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Crafting success: How to build a business through trust and good relationships

Elizabeth Uy looks back at the beginnings of her business.
Crafting success: How to build a business through trust and good relationships

For Elizabeth C. Uy, what started as a way to help out-of-school youths turned into a full-fledged business. She was working in a shipping line when she was approached by the government for ideas on how to help the youth in her area, Dagat-Dagatan. This was the beginning of her foray into handicrafts.

Elizabeth established Universal Niño International Corporation as a handicraft manufacturing and export business in 1998. They manufacture various handicrafts for the home, such as laundry hampers, trunks, bread and vegetable baskets, bathroom accessories, and decorative materials.

With handicrafts, Elizabeth had to learn where to source her raw materials and make sure to have enough stock to accommodate big bulk orders. But since competition was also stiff, the only way to set herself apart is by making sure her products are of the best quality.

She also makes sure to take care of the trust she builds with her clients. “Alagaan mo ang iyong pangalan," she shares. "Pag nasira ka, parang puting tela yan—‘pag tinuldukan mo, ang makikita mo ay ‘yung dumi, hindi ‘yung kaputian.

These challenges may be disheartening for others, but not for Elizabeth. “Kapag naiisip kong ayaw ko na, nakikita kong nakakatulong ako sa mga nangangailangan. Kaya na-i-inspire akong ituloy pa rin.

Aside from providing livelihood for the local suppliers of her raw materials, she also treats her employees as family. She gives them free room and board, takes care of their electricity and water bills, and even helps them with their children’s education.

When Elizabeth looks back at the beginnings of her business, two things were instrumental to her success. “Nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon dahil sa NHA Livelihood Program," she reveals. "Binigyan nila ako ng sariling puwesto na hinuhulugan namin para maging sa amin na. At least kahit papaano, nakikita ko ang pinaghirapan ko."

But none of it would have been possible without the help of LANDBANK. “Mahirap mag-umpisa nang walang puhunan. Hindi ka talaga makakakuha ng malaking buyer ng walang tulong ng bangko. Kaya malaking bagay talaga ang LANDBANK sa akin,” she adds.

Now, as she thinks of new businesses to venture into, one thing is for sure—LANDBANK will be there to support her. “Maganda talaga ang serbisyo ng LANDBANK, friendly at talagang matulungin sila. Masaya ako na nandiyan sila para sa akin.”

For now, Elizabeth and Universal Niño International Corporation will continue to showcase Filipino creativity to the rest of the world, one handicraft piece at a time.

This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with .

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