Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Stripes - a concept born during my wandering

Due to travel ban imposed by our government to the country where I've been working, I was left with no choice but to wander in several Asian countries during my monthly vacation for more than a year. Because of this, I took the opportunity to find ways on how to transform my vacation away from home into something worthwhile, aside from blogging.

Few months back, before summer vacation, I learned from my wife that my daughter was planning to put up an online shop with her high school friends. They were planning to sell ladies accessories and later on signature shirts. They wanted to source their merchandise from Divisoria, a flea and bargain market in Manila. It was a good idea to be busy during summer vacation while earning at the same time. However, it seemed that they run out of steam; the online shop didn't materialize.

When my wife together with my daughter and youngest kid visited me in Bangkok, I asked my daughter if she was interested to put up an online shop but instead of her friends, her mother and I will be her partner. She readily agreed thus Happy Stripes was born.

Since they were already in Bangkok, I brought my wife and daughter to its different shopping Mecca. Moreover, I provided a seed capital of few hundred USD so they can jump-start Happy Stripes. They started buying ladies apparel in Platinum mall, Pratunam and Chatuchak markets and even scouted Khao San road night market. Trust me; it was like a merry-go-round for my wife and daughter. Sometimes I just sat with my youngest kid in a corner while the two continued to shop for hours as if they've been drinking energy drink every hour.

After few days, my wife and 2 kids returned back to Manila with my DSLR. I never thought that my DSLR will be required to make Happy Stripes merchandise appealing to its online clients. I was caught unprepared and can't refuse. I can forego with a few hundred dollars but not with my DSLR. I haven't completed my temple hopping yet in Bangkok. Anyway, there was no sense in arguing with these two ladies, I gave in.

In short, in just a matter of few weeks, Happy Stripes' first Bangkok collection was almost completely sold. The first collection was a success and profit was acceptable. We need to prepare for Happy Stripes future collections and a bigger capital I told my wife and daughter. Fortunately, some of my daughter's friends also contributed for Happy Stripes initial success.

After the travel ban to Yemen has been lifted by our government, finally, I was able to spend my vacation at home. I arrived in our home in June. One week after my arrival, my wife and I flew to Bangkok for Happy Stripes second and future collections armed with countless pictures and snapshots carefully prepared by our daughter as our guide.

As the saying goes, the rest is history.

Happy Stripes sells 100% personally handpicked ladies apparel from Bangkok. Hence, the quality is better than most of those being sold cheaply in Divisoria and tiangge. Further, the quantity for each item and color is limited thus Happy Stripes' clients can have that exclusive feel whenever they wear Happy Stripes products. Moreover, my daughter is always researching the latest fashion trend for her age group thus; Happy Stripes' main market is the collegiate ladies.

Nonetheless, though Happy Stripes can't compete in terms of volume with other online shop, its pricing is quite competitive because we used to purchase in wholesale quantity thus we were able to avail good discount from the shops. Aside from that, Happy Stripes' main objective is to give hands-on business experience to my daughter who is now in her 3rd year college in UP Diliman taking up Business Administration.

In this regard, I have told my daughter that I would be satisfied even if we'd break even in Happy Stripes' future collections as long as running this online shop will not affect her grades. Otherwise, Happy Stripes will close shop. We had a deal

I hope she'll be able to sustain her drive and motivation in running Happy Stripes. If that will be the case, I have big plans coming for Happy Stripes.

Perhaps, I'll buy additional mannequins, LOL.


Happy Stripes - Full Blast

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