Accessory maker breaks into the world via hashtag Social media opens global opportunities for entrepreneur

Ehda Dagooc (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A corporate executive is now making a stride to the global market place, all thanks to the “hashtag”.

Sheela Farinas started making fashion and custom jewelry pieces such as cocktail rings, necklaces, bracelets, ID and napkin holders with her officemates and friends as her first customers.

But today, through social media, her products have ushered her into a bigger market and now she caters to orders from customers all over the world.

Farinas who works as sales executive of one of the largest realty developers in the country, is now making at least P10, 000 a month for making custom jewelry pieces for both local and international customers.

“Hashtags, I believe, are powerful calls-to-action that can drive sales. When consumers see it, click on it, it immediately builds connection,” said Farinas, attributing the power of hashtags in the different social media portal sites to bring her "passion" to the world's commercial highway.

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.

The 29-year-old executive is getting increasing orders from other countries like United States, United Kingdom, and Qatar. Some are bulk buyers, while some are end-users.

From a capital of P5,000, Farinas said she built the MS Accessory brand largely tapping the "hashtag" feature in social media, especially Facebook and Instagram, while she also maintains her own blog through msaccessories.blogspot.com.

Before hitting the post button, Farinas makes sure her photos and business updates include the hashtags #wirejewelry, #MSaccessories and #msjewelry.

Farinas' MS Accessories Facebook page so far has 2,128 followers while its Instagram account has 232 followers.

Farinas said when she was still very young, she already knew that she loves making her own design for accessories. She eventually pursued her instinct of doing what she loves in 2011 and got hooked to watching how-to videos in YouTube.

“I learned the craft by watching videos in YouTube,” she said.

While competition seems tough online, Farinas expressed confidence that there is wider market for everybody, while with the online commerce--the whole world has become an easy access as a market.

Aside from learning through YouTube videos, Farinas also took formal training to hone her skills in jewelry making, to also prepare for her bigger dream of establishing a fine jewelry business.

“What makes my products attractive is that they are unique. I don’t make items of similar designs. I see to it that each is different,” said Farinas.

After work, Farinas spends at least three hours to make five- to 10-jewelry pieces every night, "depending on the intricacies of the design,” she said.

“Making custom jewelry is also my stress reliever,” she added.

MS Accessories products are priced from three pieces for P75 to P6,000 a piece.

Her products are made from various materials like colored wires, copper wires, acrylic beads, pearls and semi-precious stones among others. (FREEMAN)

ACCESSORIES FACEBOOK FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM FARINAS HASHTAGS INSTAGRAM JEWELRY MAKING SHEELA FARINAS UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES
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