Starting a business can be challenging. However, if you have a hobby that you’re passionate about, it could be transformed into a profitable venture. Read how a Cebuana entrepreneur was able to achieve this feat and convert their passion into a thriving business.
Patching up a Profitable Business
Pearl Lapeña, a fashion design student and the woman behind Sew Local PH
, has always had a passion for sewing. Despite enjoying her job as an SEO specialist, she saw sewing as her refuge and began to pursue it as a hobby.
Starting with thrift-flipping clothes, Pearl quickly realized that there was a market for her creations, even among her friends. With the potential to turn her passion into a thriving business, Pearl quit her corporate job and focused on making custom-made swimwear.
Sewing a Niche in the Market
With numerous established brands competing for the attention of potential customers, new brands can find it overwhelming to get noticed. However, for Pearl, creating a unique product and having a purpose sets them apart from other brands.
And unlike fast-fashion bikinis, Sew Local PH’s pieces are designed to fit women’s bodies perfectly. Customers can choose from a range of designs, colors, and coverage options, and provide their measurements using a tape measure along with a size guide available in their online shop. Within a week, Sew Local PH will have their custom-made bikini set ready, all for an affordable starting price of P750.
Effective promotion is also crucial for gaining traction in the market. And this has helped Sew Local PH gain more attention through its online presence.
“I could never afford influencers [to promote the brand], but with the right marketing, everyone knew about Sew Local PH. It’s really powerful and it’s magical for me.”
She invested in the right tools and appropriate resources and made sure she was present on online platforms relevant to her clothing line. She utilized digital tools to boost her marketing efforts and ensure that she had a strong online presence on social media by building her e-commerce site, strategically running ads, and utilizing online creators’ content.
Keeping Afloat during Pandemic
Running a business during a pandemic is challenging, but Pearl navigated the obstacles with grace. As everyone longed for a swim in the sea, orders for Sew Local PH began to increase. Pearl credits investing in effective marketing for the brand’s success. While there were challenges, such as managing a team of over 20 people and micromanaging everything, Pearl’s business partner now handles the finance and logistics side of things, while she focuses on the creative process of designing and making sure their brand is accessible to everyone.
Advice for Fellow and Aspiring Entrepreneurs
For fellow and aspiring entrepreneurs, Pearl recommends taking advantage of digital platforms to sell and investing in smart marketing. More importantly, entrepreneurs should know the purpose of their business.
For Sew Local PH, it’s not about competition, but catering to the needs of women of different sizes.
“I want our customers to feel confident with the pieces that they’re wearing.”
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.