On July 25, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Senator Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla welcomed Sewn Sandals founder Mariel Veluz and Marquina Shoemaker PH co-founders Juancho del Rosario and Kayne Litonjua to discuss their local footwear enterprises.
Mariel shared how the abaca slippers she bought in Liliw, Laguna piqued her interest in starting Sewn Sandals. The business originally started out as a clothing line in 2007, but she then ventured into crafting sandals for ladies a year later. Mariel’s business offers styless that are trendy but classic, and which offer ultra comfort to the sandal-loving Filipina. Sewn Sandals now hasalso has several stores across Metro Manila.
On the other hand, college orgmates Juancho del Rosario Marquina and Kayne Litonjua who both have a background in business and marketing thought of selling handcrafted and made-to-order shoes through Marquina Shoemakers PH. They launched the online store in 2016 and eventually established a brick-and-mortar “shoeroom” earlier this year.
Both enterprises operate primarily in the e-commerce industry and target young professionals. When asked about the risks of online businesses, Juancho suggested that entrepreneurs focus on their marketing strategy. “You’re persuading them to buy sandals that they can’t try on, so you have to be extra creative in how you market that,” he said. Mariel shared that tapping bloggers to advertise their products has also helped their business.
The three young entrepreneurs source their materials from local designers as well as startups, which help not only their personal businesses, but also the startup manufacturers. They were also in agreement that providing excellent customer service encourages customers to return and buy from them again.