This 22-year-old Gen Z from Rizal loves to wear different accessories since she was young. To her surprise, it paved the way for her first business.
Janet Kyla Sophia Cañete has been selling bracelets and other accessories since she was 12 years old.
“Binebentahan ko ‘yung boys sa school namin, ‘yung mga kaklase ko. Sabi ko, ‘pang-Valentines.’ Actually, ‘yung boyfriend ko, binebentahan ko siya before sa iba niyang nililigawan. Pero nag-stop din ako for a while kasi parang sa isip ko, ‘Ay bata pa lang ako. I think I have to focus sa school,’” Kyla recalled during an interview with The Philippine STAR.
Apparently, the nature of the business is not new to their family, Kyla’s mom, Joy, was into beaded accessories before helping her establish Tala by Kyla.
“Nakikita ko siyang ginagawa ‘yon. So parang, ‘Oh that looks fun.’ I think for a while, medyo in-denial pa ‘ko. Sabi niya, ako daw magmamana no’ng business niya. Sabi ko parang, ‘Hmm, no. Ayoko.’ Muntik na ‘ko mag-accountancy, mag-tourism, nag-art school ako. Dito rin naman ako napunta na landas,” Kyla shared.
In 2018, she decided to launch her own accessories business after graduating in Grade 12.
“Mahaba ‘yung summer, August pa ‘yung pasukan ko, and medyo bored na ‘ko sa bahay. I decided na mag-sell na ng accessories since kikay naman ako. I make sure I don’t sell anything na hindi ko susuotin,” Kyla said.
Kyla enrolled at the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Santo Tomas. After one semester, Kyla decided to stop and focus on her business.
“Na-feel ko lang siya inside na parang, ‘Uh, this could be something na like tuloy-tuloy talaga.’ And ‘yon. I just trusted my gut,” she noted.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, Kyla went all in to promote her business online. Afterwards, she decided to sell through different e-commerce platforms.
“Biglang nagulat ako like in my first week, nag-earn na ‘ko ng five digits. Mas nag-flourish lang talaga no’ng nag e-commerce platform ako. I don’t think mare-reach ko ‘yung other customers ko if it wasn’t for social media. Kasi siyempre, hindi naman ako sikat. So, kung puro friends ko lang, hindi lang naman all friends bibili. Pero with social media, talagang parang like it spread my wings for me,” she said.
Kyla would sell 50,000-100,000 items per month worldwide. She also has five distributors abroad.
From a P20,000 initial investment in 2018, she can now earn seven to eight digits per month. Last year, she opened her first physical store at a mall in Rizal.
“‘Yung first purchase ko po no’ng 2019, binilhan ko ng van ‘yung dad ko for his foodcart business. And then, meron na po akong one office, one warehouse, tapos nabilhan ko na rin ng house and lot ‘yung family ko, nakalipat na kami ng house, and nabilhan ko rin ng car ‘yung sarili ko and ‘yung brother ko,” she said while feeling greatful.
Kyla’s journey to success was not easy especially when another brand “copied” her original designs and pretends to be the original creator of the business which affected their operations.
“There were like four words I live by. Tinawag ko siyang “L.I.V.E.” So, if gusto mo mag-start ng business, First, listen sa mga taong makakatulong sa’yo. Inspire. Keep yourself inspired. ‘cause pagka inspired ka, meron kang energy eh. Meron kang motivation to do things,” she said when asked about her message to aspiring business owners.
“Value. Sabi nga nila, ‘yung core values ng isang business, it gives you direction. And last is enjoy. Make sure you choose ‘yung business na mag-e-enjoy kang i-grow, alagaan. Everything is like ten times easier,” she added.