How this sister duo got greater business exposure and sales with an online store
Original articles appears on UnionBank GlobalLinker, 26 Apr 2021
With a love for crafting and creating, sisters Chrissie and Chiara Soriano started Natu Handcraft Studio. Their business echoes their love for handcrafted products and advocacy for leading a mindful lifestyle. The sister duo inspire us to be both mindful consumers and producers.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Chrissie and Chiara Soriano (CS) shared how they turned their love for creating handcrafted products into a sustainable business.
GL: Tell us a little bit about your business journey. What motivated and excited you to start it?
Chrissie: Chiara works as a freelance graphic designer, while I have a full-time corporate job in finance. We have individual skills and strengths that complement each other well, and we both have always enjoyed creating things with our hands. Two years ago, we attended a soapmaking workshop with our mom as a bonding activity over Christmas break. Since we made so much soap, we gave them away to relatives and friends, and got a lot of positive feedback. We started doing more research and attending more classes.
We wanted to customize ingredients for products based on certain needs. Chiara has quite sensitive, eczema-prone skin, so we wanted to use gentle cleaning and moisturizing ingredients. She also has slight asthma, and we learned that beeswax candles release negative ions into the air that can improve air quality. While I have an issue with hair fall and dryness when using commercial shampoos, so we wanted to create a shampoo bar that would be gentle on the hair and scalp.
GL: Tell us about your brand, what makes it unique?
Chiara: We make handcrafted pieces that cultivate sustainable wellness. Through our products, we encourage a lifestyle of minimizing one’s carbon footprint. We practice circular economy by reusing discarded items for packaging and making sure that less waste is generated in our production.
GL: Why do you think people should support your brand?
Chiara: We try our best to cultivate a lifestyle of mindfulness and conscious living. Each item is crafted with utmost care for people who use them. We use our products on a regular basis, so we make sure they are top quality for our customers as well.
From conceptualization down to the end life of the product when it’s with the customer, we think about how it will impact others and the planet. We put extra effort in packaging our products sustainably using clean, reused materials like bubble wrap we have acquired from our suppliers, carton boxes, twine, and other compostable materials. So, you are sure that you are paying for high quality products and not packaging and marketing.
GL: What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Chiara: You will learn a lot. Not just about business but also new skills you never thought you’d learn. You will also discover more about yourself in the process.
As a small business owner, you have to be prepared to do everything. You may make a few mistakes here and there, but charge it to experience, learn from them and move on.
Chrissie: Even if your business is small, you can benefit from having structure early on.
- Invest time in planning and organizing your finances in detail. Set goals for your business and take small steps towards them.
- Realize the value of your time and effort – never sacrifice quality.
- Don’t forget to engage your customers and make them feel important.
Most of all, don’t forget to have fun and allow yourself to play and release your creative energy.
GL: You took part in the InLife Sheroes Digital Bazaar: Bida and Pinay! Wherein we collaborated to provide a platform for SMEs to showcase their businesses. How has UnionBank GlobalLinker helped you so far? And why should other SMEs use it too?
Chrissie: Through Unionbank GlobalLinker, we were able to expand our reach and gain access to a wealth of information for our business. In the last few weeks, we generated additional sales through its free-of-charge online store, Linker.store. It was also through a UnionBank event that we gained exposure to corporate clients that allowed us to close a bulk order. And equally important is the access to UnionBank GlobalLinker webinars geared towards helping us grow our business sustainably.
Also read: A step-by-step guide to creating your own eStore with UnionBank GlobalLinker
Get to know more about Natu Handcraft Studio’s products by visiting their Linker.store at natuhandcraftstudio.linker.store
Unionbank GlobalLinker and InLife Sheroes have partnered to provide a platform for women-led businesses and entrepreneurs to help pivot their business into the digital space. In celebration of women’s month, InLife Sheroes Digital Bazaar: Bida ang Pinay! was officially launched on March 12, 2021. Support Natu Handcraft Studio and other women-led businesses by visiting inlifesheroes.linker.store