The Internet has served as a great equalizer for many entrepreneurs, allowing them to set up their business with little or no capital, or turn their hobbies into viable businesses.
[related|post]In particular, entrepreneurs have been turning to social networking sites like Multiply.com to open their own businesses. They include the many fashion entrepreneurs who are selling their own creations on their online stores. They choose Multiply due to the extensive photo galleries and feedback mechanisms on the website, making it easy for entrepreneurs to post and market their products.
Most fashion entrepreneurs tapping Multiply usually have no formal background in fashion design, and usually set up an online store as a means of working at home. This was the motivation of mothers Sheryll Tiong and Rianna Trinidad to set up Proud Mama Concepts Inc., which produces baby socks and other baby clothes and accessories under the brand Funky Feet.
The business started when Tiong and Trinidad worked together for a technology company in 2000. Eventually, they both left the company, but had regular coffee sessions where they discussed putting up their own business. Both married, the two soon got pregnant, and began to explore putting up a home-based business in order to earn while spending time with their children.
While deciding what business to put up, they came across research stating that children learn to walk faster when barefoot or wearing only socks. This supposedly allows babies to get a better feel of the contours of the floor, helping them develop balance faster. However, at the time the only thing available locally for babies were the standard white, blue, and pink socks.
Not wanting to be limited by these styles alone, the two toyed with the idea of designing socks that look like shoes. “Being moms gave us an insight to what moms need and want, and we realized that we didn’t want clothes that were too cute and ’pa-tweetums.’ We wanted them to wear something spunky and quirky,” says Trinidad.
The friends planned to sell their products to a mall, but they were rejected because the mall thought their products “were just socks.” Instead, they sold their products on Multiply, capitalizing on the fact that most pregnant women would rather stay at home instead of going out to shop. The decision proved to be a wise one, as they got lots of orders from moms-to-be and people who gave their products away as gifts for baby showers and baptisms.