Tal – founderof Risqué Designs, which is a Filipino lifestyle brand that brings forth modernity and luxury with its meticulously hand-crafted artisan products.
Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?
I think having this shop here, in one of the biggest shopping malls. We are visible and more recognized. Before we only joined trade fairs. I’ve started in 2012, but I was doing it part time. I went full time in 2014. I had my first show room. The year after I got investors and I was able to create my own factory. Before I outsourced shoe making, but I had a lot of problems with production and quality of the shoes so I wanted to go for my own warehouse.
Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?
A lot of challenges. A lot of them come from production and sells. When I started, I had a selling company, many problems with production, the quality was not good, shoes came back because clients were not satisfied. It’s hard, because there are so many different parts of the shoe which can go wrong. I think that among fashion items shoes are particularly difficult. For example, for clothes you can have just three sizes: small, medium, big. For shoes you need so much more. One of the biggest problems was creating the balance between demand and how much we produce. Now we are about there, getting balance, but trying to still improve it. Also try to go more international. What we’ve done so far, we distribute in San Francisco, but we still look for different markets.
Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?
We try to do it parallel, grow local and international, but I think local will go first. We try to get some personality to collaborate. People are driven by personalities. We want some people who are not only popular but those who support local. It’s important for us, we are Filipino, doing things in the Philippines.
Would you like to add something more?
We have different communities to create shoes. The materials come from different provinces. We are working with very traditional communities which do carving, but before they were creating mostly sculptures or religious images. People are not really innovative in terms of design and that’s why I decided to go there and see what we can do together. I use traditional patterns in a modern way. We use local materials and support local people.
The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.