Today, in my blog, I’m interviewing a very inspiring lady. I actually talked to her years ago but I didn’t get to ask if she still remembers me. I have seen her products a long time ago. For today, I’ll be interviewing a lady named Vida to tell us more about her brand Vida Lim.
I love being hands-on—in business, but most especially, at home. When my kids wake up, I should be the one by their side. My husband brings them to school and I fetch them. There was never a time that we let our help fetch our kids. I have a lot of help at home but I just give instructions on what needs to be prepared. I make sure to have time to unwind, though. I love music! I sing and sometimes play the piano. I love watching TV series, reading books, and shopping online, even while I’m pumping milk for my youngest. As a born-again Christian, I have devotional everyday. I also have a D-Group; we’ll be meeting again every Monday when school starts for the kids. At the end of the day, I make sure everything I do is to please God.
Interview with Vida Lim
Ginger: Hi Vida! Can you tell us more about your brand. What is it about and how long have you been in business?
Vida: My jewelry line, Vida Lim, started as a hobby around 2004. I was working with my dad in the family’s hardware business but I really couldn’t work in an industry that doesn’t have anything to do with art! I studied interior design in college but pursuing it as a career would definitely have to be full-time—meaning less time for the family—so I took a jewelry design course at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. I just tried designing jewelry, creating big, bold, vintage-looking pieces I loved that weren’t available in the market. To my surprise, it did very well! I consigned pieces with stores like Firma and AC+632 around 2010 and eventually launched my website, Facebook page, and Instagram account, where I now sell my collections.
The Vida Lim brand is all about bold, dramatic, and glamorous conversation pieces.
Ginger: Who is your market? Why did you choose this market?
Vida: I cater to a wide market—from yuppies to socialites, from twentysomethings to senior citizens. Perhaps it’s because I have a variety of designs and different price points as well. I have pieces under 3,000 pesos that even those in their 20s can afford, then I have the more expensive, intricate pieces with semi-precious stones.
Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?
Vida: Less expenses. There are risks in spending that are not worth it. There are companies that spend millions to market their products even before they’ve really established the company, and sometimes, the money just goes to waste because the campaign doesn’t work. Start small.
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an entrepreneur? What are these?
Vida: Clients who don’t pay.
Ginger: What?! Really, there are clients who don’t pay!
Vida: Yes, and another would be training the workers on how to achieve the level of quality you want for your products. There must be symmetry, the stones need to be protected—and so they need to follow a certain process. It’s tough when your instructions aren’t followed and the quality suffers, and sometimes the materials get ruined.
Those losses are part of the business, though. To be successful, you have to be patient, hardworking, and creative. You also need PR skills. Plus, you need to have faith so that any obstacle wouldn’t hinder you from achieving success.
Ginger: What are three traits that you think an entrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Vida: An entrepreneur should be hardworking. Being proactive is key in success because if not, the business could be stable, sales may come in, but there may not be significant growth.
There’s also the need for creativity. You do not want your clients to get tired of the products you are offering. You always need to give the clients something different, something to look forward to. That’s why I continue to do my research on different materials and techniques.
Finally, you need to have faith in your business. You need to believe in your product. If you do not believe in your product, how are you going to sell it?
Ginger: Are there any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an entrepreneur?
Vida: It was amazing to see my creations featured in magazines and newspapers for the first time! The first magazine to feature my work was Preview, and for newspapers, I’ll never forget the entire spread about my jewelry line in the Philippine STAR’s YStyle section. I was also thrilled when I first spotted celebrities wearing my pieces.
Ginger: What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?
Vida: You just have to believe in your product, your brand. You should be able to highlight its benefits. If you really believe in your product, you’ll have faith that you will become successful as long as you are hardworking and patient. You also need to be creative, and you need to be good in dealing with clients.
Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Vida: No. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses, and the qualities and skills required of an entrepreneur may not be among somebody’s strengths. It is important to know what you’re good at and focus on honing those skills—whether in putting up your own business or pursuing another career. Stick to your strengths.
Ginger: Thank you so much Vida for taking time out for this interview. I hope that a lot of people will be inspired after reading this!
To contact Vida or to purchase from Vida Lim, here are the contact details: