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  • This Online Business That Earns As High As P80,000 Is Keeping This Mom's Family Afloat

    Her husband later joined her and additional financing came from her mom and in-laws.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
  • Apol Trivino, shot at work in one of their stores pre-COVID, said the business was one of the pioneers of Freedom Bazaar in Taytay, Rizal.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Apol Trivino

    Like many work from home moms, Apol Trivino’s decision to put up a business from home was triggered by her growing family. She went straight into the corporate world right after graduating from college in 2008 and thrived in sales and marketing until 2012 when she and her partner Dave began having children.

    “A few months after we had our first child, I got pregnant again. It was riskier this time since I’ve had a Cesarean delivery with my first, so we decided that I should stop working and stay at home for our safety.”

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    From online to physical stores

    At home, alone with an infant and a toddler and with a strong desire to help her partner with the household expenses, Apol thought of selling pre-loved items online, even selling items for her friend at first.

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    “Yes, I’ve proven that you can make money out of your old stuff. All youneed to do is exert some effort in decluttering, taking photos of the items, and posting them,” recalls Apol, whose experience in sales helped. 

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    With the encouraging outcome from her online store, Apol and Dave decided to complement it with a physical store in Taytay in 2013. Around this time, Dave decided to join her full time in managing their businesses.

    “While I am mostly in charge of the budgeting, dealing withsuppliers, restocking, and doing inventories, Dave handles sales and customer management. We constantly communicate with each other because we believe that we are still continuously learning in the process.”

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    Starting on the capital of P6,000

    They started on a Php6,000-capital to buy vintage tees in Bangkok to sell in retail at their Taytay store and online as well.

    “I remember we would just restock every week using the money we earned from our weekly sales. The cycle continued for months until my in-laws and mom loaned us with bigger capital.”

    With Php80,000 lent to them, the couple was able to buy items in bulk and venture in overruns RTW business. 

    Apol shares a physical store could be more challenging than an online one. “You’ll deal with rental fees, business permits, operations, and manpower. Considering all these after almost a year, we eventually adjusted and succeeded in our struggles.”

    Their earnings, which can range from Php20,000 to as high as Php80,000 a month, especially during the ‘ber’ months, covered their growing household needs, some leisurely travels, and enough money to keep the business rolling. It even allowed them to add physical stores in Cainta.

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    With the growing competition, however, Apol and Dave knew they had to up their game. Dave, who was into design, took the lead in a new venture: heat press or customized printing of baby tees and onesies in 2018. Both their physical and online stores became great venues to market this added venture.

    “I must say that our physical stores earn more than our online and heat press business, but online marketing has always been a huge part of our business since we started. We can reach out to our customers through our online shop and extend our market to those who cannot visit our stores personally,” Apol compares.

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    Apol and Dave, with their three children, Ashton, 8, Amia, 7, and Aiden, 2, say the children are the reasons they were thrust into starting their businesses in the first place.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Apol Trivino
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    Finding opportunities in a ‘new normal’

    Since the COVID pandemic, Dave and Apol haven’t been able to open their stores in Taytay and Cainta since March. But thankfully, this gave them a chance to take full advantage of their online shop and sell their products. It is Apol’s hope that people continue to support small business owners like her through their online platforms. Her items are updated in her Instagram @mompreneurcouture and @affordapolstore and on her Facebook page: Affordapol Store.

    Reflecting on the new normal, Apol says the pandemic has been the most challenging for them, but it is not a reason to whine and complain about the situation. As the saying goes ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’”

    Apol adds this challenging time makes them only strive harder and look at the brighter side of things. “Eventually, one day, everything will make sense, and all our hardships will be worth it.”

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    “Having our own business allowed my partner and me to spend more time not just with each other but with the kids, too,” says Apol. “We are grateful for the time and freedom that having our own business gives us. Aside from this, we can pursue our individual passion and earn from it.”

    Click here to read other online businesses you can from home

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