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Stepping on Success: The tsinelas success story

Starting with slippers, Mallos now includes products like bags and accessories
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Rubber stinks—that’s why some people wash or rinse a new pair of slippers before wearing them. But what if these flip-flops weren’t so pungent?

Mark Jao, whose family has been in the rubber business for more than 25 years, had a nose for this business opportunity. “Flip-flops are made of rubber, which has an unpleasant scent,” says the founder and owner of Orange Days Marketing. “For us to stand out, we thought of offering something different in this industry.”

“Thus, the birth of Mallos—the first ever scented rubber flip flops in the world—[which] came about under our company,” he adds.

With his wife Jennifer’s help, Mark thought of how to eliminate the natural odor of rubber. After a few attempts and tests, the Jaos decided to replace the smell of rubber with fragrance instead.

With an initial investment of P1 million, the couple researched and sourced their materials around mid-2006. Soon after, they struck a deal with one of France’s upscale perfume makers and were able to finalize the right formula for their scented rubber products in 2007.

The first Mallos store was supposed to open at the Glorietta 2 in Makati City in October 2007. Unfortunately, a week before its opening date, the mysterious gas explosion that destroyed that wing of the Glorietta mall happened—which in turn changed the Jaos’ plans.

With stocks in hand, the couple decided to introduce Mallos through a Christmas bazaar at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Beyond their expectations, the consumer response was overwhelming and, by January, their stocks were almost sold out.

In February 2008, the Jaos got an offer from Ayala Malls management for a space on the third level of Glorietta 3. The store they opened there clicked and by July that year, they open their second store at Eastwood’s Citywalk 2. And before the year ended, Mallos’ third outlet opened in TriNoma, again in Quezon City.

Realizing that the brand’s reach should be widened beyond Mallos’ physical stores, the Jaos also entered into a consignment agreement with SPF Clothing, which has branches at Robinsons Galleria (Quezon City), Alabang Town Center (Muntinlupa), and Glorietta 4 (Makati). Also, they began entertaining wholesalers from different parts of the country.

Page 2: Expanding the business


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