Queen City Original
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Who would have thought that a happy-go-lucky lad and a wandering gal would come up with a fast growing indie clothing line business that now has become very influential not just to teens, but to elders as well?
Get to know the couple, Ryan Abatayo, 26, and Loraleen “Wowee” Mante, 22, who are the owners of Frankenstee Clothing Co. , 6000 Promotion and Store and MerchX indie Store
These successful entrepreneurs had their humble beginnings and struggles also that have contributed to what they have achieved today. Ryan and Wowee took their chances after knowing that they could work as a team in business when they tried selling ice candies last summer of 2010.
“It was embarrassing at first”, Ryan admitted. “I had to get stocks from my hometown Consolacion and deliver and sell at Wowee’s place. I even have to cover the bucket with a plastic so that no one would ever notice that I’m selling ice candies.” It took several days before Ryan could actually face people with the ice candy buckets.
When June came, the two decided to venture the field of artistry. Frankenstee, from the famous fictional character, Frankenstein, was a concept from their similar like. Founded on Tobal, August 8, 2010, the couple never regretted the theme they chose for their thread.
It took a positive gut for them to directly produce 25 pieces of shirts on their first design. SM food court was their famous meet up place with the customers for, at that time, they still don’t have a store where buyers can easily visit.
These business-minded individuals didn’t just stop in producing shirts. They took another extra leap on having a store for the display of their tees and for other aspiring tee producers as well. It was December 15 of the same year when they opened the 6000 Promotion and Store.
“The 6000 zip code represents Cebu’s creativity not just in terms of threads, but in music also.” Ryan always believed that Cebuanos can really hit big in the national and international scene in terms of indie clothing lines. In fact, Cebu has the most number of independent clothing lines and is the production capital of the Philippines.
Fifteen brands were then consigned on their opening. Twenty-five others were added after a month. “There’s a huge change after a year. Before, we use to produce just 25 pieces in a week. Now, its 2000 pieces a month”, Ryan replied after being asked about the growth of the business. “Sauna dako najud kayo nang 1k para bayad sa designer. Sakit kaayo sa bulsa labi na nagsugod pami. (When we started, paying P1000 to the designer is already a big deal for us.)
It has always been Ryan’s motivation to be like Johnny Earle, owner and founder of Johnny Cupcakes, Inc., a famous clothing line in USA. Johnny’s harmonious relationship and rapport with his customers gave Ryan the inspiration to really do well in their business with Wowee. “A business will always be fruitful when you know how to deal with people. It’s your choice if you treat them as friends or treat them as plain customers. Each has its different effect.”
Somehow the two have their differences also. Ryan was musically outdated unlike Wowee who is the opposite of him. Well, thanks to 6k store’s very first gig, he was able to introduce himself to hardcore and new sound music. To date, they have organized ten 6k gig events already and counting.
6k, which is located at P. Del Rosario St. Imus Avenue Cebu City, will open other branches within this year at Talisay City, Cebu, to be name Graffiti Shop, and will expand also at Opon, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu early next year. One of their biggest projects is to have a store of their own, with their own lot and structure. On the other hand, for about one year and a month, Frankenstee Clothing Co. has been disseminating its identity in Cebu and across the archipelago and even wishing to widen its reach across the globe.
Ryan, who is a nursing aid graduate, never really imagines himself as an entrepreneur, so as Wowee, who is a 3-time courser. “I’m really a wandering soul before. I usually go home in the morning light so drunk. Then every after a year, I change course”, she laughs.
“As for us, we would gladly encourage all of those pioneering businessmen out there to go on and step up. Yes! There are failures. But think of them as stepping stones to your success! Always ask the Lord for guidance.” The couple also encourages entrepreneurs to be thrifty and to always save for rainy days.
Indeed, entrepreneurship is open for everybody. It just takes confidence and risk when you indulge into it. It’s not about how much money you have that you can put on, but it’s all about having the idea plus a positive attitude that can make you succeed in business.
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