoodies are a result of continuous improvement and years of being in the business. We have constantly evolved from our designs to our suppliers to ensure that we offer only high quality products to our customers."
What's next? "We're expanding from mainly selling online to being available in unique concept stores. We want to give our clients more chances of interacting and feeling our products."
To budding young entrepreneurs. "For budding entrepreneurs, our only advice is that whatever business you plan to get into, it should be something you're interested in, passionate about, good at, or enjoy. As Confucius once said, 'Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.'"
Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!
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I've been investing in arts, photography, and writing. I've also got back to reading the other day and I finished reading this amazing book entitled 300 Things I Hope by Iain S. Thomas. It is all about the things the author hopes his readers to do in all aspects of life. So, I decided to make a version of it with all of the things I'm hoping for.
I hope I get to see my friends be successful in life. I hope to make a big mural someday. I hope to be a well-known artist like the artists I look up to. I hope to marry the person I am in love with today. I hope to be a little kinder to myself. I hope to see happiness even in the smallest things. I hope to travel the world. I hope to be a good mother and a wife to my future family. I hope to have my artworks displayed in a gallery or an exhibit. I hope to learn more about creative writing. I hope I won't learn how to get tired and give up my passion. I hope I won't get too hard on myself whenever I don't get the results I've been wanting to see in my works. I hope to love myself more even on the days I hate it the most. I hope to lead and empower women; to be their voice and for them to believe in themselves that they can be the woman they look up to. And when I've reached my limit of these things, I hope I won't get tired of reminding myself that my emotions don't make me weak, hence, makes me stronger. These are some of the things I always hope for. What about you? What are you hoping for?
I started fixing myself this quarantine. I mean, I started trying makeup products. As a teen, I'm on my phone almost every hour of the day, scroll on my social media accounts, especially Instagram, and also Pinterest where you get to see nice and pleasing photography by bunch of amazing and beautiful people from different parts of the world. So I started taking my own as well. I did not know that taking your own photo and try to get an Instagramable one is sooooooooo hard, it's exhausting. I do not have alot of space in my room, and I would definitely not do it outside our house because of Corona Virus, and I don't want to be seen by our neighbors HAHA so I have no choice but to make tiis inside my room.
Out of atleast 25 shots, only 2 are a nice picture. While I'm all sweaty and tired, I am proud of what I could do beyond my comfort zone. And this definitely built my self confidence, (and I secret love the compliments I received from both people I know and don't know) It's not my first time visiting in here, Candy! But I'm new to writing my thoughts and experiences, so bare with me HAHA.
Until next time!
First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.
The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.
There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.