Mom’s business thrust: From the mountains to the cities
Computer engineering graduate finds way to grow soap-making venture
A computer engineering graduate, who ended up in the soap-making business, has found promise in making her venture grow by targeting the market in the countryside and eventually moving on to urban areas.
A business thrust that Daisylyn Dacalos, a 40-year-old entrepreneur from Argao town in southern Cebu, believes can bring her more success in the soap-making industry.
“The market in Cebu City is saturated already, and I have no goal of focusing my business here. I want to be known in the ‘mountains’ first because people there are thirsty for new products,” said Dacalos, who recalled how she started Jae Enterprise – a homegrown manufacturer of handmade beauty soap.
With help from her immediate family and relatives, Dacalos was able to put up P10,000 in capital to kick off her business in 2015.
She learned soap making from a Manila-based chemical engineer and through video tutorials on YouTube.
Before that, she tried selling cupcakes, crocheted bonnets, and candles and worked as an agent for several retail companies.
At first, she sold her soaps to friends from Argao, Barili and Minglanilla, who would eventually become her dealers. She also set up a Facebook page to reach out to more people.
ROI in 3 months
She was able to get a return on her investment within the first three months of operations.
Jae Enterprise began producing only three variants of soap in 2015 but has now grown to manufacture nine types. Dacalos admitted she only took up computer engineering because it was popular back then, much like how nursing was several years ago.
She also said that she could never picture herself working in an office as a computer engineer because who would take care of her son when her husband would leave for work.
So she pursued instead her soap-making business — where she could earn and at the same time take care of her child.
“I also wanted to start my own business because I wanted to create something and to nurture it, even if it meant I have to do it alone,” said Dacalos.
She recalled how her father discouraged her then when she told him about her plan.
He said that it was a waste of all the years she spent in college studying computer engineering.
But driven by her passion for creativity mixed with a mindset for business, she forged on and took the risk, and set up Jae Enterprise.
“I’ve always been into crafting and creating. I also like crocheting and baking,” the entrepreneur from Argao told Cebu Daily News.
As a young girl in a southern Cebu town, Dacalos would weave coconut palm stems (tukog) into baskets to earn money during her summer vacations until she graduated from high school.
Making baskets has fueled her penchant for the arts and crafts. Since then, she gets excited when an opportunity comes for her to create something.
Helping to tend to the family-owned small convenience store in Cebu City also shaped her mindset for business as well.
She got married to her husband Jessie, a computer technician, right after college and had their first child a few years later.
They named him David Jae, whose second name is the inspiration to Dacalos’ soap-making business. Their son is now 18 years old and is a grade 12 student at the Don Bosco Technological Center in Cebu City.
As for her business, in July this year, she already began selling her products on e-commerce platform Lazada. So far, she has already shipped items to Bataan, Laguna, Pampanga, and Pagadian.
Today, Jae has diversified into selling other products such as organically grown turmeric powder from Camotes Island, honey from Dumaguete, crocheted items, key chains made by students from Balamban, cookies, and tablea from Argao.
She has also made a believer of her father who before has discouraged her to go into the business, but now is supporting her in her venture.
Her plans in the next three to five years includetbuilding a proper production area, improve the quality of her products and, perhaps, explore the market abroad.
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