Good morning! Today is the first day of my Love the Leap Entrepreneurship Program and I am excited to meet these people who will, I know, be successful entrepreneurs in the future! It’s nice to see that there are a lot of young entrepreneurs who are going into business. What I like about these young people is that they have a lot of great, new and fresh ideas.
In this interview today, this young lass experienced how it was in the corporate world, but early on realized that she wanted to start her own business. Here is the story of Sheryl Kiong, the Proprietor of Curtsy.
I’m Sheryl, 25, graduated from De La Salle, College of Saint Benilde AB Production Design. After graduation, I took short courses in the Fashion Institute of the Philippines (FIP) then worked in the corporate world the following year. After leaving the corporate life, I started to build Curtsy. I started by making baby headbands, but then eventually, I created ladies apparel. I hope to make it a lifestyle brand in the future. Every year, before the school starts, a portion of my sales buys school supplies for the the children in Payatas. This is my way in giving back and a reminder that I am blessed that I was able to study in a good school and now I’m chasing my own dreams.
Interview with Sheryl Kiong of Curtsy
Ginger: Good morning, Sheryl! Can you tell me more about what your brand is, what is it about and how long have you been in business?
Sheryl: Curtsy is a phonological change from “courtesy” which means a gesture marked by polished manners. Inspired by whimsical-romantic aesthetics with a strong influence of Japanese and Korean fashion. It is an online boutique that tells a contemporary fairytale. It caters to modern girls who are naturally feminine and confident yet retains a delicate innocence. Fresh and classic styles that symbolizes a romantic and playful world where anything is possible.
The business started on July 2013 selling handmade baby headbands and made to order hair accessories then eventually evolved to clothing for ladies. Our merchandise are personally hand picked by me through various suppliers around the world.
Ginger: Thank you for this information, Sheryl! And really, that’s true. Sometimes, we start a business as something and then we eventually evolve and change it into something else, and I think this is a pretty normal occurrence. So with these new products, who is your market and why did you choose this market?
Sheryl: My market is from 16-35 years old who loves classic and trendy fashion. Since I have a wide range of selection of apparel and novelties. This age bracket starts from self explorations and discovery of their style reference.
Ginger: How do you market your products?
Sheryl: E-commerce needs good photos to attract customer visually.
Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Sheryl: It’s my dream to have my own clothing line. Just like any other girls, I love to shop. I have my spurge and save moments when it comes to shopping but most of the time I’m on the “save” side. That’s why Curtsy serves premium quality clothes at an afforable price.
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?
Sheryl: Yes of course. After working for corporate companies, I decided to venture my own business. Since I’m just a newbie, I was very overwhelmed with everything that I forgot to focus. I did a lot of trial and error and the true identity of Curtsy as a brand starts to grow.
Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Sheryl: Hardworking, Positive and Focus.
Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur?
Sheryl: Everyday is a new learning experiece for me because I get to experience the entire process. From branding to marketing to finance and so on. And of course the people you meet along the way in this business.
Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Sheryl: Everything is possible but it depends on the person if he/she wants to be a team leader or just a role player.
Ginger: What advice can you give to other young Entrepreneurs?
Sheryl: Don’t lose hope when you feel like it’s not working out. Everything has its own perfect timing. Be open minded about other people’s advice and other entrepreneurs successful and downfall stories. Most of all, never stop yourself from learning.
Ginger: Thank you so much for your time, Sheryl! 🙂 For those who want to check out the products of Curtsy, the contact details are indicated below!