Princess Marie Kominato is some of her travels abroad
Princess Mari: Reigning in Beauty and Food Business
This is the story of Princess Marie Perez Kominato, Entrepreneur…
“The love for what we do leads us in giving quality service and satisfaction to our customers.” This is my guiding principle in running my businesses.
A glimpse of my very first venture…. I was in a relaxing mood strolling at Mayfair plaza catching up with their ‘Flea Market’ every Saturday. I can remember myself as a shopper that time, who huddled myself in buying inexpensive stuff because I believe “sa pagpili at pagdadala lang yan”…my family and friends would normally appreciate the stuff I bought and they simply love it, while telling me,” why not sell it”. And “Why not?” that thought drove me to try a retailing business.
Stepping into the world of business, from being a full-time mom to a newbie entrepreneur wasn’t that smooth. I need to really manage my time for aside from being an entrepreneur, I need to remind myself that I am first and foremost a mother.
Above: the first table space rented by Princess Mari, Below: Fea Market at Mayfair Plaza
I started my retailing business with just ‘a table’ rented at Mayfair plaza during weekend FLEA MARKET. I started selling our old clothes and old stuff. Shoppers would love our things, and it excites me! So I thought… This is it! I started to gain more customers, which can be equated to more profit, of course.Because of the positive results of our first venture, I decided to add more and new stocks from our local suppliers…
The success of our business tickled my fancy in the fashion world. I added more and more items from an array of different trendy goods: fashion accessories, blouses, shirts, bags and anything on the fad. To cater to our patrons who are growing in numbers, I employed one saleslady while I do the purchasing of our stock. I was a multi-tasked entrepreneur: purchaser, designer, planner, cashier, manager, saleslady and driver at the same time.Because I love what I am doing, I felt like I was just having fun.
As I gained more confidence in running the business, I thought of expanding and to rent another space in a mall. So timely because 888 Chinatown Square in Bacolod City opened their first mall. It took time for me to decide until I ended up renting the last few remaining spaces at the back area of the mall. I trusted my instincts, believing ‘last will not always be the least’. One thing which gave me confidence was that, the comfort room is next to my rented space and I guess it will work on my favor. I knew mall shoppers would really use the CR and so they will surely see us.
So, with confidence I opened my small accessories shop, the Neutrals Accessories with only two salesladies for a start. And my instincts were right, buyers flocked to buy my items, and even my family would come and give us a hand during busy days. With the demand I’m getting from my customers, I need to hire an additional of 2 more sales ladies. I added more and trendier stuff….you name it, and we’d got it! We were selling it at a very affordable price.
The management of Chinatown Mall noticed the big crowd of shoppers in our shop every day, the owner himself went to my shop, and he was happy with what we are doing. He told me, “Good job Mari”, it boosted my ego in a way, it felt so good.
Truly, we were really doing well that the mall management even offered me all the spaces next to my store (almost 7 stalls) and the deal was very good. So, I grab the opportunity and I was very happy. The opportunity challenged me to do my best to serve, share and make people happy with what I do.
We needed to innovate more and to go with the flow of the fashion world, I decided sourced from other Asian countries (Bangkok,Thailand,Malaysia,China,Macau,Hongkong) unique and sleek items for my “suki”.
With my businesses, I was able to get a US VISA and got the chance to travel to Michigan, USA to visit my Mom and Sister who is a nurse and stayed there for 2 months vacation. Of course, I went back again for more business opportunities.
Mari Salon and Spa
With my travels abroad, I got an idea about the NAIL ART. It was the in thing for fashionable ladies. The materials used were very expensive and it goes with the very expensive nail art service. But I wanted to bring it to Bacolod at an affordable price. So, I thought of different ways to deal with the materials used and come up with a price that even students can afford.
Trusting my playful instincts,I placed a table again in the shop. One manicurist and a nail artist were all I had when I started to offer the service. I did all the designs and it was fun!!The nail art cost 400 pesos in other Salons, but I only offered it for P50. Amazingly, people would literally wait for hours just to avail of our Nail Art service. As I see the demand in the business, I added more and more manicurist and even train my salesladies to be nail artists.
I renovated my shop and prioritized more on my Spa and Salon (Mari Salon and Spa) Business and gave up my accessories shop due to the declining demand brought about by many competitors.I also hired therapists who are trained by TESDA and DOH. To date, I am employing more than 60 staff providing all the services we have like foot spa whole body massage, facial, body scrub. We have expanded to Hair Salon for needs like haircut, hair color, hair spa, hair curl and rebond. Business was good that we were surprised to see Mari Salon and Spa in a Korean Site (naver.com). It was overwhelming for us to cater to our Korean clients who would visit us in groups and telling us “your Nail Art is famous in Korea” we love to hear that, knowing Koreans are meticulous when it comes to Art and designs.
The Mari Salon and Spa has grown so fast.It had expanded and being franchised to Kabankalan, Lapaz, Iloilo, Manduriao, Burgos, Centrum Arcade, Gaisano City, Golden Heritage Building; Mayfair Plaza and our main branch at 888 Chinatown Mall.
Above: Kenaji Express Cart ,Below: MBA Classmates of Princess marie dining at Kenaji Japanese Restaurant
Probably, I was really born to be an entrepreneur that’s I never stop on discovering for new business opportunities. Two years ago, I also started my latest venture Japanese Restaurant. I did all the recipe and menus, which I got and learned from the exchanged culture program when I was teaching Basic and conversational English in Japan. My homemade Japanese cooking and reasonable pricing made my customers go crazy .We expanded a Cart located at 888 Chinatown (KENAJI EXPRESS CART) we offer “ to go” Japanese foods made easy and convenient for shoppers. The great response given by my customers motivated me to put up another Restaurant at the Newly constructed 888 Premier Mall, which will open this coming October 15.
Going into business is not a joke. It requires hard work, goodwill and love for the customers and people working with you. And with the help of God , I hope we can expand more in the years to come.
Mayfair Plaza Admin Office 2133203; 888 Chinatown Square 4761517 /sun cell nos./09420368541/ 09328924882/smart no.09088208077
Yummy products of Kenaji
Contributor: Princess Marie Perez Kominato, Owner of Mari Salon and Spa and Kenaji Japanese Restaurant. An MBA Student of School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education of La Consolacion College-Bacolod