Rosem Shoes : From Online Selling to the Malls
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Jun Pasco, owner of Rosem Shoes, has big plans for this year. He plans to open three stores in Marikina, Quezon City and Makati, to accommodate the growing demand for his products – ladies and girls’ shoes (flats and stilettos) sandals and step-ins.
Right now, he supplies footwear mostly to online sellers based in the Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. These customers found his company through the website of the Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO), one of the departments in the Marikina City Hall that helps shoemakers find customers and expand their markets, improve their operations, and become more profitable.
Jun is just waiting for the release of a loan that he will use to finance all of these.
“Gusto ko magkaroon ng sariling designs. Ngayon kasi, ang mga designs namin galing sa customers. Balak ko rin magkaroon ng pwesto sa Marikina Riverbanks Center. Plano kong magkaroon ng tatlong pwesto, isa dito sa Marikina, isa sa Makati at isa sa Quezon City,” said Jun, who finished business management in college.
Armed with the business degree, Jun tried working for a company in Makati, but the call of the shoe industry is too strong to ignore. It runs in his blood, so to speak. Thus, he left his corporate job after only six months and decided to continue his parents' business, something that he never regretted. He transferred the ownership of the company to himself in 2004.
“Basta paglabas ng loan, aayusin namin lahat. Pati sa production, aayusin namin para mas mapabilis at mapaganda pa ang paggawa ng sapatos,” added Jun, whose wife also helps him run the shoemaking company that his parents (Rosita and Emong, where the name of the company and the brand came from) started in 1986 and he now owns solely.
He also plans to acquire more machines to modernize the operations of his factory.
Owing to the good craftsmanship and simple but attractive designs of his products, Jun’s shoes have reached Tacloban, Ilo-ilo, Davao and other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, thanks to the information in the MASIDO’s website, where most of these customers found him.
“May pumunta dito taga-Davaao, Iloilo. Ang contact number ko nakita nila sa MASIDO website. Hindi na nila kinontak ang MASIDO, dumiretso na sila sa akin. Nagustuhan nila ang quality ng trabaho namin, malinis, pulido at mabilis magawa,” he said.
Joining trade fairs and bazaars organized by the City Hall through MASIDO also helped him win more customers outside of Marikina and Metro Manila. MASIDO usually hold bazaars and trade fairs not just in Metro Manila but also in other parts of Luzon such as in Baguio, as well as in Visayas and Mindanao upon the invitation of other local government units and the Department of Trade and Industry.
He also used to join bazaars organized by shopping malls such as the one in Eastwood, where he had been selling his shoes for four years. But as the popularity of bazaars waned, he turned to selling directly to online sellers who ordered in bulk.
“Wala akong pwesto sa department store supply; wala akong boutique. Ang pwesto ko lang doon sa trade fair sa Marikina Sports Center. Kaya gusto kong makapagbukas ng sarili kong pwesto,” he said. “Sumasali rin ako sa mga back-to-school bazaars at trade fairs na ino-organize ng MASIDO.”
Presence in Mindanao and Visayas
The Marikina Shoe Trade Fair Center at the ground floor of the Marikina Sports Center is established and run by the City Government of Marikina to showcase the leather goods produced by Marikina’s shoes and bag makers. Mayor Marcy Teodoro plans to put up a building that would house these products.
He find it heartening that his products found their way into other parts of the country, notably outside of Luzon. Some were even sold in other Asian countries such as Japan, Malaysia and Thailand, thanks to his customers who buy in bulk and bring these products in these countries.
“Natutuwa ako umaabot na ang Marikina shoes doon. Dahil lang sa online selling ng mga customers. Sila pumupunta dito at bumibili. Nakakatuwa,” he said.
He credits the popularity of online stores for the growth in his production. From just 200 pairs of shoes in a week several years ago, Rosem Shoe now produces up to 800 pairs a week. As a result, his workers have also grown to keep up with the demand.
“Tumaas iyong demand ng sapatos kasi dahil may Internet na, madali ng makita ang sapatos ngayon. Hindi mo na kailangang pupunta sa mall,” said Jun, who was wearing shorts and a shirt during the interview. He just finished cutting soles using a newly-acquired hydraulic press machine that he acquired through a loan from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
He is thankful to the DOST loan, which is payable in three years with zero interest rate, because acquiring the machines has sped-up the cutting of the soles and resulted in better quality.
Despite the popularity of online selling, Jun said he would still want to put up physical stores where his products would be displayed and sold so he could reach even more customers.
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