Mom opens boutique after getting hooked with fashion

By: Contributing Writer, Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo October 14,2018 - 10:22 PM

Angela Dado,who got into the fashion industry by chance in 2013, has grown her boutique business, Disegno Dado, since it opened that year.

For Angela Dado, it is never too late to transform creativity into a business endeavor.

Angela, one of the creative hands behind Disegno Dado, was a full-time mother in her late 40s when she decided to take up fashion design with her daughter, Mara, in 2012.

Disegno Dado (pronounced as di-sen-yo-da-do) opened on November 2013 at the Piazza Elesia on Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City.

Angela worked for an I.T. company for four years after graduating from De La Salle University-Taft with a degree in Computer Science.

In 1991, her husband, Buboy, was assigned to Cebu so she had to move with him. Angela was five-months pregnant with their first child. The Batangas native had to learn a new language and adjust to a new culture.

With the move came the decision to join the creative field.

She found a job as an account executive in a fashion accessories company. She later became a fashion accessories designer and products design and development head. She worked for three different companies from the early 90s to mid-90s.

When their other children, Jana and Mico, were born, Angela decided to stop working to focus on her family. Her journey as a creative entrepreneur still continued as she co-owned a kiddie theme party shop called Wishes and ran it for six years (2001 to 2007).

Angela found herself in the fashion design field by chance.

In 2012, her daughter, Mara, decided to take up a one-year course in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Arts. She went with Mara to school.

“I was impressed by the school and decided to enroll with her. We graduated a year after… we were in the first batch of graduates. We then decided to put up a shop in November 2013,” she recalled.

Angela said the initial cash investment was used for rental deposits and start-up raw materials and tools.

She said Disegno Dado’s price points are competitive with the type of service that they offer.

“I can vouch for good service and product quality because they all pass through my very hands before delivery. We can feel the trust of our clients when they come back to us or when they recommend us to their family and friends,” she said.

Angela believes she is a student of life and she applies this to her business. As a responsible learner, she does her offline and online research to be updated on fashion trends.

Doing the business side is a challenging task for a creative like Angela.

“In many creative business entities, financial management is always a challenge. One has to account for everything and keep track of all expenses and earnings,” she said.

But she manages with help from family and her staff.

To Angela, competition is inevitable in any business.

“I am aware that there are many talented designers around. I just focus on our clients and in serving them. I guess Cebu has enough clients for all the designers here,” she said.

A major concern is the lack of qualified sewers who are skilled enough to sustain the demand of the market.

“It would be a treat to find a cut-and-sew worker, who is trustworthy and disciplined enough to stay in the job for a long time,” she said.

Her husband, Buboy, is supportive of her endeavors. The couple has three children: Mara (27), Jana (24) and Mico (22). Mara and Jana have finished their degrees while Mico is now in his last year in the university.

With more time to focus on her passion, Angela chooses to solve problems instead of whining about them. She looks at the positive side of every situation.

“I also do my very best in whatever project or order is at hand. Only then can we deliver something memorable to our clients. Humility to ask help from God, family, friends and colleagues is key (to do well in business),” she said.

To be in the fashion industry means interacting with various people and for Angela, treating her clients with the same amount of respect is important regardless of their economic backgrounds.

With growing business potentials, Angela said they are looking at experimenting on the viability of ready-to-wear pieces and corporate uniforms.

She said passion for her work is a huge factor for Disegno Dado’s steady growth in the last five years.

“Without it, I would have quit a long time ago. For a while, it has been very slow for us, not only because we were just new in the industry, but also our skills were not as honed yet. As we went along, our quality improved… clients noticed that,” said Angela.

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TAGS: Angela Dado, creative entrepreneur, Disegno Dado, Talamban

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