The pandemic has shaken up our 2020 plans (and our entire lives, to say the least). But, for some, it's given them a chance to work on other things they wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. For college student Lexy Rodriguez, having to stay at home gave her the chance to finally bring an idea to life.
Lexy, a first year student at University of Asia and the Pacific, launched her t-shirt line Arc Manila (@arc.mnl) which specializes in tie dye. Read on to learn more about what it's like to be a student business owner based on Lexy's experience:
Like most fashion enthusiasts, Lexy dreamt of making her own clothes.
Lexy has always wanted to start her own clothing line. She took the opportunity of having to stay at home to brainstorm for what would be Arc Manila, which she officially launched in June 2020. "I thought of creating hand dyed shirts since it was something I know how to do and was trendy at the same time," Lexy shares.
Seeing potential in the t-shirt line, Lexy decided to expand the producs she offers by adding more items, particularly loungewear. "I didn't focus on only tie dye shirts but also started to add more clothing items like sweat pants, tie dye bralettes, sleepwear and more."
She started her business from her allowance.
Lexy says that she started with a capital of P3,000 using the allowance she has been receiving from her parents. Since starting her business in June, Lexy has made her t-shirt line more "branded" and customized to set her apart in the market. "I decided to add patches to my shirts. Fast forward to October of 2020, I saw how my brand has been growing and finally decided to start branding my clothing by adding embroidery to each piece that I make."
What started as a solo project became a team effort.
Lexy operates from the comforts of her home, and although she's practically hands-on with her business, she sometimes gets help from the people at home. "Our helpers would be the ones to help me rubber band the shirts and bralettes then they'll also help me sew patches," Lexy says. "But I will personally be the one to tie dye the clothing."
Other than that, Lexy is responsible for everything else, from operations and marketing, like posting on social media and preparing and packing orders. "If I have spare time between classes, I would respond to inquiries and post on Arc's account. I also allotted Tuesdays and Fridays as my shipping days which means on Monday and Thursday night, I would prepare and pack orders for it to be ready to ship on the following day. And then on the weekends. I would use my time to tie dye and fix my inventory."
Being a student business owner taught her to value time.
Since she's also a freshman in college, school still remains the top priority for her. Lexy would attend classes and finish homework before turning her focus to Arc. To make things work, she had to learn how to be better at time management, which she said she wasn't good at in the beginning. "Before I started Arc, I wasn't really good with managing my time," Lexy admits. "But my parents told me that if I want to be a successful businesswoman I need to learn how to manage my time and know my priorities."
*This story originally appeared on Candymag.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.