Susto Manila is no stranger to a lot of fashion girls. The brand is known for their exquisite pieces that are perfect for special occasions—from a dinner with the family to a special date with your boy. But even the best things have to evolve and grow, and that is what Micah del Rosario is set out to do. Read on to find out how this fresh grad is modernizing the classic brand every fashion girl has grown to love.
How it started. "Susto Manila actually started way back in 2008 by my mom and her brother, which showcased formal wear, cocktail dresses and highly sophisticated pieces. They came up with the term "Susto, "which is a Pangasinense term for "just right" or in Tagalog "Sakto." This is what they want their clothes to be, just right and perfect for the modern Filipina. But right after I graduated from college, I decided to rebrand Susto and go online."
Why Susto Manila? "Growing up, I’ve seen the evolution of my parents success in the retail industry. So it has always been a goal of mine since I was twelve to start my own fashion business. I found passion for fashion illustration, design, styling, and beauty being influenced by a family of retailers, stylists and makeup artists. And now, I'm turning my dreams into reality with Susto Manila."
Being an entrepreneur. "Since I graduated college last year, I always get asked if being an entrepreneur is hard. My answer is a yes and a no. Yes it's hard to be an entrepreneur because you live and breathe business. But for me, as long as you love and enjoy what you're doing, you won't even feel like you're working at all."
Drawing inspiration. "We draw inspiration from the classics and reinvent them to create fashion pieces that reflect the now, but are still forever wearable. Each design is brought to life by a simple, but effective attribute: the reveal of a shoulder, a dramatic drape, an elegant cutout, etcetera. We take pride in our aesthetic attention to detail in our tailoring and materials to develop pieces that are timeless and ideal."
Flying solo. "I run Susto on my own from styling and doing the makeup in shoots to designing and sourcing apparel, handling social media, replying to emails, going to meetings, checking the stores, and believe it or not I built the site on my own, too. I still do work hand in hand with my mom and my assistant. However, I'm looking at building my own team soon."
Little challenges. "Although Susto has been around for the longest time, because we just started getting into e-commerce, there were definitely struggles that I've gone through such as handling returns, replying to customers, tracking pullout, and making sure that packages were sent on time."
Staying original. "When it comes to Susto, our designs emanates contemporary modern aesthetics and feminine dressing. We aim to provide a unique fashion environment that offer unique and timeless pieces that are affordable and of high quality. We encourage customers to be experimental, leaning towards finding their own personal style. It holds fast to the principles of slow fashion and conscious design—that kind of quality does not come cheap, but these are pieces you will be wearing for years. We want Susto to be known as more than just another fashion brand. We use the brand as a platform to promote the work of other creatives because we want to promote local talent and combine our forces—from fashion, photography, and film to represent our aesthetic."
What's next? "The coming years is going to be a really exciting for Susto because we just have so much coming out, like so many really cool and interesting products, more interesting content, and so many ways to engage with us beyond just our traditional channels like social media. Look out for pop-up stores and new stocklists!"
Entrepreneurial philosophy. "Always keep your eyes open for lessons and opportunities. As cliché as it may sound, learn from your mistakes.
Don't be afraid to dip your toes and get into the dirty work! That way, you get to know what you have to improve on."
To young budding entrepreneurs. "Find the work that you actually like doing. I graduated at the age of 20 and a lot of people I meet—especially when I go to different companies—always get surprised when I tell them how I old I am. Right before I finished college, I immediately started working on the line. I felt so giddy about the fact that I’m finally going to live my every day doing what I love. As an entrepreneur, you need to have the drive to grow. For me, being able to showcase my talent and express my creativity to a lot of people is already something that gives me a push to achieve my goals."
Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!