MANILA, Philippines — Just like any other employee of an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. corporate job, Jessica “Aica” Palma, a mother of 4, wondered how she can earn more money without spreading herself too thin.
Tired of the corporate grind as a hotel sales employee, Palma was curious to know how some online beauty sellers on Facebook and Instagram were doing well financially. This was in 2013, when whitening lotions and soaps for sale were all the rage online.
She followed her gut and straightaway contacted a couple of online sellers from Laguna, and asked them if she could buy soaps and lotions from them, and repackage the items and resell them online. She photographed the beauty items herself, printed out stickers herself for packaging, and sold the products on Instagram with the tagline “Beauty is Limitless.”
In just two months, the humble beauty company she started called Sooper Beaute recorded 100% profits from her P18,000 seed capital. That’s when this beauty entrepreneur knew she was doing something right.
Philstar.com talked to the Sooper Beaute founder to learn more what pieces of advice she will share with aspiring entrepreneurs out there:
1. Try and try until you succeed.
As cliche as it sounds, this mantra truly helped Aica to push her brand to higher heights. When she was just starting out, she knew her brand would be compared among the big leagues in the huge market of beauty, but she pushed through despite hurdles.
“The competition was the major challenge for us back in 2013. There were a lot of heavily-invested brands that were really loud with their marketing and PR efforts. I thought,how will a small brand like us be known?” she said.
“Every time there’s a failure, even if people were discouraging me, I just went on and did better every time. My advice is do not be afraid to fail and fall until you know what works. Try and try until you are able to stand out. Always trust yourself and your gut,” she added.
2. Focus on your goals.
Aica shared that the real key to success is to focus on the milestone map you set for your brand. She shared that she focused on the vision of her company to offer simple and multi-use beauty products that can help Filipinas enhance their natural beauty with skincare and makeup offerings.
In 2016, Aica decided to transition her brand from being just a skincare line to also becoming a cosmetics line. She tapped Kapamilya star Sofia Andres to be her first-ever celebrity endorser.
“I really liked how she was a great actress on the series ‘Forevermore,’ and how she marketed herself on Instagram, and how the followers really adored how she did her makeup. So I sent her a message on Instagram, and asked her to be the face of our cosmetics line made up of lip tints, blush products, concealers and foundation items at the time. It really worked as our brand became more known.”
Recently, Palma re-introduced Sofia as her celebrity endorser, as Sooper Beaute launched its new Plush Tint line, a collection of soft matte lip tints in 5 shades perfect for morena; its Lip and Cheek Rolly, a series of water tint for cheeks and lips; and its new skincare line made up of face serums and beauty bars.
The reintroduction of Sofia also marks Sooper Beaute’s rebranding from youthful, bright, colorful packaging that spoke to the young ones to a chic, minimalist look “targeting young professionals who grew up with the brand.”
3. Be yourself.
“Believe it or not, being yourself can help you grow your business. Some people will buy from you not just because of your beautiful products, but because of the person behind the business that they can relate to, because of you as an entrepreneur and how you inspire them,” Aica said.
Palma said that she’s always remained true to her core values when it comes to business, which is guided by her mission to help other women empower themselves through entrepreneurship.
“Even before, we had one distributor who started physical stores of Sooper Beaute, and others who resold Sooper Beaute online,” she said.
“We started as a reselling company, so now we want to inspire other women more to start their own business with us. In a couple of months, we will launch our distributors’ package, wherein from as low as P2,000 to P100,000, one can start their own business with us and resell Sooper Beaute,” she said.
“Now that we’ve learned to live with these new changes, we’ve discovered new interests, new talents and a new mindset,” said the thirty-something mompreneur. “My kapwa-Filipinas, we’ve had a breakthrough. Now we’re ready to be the best version of ourselves. We bloom.”