From shell buttons to native delicacies, Gabriela Jimeno, now runs her own fashion accessories shop — KGD Infinite Fashion.

Jimeno is one of the graduates of the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program. At present time, KGD generated 20 jobs and opened 6 outlets all over the Zamboanga Peninsula and one outlet in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi which she launched last year. KGD Infinite Fashion has an estimated asset of P6 million.

In 1998, Jimeno and her partner ventured into shell buttons. They exported shell buttons and fashion accessories through a friend in United Kingdom. But things did not go as planned and she had to stop producing accessories.

This crisis led Gabriela to look for other ways to earn additional money. She started to sell native delicacies like kakanin and viands in different offices in Zamboanga City. Still, the income was not enough.

The following year, she braved to start making fashion accessories with only a thousand peso on hand. She realized that selling accessories in different offices in the city gave her more profit than what she earned from the previous business. She transformed that initial capital to an estimated asset of 6 million pesos as of this year.

With the intervention of the Department of Trade and Industry’s program in marketing assistance through local trade fair participation in 2002, she was invited to participate in the Mindanao Trade Expo in Davao City. Almost all of her products were sold, earning P38,000 in sales. She upgraded the quality of her raw materials after seeing the potential of the business.

Jimeno shared that she had greatly benefited from the mentoring program. She is hopeful that the lessons she got from KMME will bring her new opportunities to scale up her business.

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The Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) is a joint program of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo and Department of Trade and Industry which aims to help Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs scale up their business through weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship to be held in Negosyo Centers nationwide. New batches of KMME will roll out nationwide this 2018! #DTIGoNegosyoMentorME