CDO / LIFESTYLE / Home and Decor / Decor, Dinnerware
Founders: Camille Chiong and Frances Chiong
1. What got you started with this brand? What was your inspiration? What is the idea/concept behind it?
For someone who finds joy in decorating areas of our home, but can’t bring ourselves to buy items being sold on online shops because we would find them too expensive, we felt like there might be something we could do. We knew that there shouldn’t be that huge of a mark-up and that not everything beautiful comes with a hefty price tag. So we thoroughly searched and sourced reasonably priced items and decided to offer them to the public ourselves knowing we’re not the only ones with this dilemma. Having been in home quarantine since March brought by the pandemic has allowed us to bring this concept to life. We figured we have more time now than ever before to really dedicate ourselves into this new venture. It’s all about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary; finding the novelty in the mundane.
2. What is your personal favorite product from your brand?
This is a difficult question for us because we honestly love all our products. Before anything else, we make sure to carefully curate and hand pick everything ourselves according to what we would personally use. Over time, as we found our niche, learned about what our customers want, we have always kept their interest in mind. Although there are quite a few items that stand out to us and make us over-the-moon excited!
Camille: I bought the Penelope mat in Oat for my own room—it was one of the key pieces I strongly suggested should be part of our first collection and it turned out to be such a crowd-favorite! I love our Adeline line of vases as well as our Claire ceramic mugs. I tend to lean towards neutrals, very sophisticated yet trendy designs and pieces.
Frances: I love the tapestry blankets! They are incredibly stylish yet functional. This is totally my style. I love how there are numerous ways to use them aside from a blanket, you can hang them up a blanket wall to liven up your space, drape them over the sofa as a cover-up or an accent piece, use it as a carpet, or a beach towel! I could go on and on, it’s definitely bang for your buck.
3. What do you want people to experience with your brand/product(s)?
When we brought this idea into reality, we had the customer in mind. Being consumers ourselves, we wanted our priority to be just that —our customers. We thought about all the good and bad experience we’ve encountered and took everything into account. We wanted their shopping experience to be easy, quick, and comfortable. We display product information and prices on our page to avoid unnecessary inquiries and to save everyone’s time and energy. We created a catalog that we send via DMs for easier viewing of our items and their corresponding prices. We had created menus of our bank details, and easy-to-fill order forms, we make sure to take note of their orders correctly and be very transparent with them by sending them actual product photos along with reference shots to make sure they know what to expect out of what they’re ordering. We cater to different customer requests as long as we’re able to, we always keep in touch with our customers to update them of their items being shipped and send them all an invoice of their order. It’s the little things that sometimes businesses overlook but actually matters a whole lot to customers because they feel well taken care of. And we are proud to say that we have a lot of returning customers. We shy away from templates and automated messages. We pack their orders ourselves and curated them in a way that they would enjoy the experience of untying and opening their packages like receiving gifts.
4. What tips and advice can you give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out or are planning to start their own brand?
Take a chance on something you feel strongly and passionate about. Doubts, worries, and inhibitions will always be there. We went through it, too. If your goals and intentions are for the greater good, then your foundations are stable. Our advice is to start small. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and become excited and pedal to the metal but it’s also not bad to be wise to test out the waters. Find a partner (like your sibling/best friend!) whom you feel safe and confident to take on this endeavor with. Our mindset and work ethic are the same but our skill set is different so we’re able to delegate and work on the things we’re good at which makes our union so productive, harmonious, and holistic.
5. What’s next for your brand?
We’re in a really good place right now, considering our brand’s only 2 months old. The support that we’ve received and continue to be receiving from friends, family, and customers both within and outside the Philippines is beyond what we could ever imagine. It would be a dream to have a physical store in the future! Or hold a weekend pop-up when the pandemic is over. We are happy to do our business based from our home and serve everyone online for now. The only thing we are sure of now is to continue to drive forward and only become better. To never sacrifice our mission and vision and most of all, our customers.
6. What other additional information and details would you like to share?
We are open for collaborations if our time and resources permits. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Finn and Ellery on IG!