This Is How You Turn Your Love for Shopping Into a Business
Whether you're a die-hard fashion girl or not, admit it, shopping for a new top or a new pair of shoes is always a nice distraction from the busy college life. Now, what if we told you that your love for shopping can actually make you some moolah? Don't believe us? Read on to find out how young entrepreneur Dianne Alejo turned her love for shoes into a real business.
How it started. "I've always loved shoes and I tend to hoard them. I buy a pair or two every single month. Until I realized, why not create my own line of shoes? I started checking out manufacturers July 2015, but it wasn't until early 2016 when I became really serious in starting my own shoe line. Then April 2016, I released my first ever collection of sandals and slip-ons."
Why Meraki? "Sandals are a staple in every girl's closet, so I decided to focus on selling sandals. My first sandal collection in April 2016 was actually not made of vegan leather. Apparently, the manufacturer ran out of my initial choice of material, so they suggested using vegan leather as an alternative. Looking back, I think it was a wonderful stroke of luck since after its release, the consumers preferred it. Consequently, I started using vegan leather solely for my sandals as well as for my bag collection, which is fairly new."
Young entrepreneur. "It's very hard to be a young entrepreneur. You face a lot of challenges in the initial stage and people tend not to take you seriously. I think every entrepreneur has faced these kinds of issues when they were starting—especially at a young age. However, as millennials, we are fortunate to live in the digital age. Almost everything can be done faster and easier. We should utilize and maximize things like the internet, so we can say that being a young entrepreneur also has its pros."
Drawing inspiration. "Aside from, of course, my family, and my boyfriend, I draw inspiration from my love for wearable fashion, which I would like to share with women from all walks of life."
Flying solo. I do everything on my own: from marketing, styling, designing, taking orders, etc. except driving! I’m just very blessed to receive such an overwhelming support from my family and my boyfriend. I believe I won’t be here without them, the people who trust Meraki, what it stands for, and how it patronizes our local shoemakers.
Little challenges. "At first, I thought looking for trustworthy manufacturers was the hardest challenge I had to overcome. My boyfriend and I scouted Marikina for weeks looking for manufacturers who can create the designs I have visualized. However, I realized, selling my designs and putting my brand out there is a much bigger challenge. There are a lot of other existing brands when I started, so it was hard to compete with them. In addition to that, it was hard for me to manage my time since I also work full time. So aside from my 8-hour desk job, I have to juggle managing my business, which entails a lot of sacrifices."
Staying original. "For one, I can honestly say that I really love my craft. That's why I chose the brand name "Meraki," which is derived from a Greek term meaning "to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work." My brand is basically a reflection of myself and how I want to represent women of this generation: simple and classy. This, I think, sets me apart from the rest."
What's next? "At the start of 2017, my goals for Meraki were to add a line of bags and to transition to selling offline. Fortunately, before January ended, I was able to release my first collection of vegan leather sling bags. It was surprising because it received good market feedback. So now that my first goal has been reached, it is time to focus on selling my products offline. We have frequent pop-up events, but having a physical store is definitely on top of my priorities for my brand. Fingers crossed to joining a physical concept store before 2017 ends."
Entrepreneurial philosophy. "Be passionate about what you do, and work hard for what you want to achieve with realistic expectations in mind.
Listen to your customers, and surround yourself with people who have the same philosophy as yours."
To young budding entrepreneurs. I saw this quote online: "Your success will be determined by how well you can overcome hardship." I guess that would be my advice to other entrepreneurs out there. Just believe in your brand and you can overcome any challenge as long as you persevere and put your heart on it. You also have to have a lot of patience, as it won't always be an overnight success.
Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!
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It's not making sense. Maybe, it is. Everything is so blurry and vague. You can't seem to fathom what's happening. You're lost and searching- searching for the meaning behind what ifs and what could have beens. But life, we give meaning to life as if it's a beautiful paradise. Indeed it is.
But why we feel so gloomy, so empty? It seems like no light is passing through our soul. We're wounded. Hoping for healing. That's because, we're living. We celebrate life but we also fight for it. You feel all the pain, because you're living. You're not just alive, you're living. You can make it through all the storm and darkness. Wishing you well, Marj.
I was, but I am not. Desperately, I am trying to reach you – my hope. I am in this particular space in my own constructed world where doubts and frustrations recur. Emphasizing how scared I am being here, I never explored this area before. I was always in those places filled with benevolence, hope shining like the light the sun and the moon possess. And I didn’t have any plans to visit a ‘dark’ place, as how I described it then. But, as funny as how my world suddenly flipped, I am now here, completely lost with monsters persuading me to go insane.
How did I end up here? I can’t logically tell you the answer for that, but I guess, I know when. It started when I had to consider what college course do I want to pursue. Well, if you want to ask what ambition had occurred in my mind when I was young – which is usually the case in terms of life when you were like 7-year-old young - it was definitely being a doctor. I’d thought about wearing a medical coat with a stethoscope around my neck, ready to cure people from their illnesses. It was actually stuck in my mind for so long I almost thought that I was sure of it, yet, as a particular song yields, almost was never really enough and still, it is and will never be.
When I realized that such a perspective was slowly draining me, I tried my best to stand tough. I convinced myself that this was just temporary, that I could think of a way out of this. “There’s still plenty of time,” I once convinced myself. However, my environment demonstrated the contrary: I felt like I was completely out of time.
I was there when my classmates were happily talking about that ‘dream course’ they wish to take in their ‘dream university.’ I was there when my family was suggesting the thought of using my ‘suitable’ speaking voice for broadcasting and voice acting purposes. I was there when my teacher was convincing me that Education suited me the best. That ‘Stand tough!’ aura I used to own back then, suddenly transformed into ‘I give up!’ state, slowly destroying my being. And now, I am here in this space where doubts and frustrations are filling my former enthusiastic self. I need help.
I know, at this point, some of you may never consider me ‘fatal’ because, as you’re reading this, you may judge that I still have the ability to transform my thoughts into words that can be read, so that ‘automatically’ falls into the aspect of complete sanity. No, because I will never tell everything to you in the first place if I still have the urge to stand like I used to, relative to my belief that speaking up through writing is the best way to attract help.
When you look at the photo of mine above, you may say that I was okay. That I was successful. That I was never losing myself. Yes, I was. But, think about what happened days after that was taken and the message of this passage you started reading minutes before, do you think I am still the same girl smiling in the photo? I hope I will be or better yet, improve if the world will permit me. But, now I’m sure – I’m not the same.
LIFE ADVICE YOU NEED TO HEAR WHILE YOURE STILL YOUNG
This blog is dedicated to all teens out there struggling in determining what they really want in their life or if you simply want a glow up. And since were still facing a pandemic, I think this is also a season where everyone is re-thinking about their lives. So, I hope these advices might help you.
Tip #1. TAKE RISK - since most of you are still young, I advice you to take your biggest risk. Whether it may be taking the course you want, a skill you want to acquire or just simply taking the risk to throw away your emotional baggage from your childhood. While you're still young, you have very little to lose. You dont have that much commitments and responsibilities. Because the older you get, the more responsibilities and obligations came. So when they are still not piling up, take the risk! As for me, the biggest risk I took when I was still a teenager is to CUT OFF TOXIC FAMILY TIES.
I may sound rude here but, yeah. I decided to throw away my emotional baggage from my traumatic childhood and cut off some of my family ties and it is completely okay! You dont have to be bothered by whatever they will say. Because at your age, you are already investing on your growth as a person. If you really want to grow, THERE IS NO PERFECT TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE RISK BUT NOW. Because in taking risk you are actually giving yourself a reward of getting something amazing or beyond what you expect you can have. As they say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Keep in mind that the bigger the risk, the bigger possibility of FAILURE. But that is completely OKAY. Because just like what I said earlier, you are still young. You dont have so much to lose so, dont be afraid to take the risk and then fail. But after failing, learn from it and the more courage you have to take risk the greater the learning, reward or happiness. Ito na nga, how to take risk nga ba? And what are the risk that would actually help me to grow? #
2: VOICE LESSON - dont get me wrong, hindi ito vocalization para sa pagkanta. What I mean is, learn to listen to that VOICE INSIDE YOU. Listen to your heart, to your intuition and to your visions because it will be your GUIDE. Because I realize that as you go along your journey of your life and if you really want to be YOURSELF and be successful in achieving your goals, the only GUIDE that you should follow is your OWN VOICE.
It is okay to take and consider other people's advices but at the end of the day,you should never forget to listen to your own voice. Because that voice is what tells you what you truly want. How would you know that if it is your 'own' voice? Your own voice always comes from your HEART. The voice where YOU and GOD'S voice are one. Because I firmly believe that God knows your heart and that is where he reside. I like journaling because whenever I journal my thought every night and every morning, I feel a dual voice inside my head. Like, it contradicts what the other voice is telling. For example: If we have dreams or goals that puts us so much weight and pressure to the point that it makes you exhausted, STOP. Because it might be a dream or goal of someone else. I believe that your own dreams and goals may be frustrating most of the time, but that frustration has fueling feeling that will always tell you that 'This is the hard way to better so keep going'. Frustration in your own dreams will not make you feel exhausted because achieving a dream itself is a fulfilling feeling.
#3. TAKE ACTION - if you really want something to happen, take action. Dont just sit there and wait things to come your way. Make action or decisions that will take you to where you want to go in your life. Just like what I said in one of my novels that I am writing in wattpad, "There is no such thing as destiny or fate. Because YOU make your OWN life choices." For example, I cannot expect to be a published author if I dont write any novels right? The bottomline here is, if you are not moving forward you are actually moving backward. And it is a sad thing. Life is full of situations where you will be put in the line whether you take courage or just stay where you are. Because GROWING needs consistency in moving forward. So if you dont have to enough courage to take action, your life will always stay the same or worse you will continuously shrink down.
#4. EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS - this means stretching your comfort zone. I watched an anime entitled "Black Clover" there is a captain there where he always tell his subordinates to surpass their limits right, here right now. Going out of our comfort zones are surely scary and uncomfortable. But you have to accept the fact that you cannot stay on the coast forever. You have to change, because the only thing that is constant in this world is change right? Go out of your comfort zones because LIMITS are just in the MIND. There are disabled people who are successful in their own careers. Because the lesson here is, if you hold back there will be no growth. Because GROWTH blooms in DISCOMFORT.
Last, #5. INVEST IN YOURSELF - especially now that you are still young, you should focus on investing on yourself more. Time is your bestfriend at this point of your life. You have so much time to discover things about yourself. I never regret buying and reading books that I never knew will help me later on in dealing life's challenges. You can use that time to read books, gain wisdom, or pick a new skill, improve your talent and learn from your experiences. Keep learning outside your home or your school. Because the real battlefield is OUTSIDE. What you learn in school will only help you in your career but your wisdom and experiences will help you in life or as a person. People who doesnt embrace growth will never succeed in their life. (This is a reflection blog from my 21st birthday last week. I hope you can feature this on your page and I hope it can help others as well. )
Hello! In need to boost these posts and tweets for our jeepney drivers ???? Kindly share + retweet and re-story so a lot of people can see. Thank you so much! Here are the links: FB: http://bit.ly/jeepadalafb Twitter: https://twitter.com/jemimahladezaaa/status/1277938147666456577?s=21'>https://twitter.com/jemimahladezaaa/status/1277938147666456577?s=21 https://twitter.com/jemimahladezaaa/status/1277938147666456577
Hello candy-peeps! I just wanted to share what i've been doing this long quarantine period. My father is from Pangasinan and so I grew up going there every year (usually during special occasions like Christmas, New Year, All Saints Day, etc). I've always loved their specialties yet I only get to taste it once or twice.
My father runs a GRAB business in which we have several drivers for it. Yet during this pandemic, our business experienced a big loss and our drivers feared that they won't get to earn enough for their families who are also suffering during these troubling times.
By starting this frozen food business, we were able to earn and also give our drivers a source of income. They accompany my father in going to Pangasinan every week to be able to restock and they also re-sell our products. Its a win-win situation for both of us. I do hope that we'd overcome the problems that our country as a whole and every struggling individual is facing soon and that we'd come out of this better than we were before. #SupportLocal #PilipinasMuna
Hi everyone! I just want to share my first collaboration with my father. I converted two of my digital arts, Oneness and We Got Each Other's Back, into a vase and a bookend. I designed it and he made it into a reality. The Oneness Metal Vase is perfect for dried flowers and or artificial flowers. The We Got Each Other's Back Bookend is made from solid metal in which the cubes can be arranged to the user's liking. Both metal sculptures work as an accent piece that can liven up one's space. In case you guys are interested, you can reach me through Facebook/Instagram: @artdkf.ph