Several business leaders share their stories and advice in Modern Tao Ke, a special video series by Globe myBusiness. Hosted by Valerie Tan, the videos aim to provoke learning, inspiration, and connection among Chinese-Filipino tao kes.
Katrina Ong, owner of Flutter Statement Jewelry, shares how she coped with the changes and adapted in the local fashion industry during the pandemic.
1. Constantly innovate.
Ong started out making jewelry herself before she officially established her brand back in 2012.
“We started making statement necklaces, which will be sold at bazaars. Then, we eventually transitioned to making body jewelries, body vests, body chains, body belts, shoulder jewelries, and then eventually, we transitioned into bigger statement pieces like embellishments for gowns.”
2. Join a community that will lift you up.
Ong is also an active member of Fashion Accessory Makers of the Philippines or FAMPh, a non-stock, non-profit organization that brings together established brands and designers of Philippine-made bags, shoes, jewelry, hats and other accessories. Founded in May 2020, it was created to help fashion business owners and designers cope with the pandemic’s effects on their businesses.
“I found it hard to be comfortable because I didn’t know much people,” shared Ong. “Everyone seems to know each other at that time, but eventually as I got to talk to more and more people, at that time, it became easier to join the activities. It was fun and exciting.”
3. Thrive with others.
Ong shared FAMPh’s philosophy to help business owners recover from the fallout of the pandemic. But the community of FAMPh has helped them by giving them a “sense of hope.”
“So, the idea, really, is to come together and establish our relevance in this time of the pandemic,” Ong said. “The philosophy of FAMPh is really to have a sense of togetherness so that we can rely on each other for inspiration, for guidance, and also for expert advice that we can share with each other during the pandemic.”
FAMPh now has a total of 48 branches and counting, as it’s affiliated with different organizations, government agencies, and Globe myBusiness.
“You really grow as a brand if there are a lot of other designers and brands who are growing and thriving with you,” shared Ong.
4. Pivot to digital.
Ong advised that one of the best strategies in dealing with the pandemic is to transition online.
“We really have to fix our digital presence,” Ong said. “I think it is very important to shift our business online. We need to start selling online, and engage, and join online platforms.”
Ong also advised to strengthen collaborations and utilize selling opportunities.
For more of Ong’s story, check out the video below: