Wrapping up the month of February, Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla and Sen. Bam Aquino were joined by previous Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs awardees Delby Bragais, fashion designer and owner of Delby Bragais Bridal, Donna Jiao, President of XC Manufacturing and Trading Enterprise, Yoling Sevilla, President and CEO of The Leather Collection Inc., in an episode featuring exceptional enterprises by empowered women.
Delby Bragais owner of Delby Bragais Bridal, is an award-winning fashion designer, a multi- awarded and internationally certified image consultant, a sought-after speaker, an inspiring workshop leader a published author, and one of Go Negosyo 2016 Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs. From being in a business of ‘changing the looks’ she has expanded to ‘changing the lives’ through the creation of an image training consultancy division, Image Designers
International wherein she leads customized workshops and speaks on image strategy and people branding.
Donna Jiao of XC Manufacturing the leading exporter of jewelry in Bulacan, started as a helper of her mother in their pawnshop at the age of 12. At the early age of sixteen she was married. The need to provide for her family urged her to think of ways to provide for them. Having the experience, skills, and creativity on jewelry design she acquired from her younger days, she decided to start her own jewelry business. Today, her venture has garnered many top socialites and members of the elite both in the Philippines and outside the country. Donna was also one of Go Negosyo’s 2014 Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs.
Yoling Sevilla is the President and CEO of The Leather Collection Inc. a 27-year old company, which successfully found its niche in the corporate gifts market with their genuine leather products. Prior to founding the business, Yoling and her husband ran a printing business which then evolved to a design business. For years, the company has been providing sustainable livelihoods to marginalized women communities. They have also partnered with indigenous women in Sibaltan, North Palawan and Bagobo tribe in Southern Mindanao, who were able to marry their ancient weaving techniques to their leather products.
COPING WITH COPY-CATS
With the fast-paced fashion industry of seemingly similar looking products, Sen. Bam Aquino asked how companies like them are able stand out from competitors and copy-cats in the industry. Delby shared her experience in designing for clients only to have her designs imitated with cheaper service. These imitated designs never look how they should look. She believes what makes her stand out is the value added to her crafts, “It’s extra styling and image consulting, so I’m merging the two – consultancy and fashion,” she said.
For Yoling, it lies in the price quality ratio. “It has to be the right price and the quality must be visibly better than others,” she said. While it is vital to step up your craft’s quality, it is also important to be matched with the right customers and be able to differentiate between serious buyers and those who just wants to imitate designs,” she said.
In the case of Donna, being in the jewelry business makes it harder to imitate her products. She shared that customers are willing to pay. “They don’t mind buying and paying for the right price, because they know the quality,” she said.
IS THERE ENOUGH MARKET FOR HIGH-END PRODUCTS?
Given the rather high-end products they offer, Sen. Bam Aquino asked the guests if there are still enough discerning customers for their products in the country.
“Marami. Kasi we’re Asians we love real things, we want to wear gold and diamonds and other precious stones, they want to wear that,” answered Donna.
Delby agreed emphasizing the importance of knowing your audience “There is a target market
that still want quality and are willing to pay the price.”
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
To wrap up the episode, Sen. Bam asked the guests a question from the studio audience: “Ano ang hubog ng inyong inspiration?”
For Yoling, her inspiration is her people. “Doon sa pag huhubog ng pagkatao ng bawat manggagawa. We use the word hanap buhay, at magkabalikat kaming lahat sa paghahanap buhay. Yung paghahanap buhay sa amin ay hindi sa sweldo, kundi yung paghahanap sa life in it’s fullness,” said Yoling.
She further emphasized the importance of shared values ang integral human development, these for her are more important among other things because they should be treated not as mere employees but as partners in life.
In Delby’s case, her inspiration lies in her passion. “Celebrate your individuality, go for your purpose, what drives you, your passion, and that will lead you to prosperity.”
This year’s set of Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs will be awarded on March 6, 2018 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. For more info., please call (02) 631-5001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.