Thursday, March 24, 2011

Folded & Hung CEO talks about developing a fashion brand

This is an excerpt from the SoFA Capsule Class I attended last weekend, which is also published on thePOC.net. For all the budding entrepreneurs and netizens, this is a must-read. Hope you get inspired to set up your own business, or to push harder if you have an existing one.
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Folded & Hung CEO talks about developing a fashion brand 



Making a name for yourself, let alone establishing your own brand, is tricky business. In our fashionable modern world, everyone wants to become a designer. But only the headstrong and the passionate usually succeed. In one of SoFa’s Fashion Capsules, Ronald Pineda tells us his secrets in creating one of the most recognizable and successful retail empires in the country: Folded & Hung.


Dr. Ronald Pineda, the driving force behind Folded & Hung, started from not-so-humble beginnings. Being entrepreneurial from the start, he remembers buying and selling non-branded apparel while he was still a Dentistry student. He reminisces that he used to stash his wares in the trunk of his car and selling them to his classmates. Even at a young age, he was aware of the trends and knew that in order to create brand loyalty and recall among consumers, he would have to establish his own brand eventually and manufcture the products himself.
 
After pooling enough capital, he set up a small shop in the legendary Shoppesville Plus in Greenhills in 1998, mostly selling RTW women’s apparel and boxer shorts. Amongst a sea of other sellers, Ronald states that the customers came back mainly because of the personalized service he and his partner provided.

He eventually set up his Folded & Hung boutiques in Galleria, Glorietta and SM. And the rest, they say, is history. Folded & Hung is now available nationwide and is 61 stores strong. What makes this brand a force to be reckoned with? Let’s learn some business-savvy tips from the CEO himself.

1. Know your product

 
Travel, observe the trends, and seek inspiration. In order to be ahead of the rest and provide products that are competitive, you have to know what sells. Ronald recalls when he would tag along with his mother to Hongkong. Once there, he’d check out the new designs and spot what other people are wearing. He would carefully select hard-to-find pieces to bring back to the Philippines for reselling.

Ronald also advises to invest in the details – such as fabric exclusivity, unique prints and styles. Always think of a unique quality that will make your product different and memorable. In the beginning, they had no idea on what niche to focus on. That is, until his brother mistakenly ordered 1,000 pieces of baby tee shirts which weren’t initially part of their lineup. Due to budget constraints they decided to sell the shirts anyway. As fate may have it, this “accidental” product was immediately sold out and later on catapulted them into the consciousness of every Filipina. Ronald then decided that they had found their niche - they would focus more on the smaller, sexier, and slender figures. So in essence, it may take just one or several “accidents” to discover your niche, but once you do, you can slowly build your business around it.

2. Offer value for money

Study your consumer demographic and target market, then price your items accordingly. Always strive to provide the best designs and fabrics at affordable prices, without sacrificing quality. Also, be aware of inflation rates and how it affects your consumer.

Click here to read the full article!

2 Comments:

  1. this is very inspirational :) i may not be a regular customer of F&H but every time i pass by, there are always a lot of customers :)

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  2. I've been a believer of F&H eversince. i also my not be a regular customer but i see their product so classy yet so refreshing and very comfortable.

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