Fashion
How I Started: Tidy Heidy
Find out how these young entrepreneurs found a way to solve messy stains in a snap!
IMAGE Tidy Heidi ART Clare Magno

"Mom, I need help. How do you clean up this stain?" How often do you hear yourself say these words when you accidentally spill coffee on your shirt, accidentally getting period stains on the sheets of your bed, or worse, red lipstick on your LWD? Well, you don't need to stress anymore because a bunch of young entreps found the perfect product to help you battle all your stain problems and they're sharing with us how they started their biz on this week's "How I Started."

When it started. "We registered Tidy Heidy Incorporated just last July 2015."

How it started. "The idea of the company started in a Marketing class. We were constantly brainstorming for the perfect product for our project and while this was happening, one of our groupmates—and now partner—accidentally spilled coffee on her shirt. This incident was serendipitous because it led us to the idea of the instant stain remover. We figured that a lot of people also experience a lot of clumsy moments and we don't want them to stress the mess."

Why Tidy Heidy? "Tidy Heidy Instant Stain Remover all started with our own experiences of stains. After realizing that there is a need for such a product and that there is no solution being heavily marketed locally, we conducted researches and surveys in order to find the best fit customer profile, and to understand the needs of these potential customers."

Young entrepreneurs. "Since we started out as student entrepreneurs, it was really difficult juggling academics and org life while growing Tidy Heidy. But as the saying goes, "If there's a will, there's a way." We enjoyed what we were doing, so we didn't have much of a problem making our schedules fit after some adjustments. Right now, we are all shifting from being student entrepreneurs to just young entrepreneurs and it definitely has some challenges of its own, too."

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Drawing inspiration. "We draw our inspiration from our everyday experiences and customer feedback. It's really important to listen to the customers and know what they truly want. It's heartwarming to see people believe in our product, that Tidy Heidy has spared them from embarrassing situations, and that Tidy Heidy has even become a part of their daily kikay kits."

Team effort. "Working in a team means a having a diverse set of skills. It just so happens that every member of the Tidy Heidy team has a special skill to offer in each department. We are fortunate enough to have good group dynamics among us since we are also friends with one another."

Little challenges.  "It took us several tries to finally finalize the formulation for Tidy Heidy. Throughout the whole research and development process, we had to experiment with different potential ingredients, keeping in mind that we wanted to create a non-toxic and color-safe product. Taxes were also a huge challenge for us since nobody advised us on how to deal with BIR. We registered our company early in the biz so it was around the time when we were still experimenting the formulation and we didn't know that we had to submit sales reports to the BIR even if there weren't sales, so we had to pay penalty fees. And of course, getting Tidy Heidy out there. It is a new brand so we needed extensive marketing efforts. We needed to be hands-on during bazaars as we had to explain the product to every bazaar goer we encountered."

Staying original. "We aim for Tidy Heidy to project a gentle and non-intimidating image when compared to more industrial-looking cleaning alternatives. Unlike other existing instant stain removers, Tidy Heidy uses a dropper applicator so there is no direct contact with the stain to avoid contamination. It is nontoxic and contains no harsh chemicals. It is also color-safe so it won't damage or fade colored clothing."

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What's next? "One of our short term goals is to widen our physical distribution network by consigning our product in coffee shops and restaurants, where food stains are most likely to occur. We are also working on expanding our product line so we're formulating new variants, for other materials like sneakers, and for other types of stains like blood and ink."

To budding young entrepreneurs. "There will be a lot of mistakes, and expensive ones, too. But it's always going to be a part of any business. Learn from them and move on. If you're joining bazaars, pick the right one. Know the demographics, understand the location, and weigh the rental fee, too! Lastly, you need to talk to customers even if you're an introvert. You won't sell as much when you're just sitting down. Learn to place yourself in situations that are out of your comfort zone."

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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