Candy Pangilinan has always been into bags, but motherhood was the reason she went into the bag business.
When she was single, the comedienne liked collecting bags until she became a mother 14 years ago.
Before her son Quentin turned one, her then-husband left and never came back.
"Nag-golf at hindi na bumalik" was how she put it, making it like it had been easy.
In truth, Candy had to face the challenge of raising a kid who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) alone.
The comedian told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) through an exchange on Facebook messenger, “After giving birth to Q [Quentin’s nickname], I felt guilty to buy designer and expensive bags.”
Hence, she decided to venture into making “affordable, quality bags.”
It would normally take Candy less than a minute to decide whether or not to buy a bag, but to make one was altogether a different story.
The whole process, she wrote, was like an “immersion”—which included “going around, looking for suppliers, looking for materials.”
She also had to learn the art of making bags, “sit down with the manongs” and study.
Her initial capital was PHP50,000, and a portion of it went to “trial and error.”
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CHALLENGES. Candy launched the first batch of Q bags by Candy in 2014.
“It took less than a year to get into it.
“We started with small orders until there was more and more orders.”
At the time, she had a physical store for her brand, but it had a major drawback.
“I got a store at a mall, but the overhead—expenses [for] rental, saleslady, and storage” proved to be expensive.
Hence, she decided to have an online shop.
The “weather conditions,” she eventually learned, can affect the quality of her leather bags, so she decided to “shift to faux leather.”
While “designs and style are major considerations,” the “affordable price” remains the major come-on.
She related, “I started with four designs. I started with real leather.
“But people were asking for affordable bags, that’s why I shifted to faux leather.”
Her recent realization was that some of her competitors could offer their bags at a much lesser price.
“Today, with the influx of China bags, I am thinking of going back to using genuine leather.
“I cannot compete with the China price, though in quality, Philippine-made bags are so much better.”
Her bag business is currently in transition as she contemplates going "high-end na," using genuine leather.
But one thing she's proud of: From about "50 bags," she has so far sold more than "1,000 pieces."
"It has its peak and down seasons,” she said, but no storm can stop Candy from turning her small business into an empire.
The prices of Q Bags by Candy range from PHP1,250 to PHP7,000.
For inquiries, send a text message to +63917-890-0050 or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a message to www.facebook.com/qbagsbycandy.