Lady N, the Cebuana owned clothing brand that celebrities have worn, is known for its authentic and unique staples. From blazers to casual dresses, Lady N aims to go higher and higher in the coming years.
Now, let’s get to know the owner Geraldine Villaver-Salvane as she shares how she first started with her brand, and it is truly an inspiring story!
Q: How did you start Lady N?
A: I started the Lady N journey of 2011 (I was a high school student). In the early stages, I did it for the love of fashion and to be able to buy the things that I want from my pocket. I was a third-year high school and 14 years old back then, and my goal was to earn money and buy many clothes. I started with a capital of 2,000 pesos and first began with pre-order garments to make sure they’re already sold when it arrives. Then, it expanded throughout our place, and during that time, online buying wasn’t very famous, so I had no competition. I sell mainly on Facebook, and my online shop was not Lady N yet, but it was “YoursTruly Geraldine.” I was so understanding and kind to my customers, that is why- many will recommend me to their friends or relatives. (Remember: Customer Service is vital when doing a business- big or small.)
My family was supportive even though there were times that they’re worried that it might affect my studies. I still graduated as a Class Valedictorian, though despite my busy business life (sideline). My high school teachers even became my customers, and it became a routine until I reached college and studied in Cebu. Keep in mind that the people surrounding you are also a significant factor for your dreams’ success.
When I explored a particular mall in Cebu, and got amazed by the boutiques in the place. From there, my dreams and goals changed—- I knew I wanted to have my boutique.
Q: What were the challenges you encountered for Lady N?
A: It was when I reached college. I realized that it was hard balancing out my time. Juggling my studies, projects, and side-hustle was not ideal. From Monday to Friday, I had classes, and on Saturday, I had to go back home to my hometown from Cebu every week – to pack orders and do meet-ups. I realized, yes, I had income, but my body was not happy anymore. I had to travel and fill orders on Saturday at 8–10 am, and by 11–1 pm, I had to do meet-ups. There were times that customers would be late, and I had to wait until 6 pm. When I arrived home, I just slept, and on the early morning of a Sunday, I travel back to Cebu. Unfortunately, I had to stop Lady N for seven (7) months. But I was very thankful because my customers were still there, they were very loyal. It even expanded from Qatar, Singapore, Canada, Jordan, and many other countries. That was the time I was able to ship internationally. I was able to save around 80k in one year. I did not ask for money anymore from my mother for my dormitory expenses and school allowance. Then came another challenge where I had to stop Lady N again because I had to do my on-the-job training in northern part of Cebu, but luckily my mother decided to help. She did my meet-ups for a year, and my sister managed my Facebook account.
Q: From Yourstruly Geraldine, how did it become Lady N?
A: Back in my high school days, it was in my social studies class, and we were talking about Japanese culture and stuff. My teacher explained that the word Nirvana in Japan is “perfect happiness,” so that became the N on Lady N. Lady N embodies a woman of perfect happiness. So that becomes Lady N’s vision, to give women the happiness they deserve and confidence when wearing our products.
Q: What are other moments with Lady N that you want to share?
A: When I became a teacher and started working, I still pursued my online business. My co-teachers also became my customers. Before, I would slip the order to their office table because it was prohibited to conduct business inside the workplace. So, what we did was I would put her order under her table and inform her via text message that her order is already there. After, she would just place the payment on my table.
Q: When was the time you decided to make Lady N a registered business and a brand?
A: Due to my loyal international and local customers and I got a well-paid job, I had saved up money as a capital to work with for Lady N. By 2019, I expanded my dream for Lady N. I applied for a trademark, and it was approved. I could say that the brand name is really for me. It’s meant for me. Also, my husband helps me with my decisions about Lady N.
Q: When was the turning point for Lady N?
A: I decided to customize my brand and play with prints and the trends, from casual work outfits to corporate blazers and wide-leg pants.
Q: When did celebrities wear your pieces?
A: It was when a celebrity stylist noticed our brand and reached out. The rest is history.
Q: What is your message to young entrepreneurs?
A: Remember that the challenges that will come to your life have reasons and purposes. Because those years that I was unable to pursue Lady N – I gained a lot of experiences and moral lessons. It is true that the beginning will always be the hardest. What is important is never to lose sight of your goal and keep hold of what you love. Always level up your dreams. Let my story be an inspiration and a source of motivation for those who doubt themselves. What will make you successful is your burning passion, hard work, and dedication.
- Zalora Online Store: www.zalora.ph/lady-n )
- Lazada Online Store: https://www.lazada.com.ph/shop/lady-n/
- Website: www.ladynclothing.com
- Socials: Instagram @lady.n.official and Facebook Page.
- Email address: [email protected]