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החל ממרץ 2016

Griffins Malazarte, GMO Fashion Collection owner, receives his certificates for completing short courses at the Fashion Institute of Design and Art.  

(Photo:marieprom)What does it take to set up and grow a business in the growing creative industry in Cebu?

For 25-year-old Griffins Malazarte, managing owner of GMO (Griffins Malazarte Original) Fashion Collection, it would take hard work and perseverance to make his dream boutique a reality.

The road to realize Griffins’ dream started 10 years ago in Barangay Taptap, a mountain barangay located 26 kilometers from Cebu City via the Cebu Transcentral Highway.

It was the time when Griffins, who was then the Sangguniang Kabataan chairman of the barangay, realized that his affinity for colors and designs could land him a career in the fashion industry.

Born to Meljer and Eva, a farmer and a teacher, respectively, Griffins learned early in life that hard work and perseverance will grant him success along with his interest in running his own business.

As SK chairman, Griffins spearheaded successful events in their small village despite the limited budget.

He dreamed of owning a boutique where he could sketch and draw, make or sew the dresses, and see his clients fit their gowns in his shop.

He realized that this dream can be achieved when he designed a gown for his high school teacher.

Working hard

“When I saw that my design could actually become a real dress, I was inspired to continue dreaming. But I made sure that I did not stop at dreaming, I worked hard to establish my network and research on design and trends so that I would be well equipped to enter the fashion industry,” said Griffins in an interview at his boutique on Acacia Street in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.

As a young SK leader, Griffins’ job brought him to the city to attend leadership workshops which enabled him to gain new friends and expand his network.

He was on his first year as an education student at the Cebu Technological University when he immersed in styling and hair and make-up gigs to learn more about the craft. He was able to save enough money to buy his first sewing machine for P4,000.

His initial clients were friends and they would meet up in fitting rooms in malls.

“I knew then I needed to have a shop where people will just go so we won’t have to meet in the fitting rooms of malls and worry about the sales ladies catching us thinking we’re shoplifters,” Griffins said.

His dedication to the craft bore fruits. His network expanded and before long, Griffins found himself designing a variety of outfits from summer wear to evening gowns for school events and mall shows.

Griffins took a break from academic world and worked for a business process outsourcing company where he organized recruitment events.

He banked on his creative side to make those events successful.

“I never stopped taking orders from clients even when I was working in the corporate world. My work cubicle was filled with gowns and dresses on hangers,” he recalled.

Capital

In 2014, after resigning from his BPO work and with P50,000 in his bank account, Griffins decided to officially register GMO Fashion Collection.

His parents, supportive of his endeavor, loaned him another P70,000 to augment his capital. With a combined capital of P120,000, Griffins rented a small space in his present location, acquired 12 high-speed sewing machines and employed 14 people.

“One of my lofty dreams was for people to seek for my service because they believe in my craftsmanship and in my personalized service. I believe my team and I have achieved that. I hope to continue that culture at GMO,” he said.

Griffins’ inspirations in the fashion world are Filipino designers Michael Cinco, Harvey Cenit, Francis Libiran and Cary Santiago; Italian designer Valentino and Lebanese designer Elle Saab.

Always the one who seek for new learnings, Griffins took short courses at the Fashion Institute of Design and Arts in 2015. In October 2016, he graduated with a degree in Business Administration major in General Business Management from Cebu Institute of Technology University.

This was made possible under the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program of the Commission on Higher Education.

“Being in the fashion industry taught me to be responsible especially that I deal with different kinds of people. I learned to manage the different temperaments of people. I learned to be patient because there are demanding clients.

I learned to save because running my own business requires financial maturity.

I know that in any eventuality, I need to be prepared,” he shared.

In the future, he hopes to open a larger shop to accommodate his growing clientele.

Griffins Malazarte tells young individuals that no dream is impossible if one wakes up and work hard to make it a reality.Read more at:formal dresses uk

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