A millennial from Lipa, Batangas was just casually fangirling when she created a DIY phone case in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
26-year-old Theresa Morada is a huge fan of South Korean Boy group BTS. One day, she decided to design a phone case featuring her bias: Jungkook.
“During the pandemic we bought the dye cutter machine just so we have something to play with. Tapos nakakita ako ng video na gumagawa ng phone case. Parang very scrapbook style phone case. Then I decided to do the design side on BTS. I’m a fan, I’m ARMY. I made the Jungkook design, and I took a video,” Theresa shared with The Philippine STAR.
“June, July of 2020 I posted that video and then ayun nga it went viral. Then I started making also for other members of BTS. People started asking to sell. A lot of foreigners was asking if they can buy and if I can make sell it to the public,” she added.
The uploaded video on TikTok reached millions of views as fellow armys continue to ask about her DIY resin phone case. Since she was just staying at home due to the pandemic, she then decided to craft more designs and sell it to the public.
After three months, she and her sister Patricia launched their phone case business. The siblings just started with a P2,000 capital. With just one order, they already reached a return of investment.
“’Cause my sister is in more of the creative side of the business tas ako mostly sa operations of the business. Kasi zero creativity in my body so ‘yung sister ko talaga ‘yun. So running the website, preparing the orders, talking with the suppliers parang that’s my part of the business,” Patricia shared.
At first, their customers came from all parts of the world and a few from the Philippines, after they introduced their website in September 2020.
“We actually got really overwhelmed kasi nung nagstart kami sobrang dami nung orders and mostly international. People actually want to buy. And these were people from the States, from Europe, like one or two from the Philippines. It was majority international, and we barely sold here in the Philippines,” she noted.
In December 2020, the siblings decided to pause their operations due to unforeseen circumstances.
“Sabi namin wait lang pause muna kasi it was a lot. It was a lot of work for one phone case,” Patricia said.
“Parang na-overwhelm talaga kami kasi ‘pag madami ‘yung order mo, iisa-isahin mo pa rin. We stopped it completely kasi nga health and parang ‘yun nga it got a little too tedious to do especially dun sa price na we were selling it,” Theresa said.
They then decided to think of another product for their local customers. Early 2021, they reopened their business and launched their two-in-one phone cases.
“’Di ba we like matching our phone cases to our OOTD, and usually what other people would do—buy whole new phone case. For us, it’s a two-in-one phone case and you can just change the back case. We get around 200 to 300 orders per month. We’re trying to focus locally first before we start pushing marketing again to international,” Patricia said.
They are also now collaborating with different local artists as they try to showcase their work through their phone cases.
“Just do it. I guess the best businesses don’t come from long hours of thinking eh,” Patricia noted when asked about her message to small business owners.
“For young people to anyone, you just have to have the audacity to go for what you want,” Theresa added.