Fashion

How I Started: Rhipe's Backyard

Know how Ira Oyco's passion for business ignited, which led her to create Rhipe's Backyard.
IMAGE Rhipe's Backyard | instagram.com/rhipesbackyard ART Clare Magno

In the golden age of technology, online businesses are nothing new. But back then, there were only a few online stores available, and Rhipe's Backyard was one of the few brands on the World Wide Web. Now, Rhipe's Backyard is stronger than ever, and Ira Oyco, the woman behind this legendary online brand, is sharing with us how her passion for business ignited, which eventually led her to create Rhipe's Backyard.

When it started. "I started my business four years ago!"

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How it started. "I actually sold my own clothes in order to have extra capital to create the first collection for Rhipe's Backyard. When I was able to save up, I started selling skater skirts in seven colors back when it wasn't mass produced yet. Luckily, it turned out to be a huge hit!" 

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Why Rhipe's Backyard? "I decided to focus on RTW simply because it's the most practical clothing. In this fast paced world we live in, we need to change and get dressed as quickly as possible! So I decided to design clothes that are suitable for the everyday Filipina."

Young entrepreneur. "I started selling as young as fourteen years old. I started selling baller IDs with random statements on it to my classmates back in high school! That jumpstarted my passion for selling, and persuading others why they should buy from me. Of course, being a young entrepreneur is hard because you don't have a source of income when you're young to build your business so you really have to think of innovative ways to earn your capital."

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Entrepreneurial philosophy. "You have one goal as an entrepreneur. It's for you to sell your products, and in order for you to make a sale, you should give them a good reason to buy your products! So make sure you're selling something really really good! You will also encounter competitors along the way, so make sure you have 'something' that makes your products a cut above the rest!"

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Drawing inspiration. "I get my fashion inspiration from the everyday Filipina—from the people I see at the LRT, the teens at the mall, the mothers at Church, and so on."

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Flying solo. "Rhipe's Backyard is a one woman show! I do everything from outsourcing packaging materials, choosing the textile, going to my seamstresses, replying to my customers, fixing the parcels for shipping, and taking photos of my products."

Little challenges. "I always struggle with time. I get a lot of messages that I have to reply to, and sometimes it really eats up my time. Dealing with lost and delayed parcels is another issue that gives me a huge amount of stress as well."

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Staying original. "I have this tag line, "creating dapper clothing for women" because I have my constant product, which is the button-down. I innovate the button-down in terms of cut and pritns to give it a modern update. It's still a hit even after four years!"

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What's next? "I joined a number of concept stores and bazaars, but nothing beats selling them online because there is no overhead cost! As of the moment, I'm just trying to take advantage of the technology we have right now, and showcasing my products through different social media platforms."

To budding young entrepreneurs. "If you trust your product, go get them out! Sell them! Do not be afraid to ask for help, and always ask for a second opinion from your trusted peers! That way you get an idea of how your market will react to your product. Lastly, never ever compromise your integrity for self-gain. Never lie and cheat to your customers because like what Medical City says, patients, in this case, customers are partners!"

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Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!

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About the author
Janelle Yau
Fashion and Beauty Assistant
The Rebecca Bloomwood of Manila. I spend half of my time obsessing about the latest fashion craze, and the other half overthinking and over-analyzing just about anything under the sun. When I’m not busy as a bee playing with fifty shades of pink lippies, you can probably catch me swiping my plastic for yet another pair of shiny, pointed gold flats.
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