Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A turning point for a young mom-entrepreneur



Nicole Rudio and baby Kai

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

LAOAG CITY—It took a new mom to realize the huge market potential for babies’ products when she gave birth to a cute baby boy, who is turning one on June. 

Nicole Rudio, 36, started her home-based online business of making personalized and fashionable baby moccasins made of quality faux leather when she decided to resign from work and become a hands-on mom to Kai. 

Nicole used to be call center agent, then a Casino dealer and later on she tried her stint in government service as she headed the Ilocos Norte Public Employment Service Office under the Provincial Government until she became a full-time mom. 

For years, Nicole and her husband struggled to have a baby and when Kai finally arrived, the couple made it a point that the baby comes first. 

With a basic sewing skills, she learned from high school, the fashionista mom was inspired to make baby “moccs” for Kai which is a fad in the United States.

Learning by trial and error, her skills were enhanced by researching some sewing tips in the internet. An unexplained feeling of excitement and satisfaction filled the air when her first project fitted perfectly to her baby. 

As baby moccs sold in the malls and online market are rare and quite expensive, Nicole said she felt for moms who want the best for their kids yet they can’t buy a quality yet affordable one.  

In between caring for Kai, who happens to be a good boy, even when he is not sleeping, the breastfeeding mom decided to start her small online business with a quality sewing machine she ordered from the United States through her mom. 

From a minimum capital of PHP5,000 to buy raw materials, her clients of “Saka Moccs” (Saka is an Ilokano term which means feet and moccs stands for moccasins) posted in Instagram and Facebook have grown so fast now with at least 40 available personalized designs Nicole herself created. 

Nicole gives credit to Pinterest, a web and a mobile application company that operates a photo sharing website, where she got some design ideas. 

According to her, she felt enthusiastic when her first three pairs of Saka moccs was sold to an online buyer as far as Mindanao. 

Offering an introductory price of PHP199 per pair and which later on increased to PHP300 or about 50 percent; but which is still cheaper than those sold in online marketing sites, her creation was noticed by local and international buyers in Southeast Asia, Japan and the United States. 

While fulfilling her mom-wife duties and sewing as her latest passion, she said, “It’s empowering as a full-time mom because you make money while at home. You also interact with fellow moms and learn from them,” she said in an on the spot interview as this writer also ordered a new pair for her five-month old niece based in Hawaii. 

Describing Kai as her greatest inspiration, she said it’s indeed a blessing to have a baby and at the same, to push an online business she is passionate of. 

With a growing number of followers and online buyers of Saka moccs, she said she is now planning to launch an “abel” line, a local handwoven cloth, Ilocos Norte is known for. 

Aside from that, a buyer from Singapore has also tapped her to use authentic US leather to supply the international market. 

Apart from selling quality handmade baby moccasins, plans are also underway for the creation of more product lines to include trendy and comfy baby apparels. 

After all, a mother knows best for her baby.  

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