April Colleen Cuts Prices of Stylish Ladies Shoes at Shoe Bazaar
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Marikina-based manufacturer April Colleen is offering its ladies shoes and other footwear at a huge discount at the ongoing Shoe Bazaar at the Freedom Park. “Usually ang prices ng mga shoes namin ay P1,000 to P2,500 sa mga malls. Pero dito sa Shoe Bazaar, nag-start sa P500 lang. Talagang bagsak presyo dahil ang ibang Marikenyos nanghihinayang bumili sa malls, kaya dito sila namimili," said April Colleen Casimiro, whose husband's family owns the shoe manufacturing firm that makes the shoes named after her.
Marikina-based manufacturer April Colleen is offering its ladies shoes and other footwear at a huge discount at the ongoing Shoe Bazaar at the Freedom Park.
“Usually ang prices ng mga shoes namin ay P1,000 to P2,500 sa mga malls. Pero dito sa Shoe Bazaar, nag-start sa P500 lang. Talagang bagsak presyo dahil ang ibang Marikenyos nanghihinayang bumili sa malls, kaya dito sila namimili," said April Colleen Casimiro, whose husband's family owns the shoe manufacturing firm that makes the shoes named after her.
"Pasasalamat na rin namin ito sa Local Government dahil sa malaking tulong nila sa amin,” said the 26-year-old April, who looks younger than her age and has fair, glowing skin.
The Shoe Bazaar at the Freedom Park, right across the Marikina City Hall, is selling shoes, bags and other leather goods from 48 manufacturers in Marikina at affordable prices as part of the celebration of the Sapatos Festival. The bazaar -- which began on November 12 and would last until January 6, 2019 -- is open Monday to Sunday from 9:00 in the morning.
Serving the Retail Market
The family of April’s husband, Kagawad Edgar Casimiro Jr., owns Cloyd Shoe Manufacturing, which started making ladies shoes in the early 1980’s. Cloyd is also a wholesaler and supplies directly to department stores and other retailers. In 2015, Cloyd put up the April Colleen brand as part of its plan to go into retail and sell directly to consumers.
April, her husband and her in-laws are all working hard so that April Colleen would follow the success of Cloyd, named after Edgar’s older brother who is also the eldest of the four children.
During its early years, April Colleen still carried Cloyd in its brand owing to its popularity, especially in Marikina, she said in an interview at the Freedom Park.
“Sa umpisa, carry pa rin namin ang Cloyd Shoes. Ang brand namin ay April Colleen by Cloyd Shoes kasi kilala nga siya, lalo na dito sa Marikina. Pero starting last year, unti-unti na ring nakilala ang April Colleen. Iyon naman talaga ang gusto namin, ang makilala ang brand na April Colleen,” said April, looking fresh as a morning dew in a floral dress despite a busy day as she helped her sales staff in entertaining customers.
April Colleen caters to the market that’s currently not being supplied by Cloyd Shoes, she said, particularly the retail market.
Aside from joining various fairs organized by the Marikina City Government such as the shoe caravan (which travels to other cities in the country such as Baguio), back-to-school bazaars in Marikina and other municipalities, April Colleen also sells online and markets the shoes through Facebook, Twitter and other social media avenues to serve the digital generation.
Durable, Comfortable and Stylish
April Colleen also has outlets at the Marikina Riverbanks Mall, shoe center in Greenhills in San Juan and in Cebu City. Its regular customers – who love the durability, comfort, designs and styles of the shoes – are mostly office workers, students, young moms, older moms and even grandmothers, she said.
“Matibay siya because we use pure leather. Iyan ang nag-distinguish sa amin sa iba. It takes at least three years before bumalik sa amin ang mga nakabili na at doon lang nagpapapalit ng insoles. We do it for free,” said April, who has started designing shoes and had learned bits and pieces about making them.
Some of the shoes displayed and being sold at the Shoe Bazaar were her designs.
“Tapos very comfortable siya. Mabigat lang tingnan at mukhang mahirap isuot pero magaan siya. Masarap sa paa. Pwede mo siyang gamitin sa paglalakad at for everyday use,” said April, who finished Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of the East in Manila.
She said even when she was still single and was just dating Edgar, she used to drop by the factory and was fascinated by the shoemaking business.
"Boyfriend ko palang ang asawa ko, nakikita ko na paano ginagawa ang sapatos. Dahil doon namulat na rin. Na-try ko ang pattern making. Tapos designing. Na-enjoy ko naman. Ang mga designs ko babaeng-babae talaga. May heels," she said.
Family Working as One
Aside from the high-quality craftsmanship and durability of the shoes, April also cited the efforts of the entire family to make its latest venture successful, especially in its aim to penetrate the retail market inside and outside of Metro Manila.
“Isa pa sigurong big factor kaya naging successful ito dahil tulungan talaga kami sa family. Ang kuya Cloyd designs the shoes. Siya talaga ang designer. Iyon ang forte niya. Ang husband ko sa production at ako sa marketing,” said April. “Even our parents are helping. Sila ang punong abala para magkaroon kami ng mga stocks dito ngayon.”
Because of the wide reach of social media, especially among the millennials, April said they have customers from Davao and Cebu who learned about the ongoing Shoe Bazaar and dropped by to shop here.
“I do the marketing mostly online. Mas madaling ma-reach ang mga millennials at ibang customers sa Facebook, Instagram. So doon ko bino-boost lahat. We also sell online, on Lazada and Zalora,” she said.
“Kanina may mga online customers ako from Cebu and Davao na pumunta dito dahil sinabihan ko na aside from us, may mga iba ring manufacturers na nagbebenta rito,” April said.
For more about April Colleen shoes, please drop by at its stall at the Shoe Bazaar at the Freedom Park on Shoe Avenue. Or please check out its Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/aprilcolleenshoes/
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