Turning beadwork hobby into a promising venture

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita December 02,2018 - 10:45 PM

Online entrepreneur Maria Cerbas makes money by selling her beadwork creations such as the rosary bracelet./CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Marketing grad earns by making, selling bracelets, necklaces online

It was a hobby that dated back when she was still in elementary.

Now, 44-year old Maria Veronica Cerbas makes money out of crafting bracelets, necklaces, and other accessories and trinkets.

“I’ve always had a drive, making (pieces of ) jewelry as a hobby. I remember when I was in elementary, I would love making bracelets and giving it to friends and some family members,” Cerbas told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.

Back then, she would just use acrylic and seed beads because she could not afford to buy precious stones to put in her creations.

Her relatives would always appreciate her creations and tell her they loved it.

This hobby remained a hobby for several years back in her hometown in Iloilo.

In 1998, the marketing graduate relocated to Cebu to work as a customer service associate in a telecommunications company until 2008. The hobby was somehow set aside.

A dozen rosaries

But a few years ago, Cerbas’ mother asked her to make a dozen rosaries which she would give to her friends as pasalubong.

It turned out that her skills were still there as her mother’s friends happily told her that they loved her creations.

“Even the priest who blessed those rosaries, said that they were unique and one of a kind. Since then I decided to make it my own business,” she said.


Cerbas opened up verobeadworkz in 2012.

She started with a capital of only P5,000 and used it to buy high quality glass beads and later on pearls and precious stones due to its high demand.

The business is purely online. She posts her products on her Instagram and Facebook pages in order to reach more people who would send her orders.

The long necklace made of antique carved jade pendant, fresh water pearls,crystals and agate stones./CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Her products

Her products include handcrafted jewelry and accessories. Bracelets, which make use of glass beads, range from P150 to P500 while her bracelets with semi-precious stones cost between P250 to P1,200.

Five decade rosaries using semi-precious stones and crystals cost from P500 to P1,200 while her high-end necklaces, which make use of semi-precious stones and crystals range between P800 to P2,800.

Focused on business

From 2012 to 2015, Cerbas was on and off with her business since was also trying out another business.

It was in 2016 when she finally focused on verobeadworkz.

“Social media plays a huge role in fashion today. It can really help build brand awareness. Through social media, you’ll be able to connect more with customers around the world. My customers include men and women both young and old,” she said.

Social media also helped Cerbas find tools and raw materials since she did not have much idea about it when she was still starting out.

Online, pop-up stores

Aside from her online presence, Cerbas also attends different pop-up stores and events to be able to showcase her products.
In fact, she will be joining one next week.

Verobeadworkz is one of the tenants in the coming Pop District Bazaar: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year this coming December 10 and 11 at The Tent in Mandani Bay.

Right now, Cerbas works by herself.

From purchasing of raw materials, design, production, photography, marketing, and packaging, she does these herself.

Tap 3 designers

But when she received bulk orders, she can readily tap three fellow designers to help her out.

For her materials, Cerbas does online purchases from wholesalers in Manila, China, and the United States.

When she travels abroad, she also makes sure to look for materials which she can use for her designs.

Since she still considers her business small, Cerbas dreams to grow her business. She wants to open her own store in the future and tap more into the international market.

Hearing stories of other entrepreneurs helps her to continue being motivated to achieve her goals.

“My greatest inspirations are the successful entrepreneurs who started from scratch, how they started and became successful.

And also other artists that I follow on social media. I don’t mean that I copy them but the ability to see other techniques and uses of materials gets my wheels turning,” she said.


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