Yuki Tansengco Shares Her Secrets on How She Balances Blogging and Business
You may know Yuki Tansengco as a style blogger, but it's time to see a different side of Yuki as a young entrepreneur with a heart. Read on and get to know Shop Style Cat as Yuki shares with us her secrets to starting up a biz, her inspirations, and why it's important to go local.
How it started. "My blog, The Style Cat blog has opened up so much opportunities for me and has now turned into a platform of style and travel inspiration for millennials. Merging my love for style, travel and sustainable fashion, I created Style Cat, an eco-ethical line of locally made resort/wicker bags for equally adventurous curious cats."
Why Shop Style Cat? "Ever since a Manila Bay school field trip back in high school, we collected so much trash that I made a mental note to do little contributions to be more environmental friendly. Come college, I started my accessory line called Yuki Makes Things made from upcycled (recycling, but nicer) material such as soda caps, scrap fabric and started selling to my blockmates in DLSU. In college and obsessed with dressing up, I started a fashion blog, documenting my daily outfits and the accessories I was making. One thing my readers love about my style is I love wearing ukay-ukay/second hand pieces. Again, I still find ways to contribute to being "eco-friendly" and try to avoid fast fashion (too trendy wear-and-tear pieces just end up in a landfill) pieces, which ultimately inspired me to start my own line."
"My first ever collection, Style Cat Resort: Take Me To Purradise is inspired and named after by MUST-SEE destinations: Aruba (southern Caribbean), Calaguas (in the Philippines), Santhiya (in Thailand), Port Douglas (in Australia) and Uluwatu (in Bali.) I love the idea of using locally sourced material such as traffia, abaca, banukan and seeing products made by our incredibly talented artisans. So you get stylish products, use sustainable materials that won't be clogging up a landfill nearby and empower our local communities by supporting proudly Pinoy products, too."
Aesthetic. "The Style Cat girl is bold and never shy. She is a curious cat always on the hunt for new styles and new adventures. She is both a city and island girl just like the versatility of the bags."
Young entrepreneur. It is challenging for me to be a young entrepreneur because I never really had a formal corporate job before starting my brand but it is all about taking risks. Nothing worth having comes easy so let the challenges begin!
Drawing inspiration. Just like my first Style Cat Resort collection, it is inspired from local and global travels I do or plan to do. There are so many beautiful places waiting to be explored and I am just one natural curious cat.
Love duo. "For Style Cat, my boyfriend Nicholas helps me out with the brand strategy and logistics and I have a creative A-team who did the lookbook photos and video. For the branding, I tapped artsy duo Ina & Elle Battung of Hello Line Studio. I feel so relieved that I am actually working with a team now! Unlike my brand back in college where it was a one woman's show, everything is just more fun when shared. So I love it! Everyone also contributes what they think for Style Cat so it's mini-crowdsourced information that turns out to be super helpful."
Little challenges. "A current challenge I face now is to look for more weavers and indigenous communities who master at this skill. I want to show them that woven products aren't just a novelty or souvenir, it can be something they can earn a sustainable income from!"
Staying original. "Style Cat products are inspired from stories that I personally experience. It is rooted from my love for sustainable fashion and love for travel. As for the price points, I didn't want to price it too high to make it accessible to a wider range. After all, we ought to be proud of our local products!"
What's next? "Style Cat plans to tap more communities and empower local artisans. Eventually, I want it made in the Philippines one day and applauded in New York the next day. Let's go global! Hopefully!"
Entrepreneurial philosophy. "Sometimes I scare myself that no one will buy my products but I always think "If I like it, someone out there will like it too!"
So don't give up too fast—just find the right niche!
To young budding entrepreneurs. "My advice for entrepreneurs is be in a business for the right cause. It's the key for a long brand life. Be competitive and take risks!"
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.