If you're anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time scrolling through social media as a new form of window shopping. This is how I came across Madessa Manliclic's The Bag House Philippines on Instagram. With a steady stream of followers, engagement, and products, Madessa is well known by her peers for her excellent customer service and authentic products.

Madessa, a former nurse, found herself in the space in 2016 after realizing that what she was earning as a nurse wasn't enough to get her to where she wants to go.

"It has been quite the journey for me. I am a nurse by profession but what I was earning was not sufficient. This led me to start reselling, it was my brother and sister-in-law who encouraged me to start an online business for imported goods from the United States," she said.

Madessa Manliclic of The Bag House Philippines
Madessa Manliclic of The Bag House Philippines

She initially started her business by selling to friends, family members, and referrals before diving into the world of social media selling. Madessa found success in her business but just like many businesses needed to pivot to remain successful during the pandemic.

"I was having difficulty having my stocks replenished through my brother and sister-in-law so I needed to find a plan B to push through, I told myself, why not magsarili na lang ako tutal may naipon naman ako to start up."

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This plan B led her to reach out to friends and relatives in the US.

She recalled, "I asked them to purchase products during the many sale seasons in the US. That journey led me to continue this online business despite the pandemic. It was during this season that I learned to step up and stand up for myself."

This was also where she learned her biggest lessons, "From being a reseller, I learned from my suppliers. I faced many challenges from shipping, customer service, manpower and many more but we were able to cope and think of the best ways we can make the business better. The pandemic taught me to be strong, take charge of my own brand, and thank God, there are people who appreciate what I've built."

Throughout her journey, Madessa stayed true saying, "My vision for The Bag House Philippines is to provide imported, original products which are readily available, affordable, and trendy, to give opportunity for other online resellers to earn, and to build my own boutique shop to my clients can visit and I can engage with them in person."

Ironically, however, Madessa was initially not a big fan of branded bags but now understands why people love bags.

"I initially was not a big fan of branded bags but I learned a lot about it when I became a seller. I started purchasing bags for myself and it really is a treat and reward for all the hard work and also a way to increase one's self esteem. Also, since you are paying for the price, it is of great quality and you can lose it for a long time and even resell it in the future," she shared.

When asked how she sets her brand apart, Madessa mentioned, "Always innovate, clients love unique branding. Even with the photos you're posting online should be presentable. We're always finding ways to innovate as long as it fits within the budget. I invested in a studio box and DSLR camera so I can provide the best photos for my online account. I also invested in personalized paper bags to make it more presentable for my clients."

She also emphasizes the importance of communication saying, "I taught my team members to be passionate when speaking with clients and focus on building relationships, and letting our clients know that if there is a problem, we can always find a solution together." She also says that affordable designs is also what makes her business a success, "I personally choose the bags on sale and buy designs that I would choose for myself. We have new stocks every week for them to choose from."

When asked for some advice for fellow business owners, Madessa concluded, "Never stop trying, learn from your wins and mistakes. Your business is an extension of you, no matter how big or small. Focus on serving and building relationships, not just selling because clients will always come back to you. Create something that is unique that will make you stand out."

To know more about Madessa, follow thebaghouseph.ig on Instagram.