Teenager now earns six figures from clothing business after borrowing P20,000 from parents


In 2019, a teenager from Rizal decided to borrow money from her parents to jump-start her own business. During the first year, she was only able to sell 50 pieces of t-shirts and tote bags from her initial stocks of 150.

“I started it when I was 15 years old, at Grade 11. My parents loaned me P20,000 as my starting capital. And then for the whole year, natulog lang ‘yung benta. Natulog lang ‘yung stocks,” Cleo Loque told The Philippine STAR.

“So hindi siya bumenta kasi I was super busy at the time. Imagine 7AM to 4PM kasi no’ng high school ka. So, when the pandemic happened, I really had a lot of time [on] my hands and doon ko talaga tinutukan ‘yung Hiraya Pilipina,” she added.

Cleo admitted that her hands were full due to her academics and couldn’t focus on her business during that time.

“Sabi ng Dad ko, “Sa simula ka lang pala magaling eh?” Sabi niyang gano’n. Siyempre kinakabahan ako kasi una sa lahat, hindi ko naman pera ‘yon. It’s a loan from my parents. So ako naman parang natauhan na, “Oo nga sinimulan ko ‘to. Kailangan ko siyang panindigan.” she noted.

Cleo said that a conversation with her dad was an eye opener for her. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and face-to-face classes were suspended, Cleo grabbed the opportunity to grow her business.

“Ang daming opportunities na dumating. Nagkaroon ng e-commerce platforms ng online, social media marketing, and tinutukan ko talaga siya at that time. We went where the market is. Talagang nagpundar doon. Gumawa kami ng content. Nagpakita kami sa tao. And throughout the pandemic, doon talaga siya lumago at lumaki ‘yung negosyo,” she shared.

She was able to pay back her parents after her business went well thanks to all her efforts on social media that boosted her sales.

“No’ng tinutukan ko siya, binalik ko na agad sa parents ko rin ‘yung P20,000. It’s a loan. Hindi ko siya tine-take for granted. And ngayon, we’re earning so much more than what we expected no’ng simula and we’re very very grateful for that,” Cleo said.

She also shared that behind her success is her ever-supporting family, who helps her run her business. Her 71-year-old lolo is also part of his growing business.

“Very supportive talaga ‘yung buong family ko sa business and especially my lolo siya ‘yung nagtatahi ng etiketa sa tote bags, t-shirts, and nasabi ko sa kanya, “Lo, hindi ka ba nahihirapan? Baka gusto mo ibigay nalang natin sa iba.” Pero sabi niya, hindi. Masaya ako. Masaya ako sa ginagawa ko. Masaya ako na nakakatulong ako sa’yo. ‘Di ko rin makakalimutan na sinabi niya na ako raw ‘yung inspirasyon niya,” she noted.

“Masaya ‘ko na nakakatulong si lolo sa Hiraya Pilipina.  I am very grateful na I’m surrounded by people who love me and who support me and who uplift me. Kasi sa kanila lang din naman ako kumukuha ng motibasyon,” she added.

Cleo, who now earns six figures, can sell 5,000 to 6,000 products in a month. From a one-man team, she now has 15 employees.

“Akala ko no’ng una, hindi maganda na bata pa ‘ko kasi baka hindi pa ‘ko pinagkakatiwalaan ng tao. And all my employees or associates are much older than me. But I really believe that at a young age, I have an unfair advantage. I can fail as much as I can and I have nothing to lose,” she stressed.

Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano likes long walks on the seaside and listening to people about their lives. When she isn't writing, she travels and discover new places.