Almost two years ago, I volunteered at a charity event where we sold our donations for a cause. While selling my items, I bought from one of the shops selling ‘make your own’ necklaces. I was having a hard time choosing and wanted to buy more but it’s pricey, so I decided not to. The next day, my office mate notice my necklace and thought it was pretty. I told her how I struggled because I wanted to buy more but didn’t because it’s expensive. She jokingly suggested that I make one myself to which I laugh.
Back in my desk, I was still laughing at the idea. Telling myself how extreme it would be for me to buy materials just so I can make as much necklace as I want. Then another voice countered that saying... unless if you can sell them of course. You know in the movies when a light bulb suddenly appears out of nowhere? I had that moment! As soon as I opened my laptop, I started typing “buy wooden beads”, and Google being the magical place that it is began showing results. The next thing I know, I am chatting with a supplier negotiating the price, asking for sizes, delivery and payment method. Before I knew it, a $250 charge was made on my card for what would now be known as Genify.
I started working on my excel file, listing down the supplies I needed and began looking for suppliers, both online and offline. When they arrived, I was so excited I started making them. But having products to sell is not enough, I needed a platform to sell too. So I created my own eCommerce website. That required more work and skill I did not anticipate. But I was determined. I only sleep a few hours a day so I can continue working. I consulted a friend who have a successful event business. She was an expert in my book because she is skilled and a perfectionist. What helped me and also made my life more difficult is the fact that she doesn’t hesitate. She would tell me straight if it looks cheap or messy. It was hard to swallow but It’s exactly what I needed as I’m the type who care more about speed than perfection. Often I settle for mediocre if I can get it done right away. And for a business this is not acceptable. So I keep on improving my work until she gives it a go. There were tons of graphics involve too, for the logo, packaging, the website plus the FB and IG pages. It was a lot of work, to the point that I ask myself what I’ve gotten myself into. I spent nearly three months doing all this and yet no one knows about it.
By the time I am ready to share Genify to world, I realized I was afraid. I let it drag on for another month, telling my friend I still need to polish the website or take more photos, or what not. I was delaying it as much as I can because I'm fearful that people won't find my products worth it. Thinking I'm too ambitious to sell my hand made goods for such price. I vividly remember telling my friend that it’s okay if people don’t buy them, cos’ at least I will have enough for myself. Pathetic right? What kind of business owner thinks that way? Already defeated before I even started. Luckily, my friend told me something that as a Marketing major I cannot argue with, that I needed to strategize my launch date. It has to be eventful. She suggested Singapore’s National Day, August 8 and I agree it was the perfect day. I felt I didn’t have a choice, so I just blindly published my first post in IG, introducing my brand. After which, I realized it wasn’t that hard, the judgment I was thinking of was all in my head. Many congratulated me and admired my work. Though the first weeks were slow, I just kept on promoting it. I wore them everywhere until some friends started buying, then some more. When I felt confident enough with my products, I started selling in Carousell which is like Singapore’s Shopee but with real people like me. Business was good there, but I still get nervous with every purchase because I’m dealing with real customers now, not friends. They can leave negative feedback if they don’t like my product. So far, til’ this day, I’ve gotten nothing but 5-stars reviews. I started exploring other hand crafted accessories too. Studying how to make polymer clay earrings and necklaces. I had a lot of failed attempts and for a while I stopped doing it because the materials were expensive. But then I thought they are so pretty, I needed to be successful! So I tried again, and again and again until I was happy with the result and I thought they are deemed salable.
Until now GenifyStyle is still alive! I am not only selling hand painted beads and polymer clay jewelries, but also natural beads bracelet to complete my collection. It’s a good side-business for me because I am passionate about it. I am not as active as I wanted to be because I am also a full-time employee, but I am happy with the turn out. I learned so much from this experience. Values of determination, hard work, being courageous and open minded are just a few I can think of. I was also able to apply my Marketing education in running this business. Of course, earning extra these days are added consolation but more importantly, I have an avenue to express my creativity. What thrills me the most is when I see my products worn by different people and I see them feel good about themselves. That for me is the ultimate satisfaction. Never had I imagined people wearing would feel good wearing my creation. It makes me very happy to add beauty to this world!
Veronica, also known as Gene is a passionate mother, wife, career woman, event planner, artist, adventurer, fashionista, and many more.