It All Started With A Hobby

Mr. Romy Iral’s story is something he never gets tired of sharing with anyone. Though afflicted with recurring cataract on his right eye (despite three major eye operations), his sight difficulty has not hindered him to pursue his craft, which has definitely helped  him and his family make both ends meet.

An accidental encounter with Mr. Willy Buhay, then the artistic director of Folk Arts Theater (Manila), was what Mang Romy needed to seriously consider venturing into what was then just a simple hobby. Starting out with a meager capital of P5,000 in 1986, he decided to put up a business which created various products using brass as the main material.

As he cheerfully recounts, Mr. Buhay has requested him to create coconut trees and a basket with the use of brass for an exhibit. Little did he know that, with the intricate work he has done, these products have caught the attention of a lot of people. Several orders from various clients followed suit.

He was then commissioned by the owners of Via Mare to produce decorative plates for the restaurant. Not too long after that, Architect Bobby Mañosa tapped his creativity to produce coconut branches as background for a Sto. Niño, which was 16 feet high. And yes, all these were made of brass.

From the coconut trees and baskets, Mr. Iral’s products has expanded to include frames, lamp shades and candle holders. There was even a time when he made fashion accessories for known designers like Inno Sotto and Franie Zamora.

With the expansion, he now maintains a shop in Bulacan, where he employs four workers for the production. Mang Romy himself makes the designs. All  his works are made-to-order, although he maintains few samples for viewing of prospective clients.

Venturing into this kind of business is not an easy task for Mang Romy. He confides that it is important that you find a stable supplier of brass, stainless steel and tin for your products. He gets his supply from Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Another important consideration is to keep up-to-date with the designs of the products and the guts to try on new ones. He narrates that his expansion was motivated mainly by his passion to explore more on what can be done with his main material—that is brass.

When asked about the financial considerations, he says that presently his working capital has reached P50,000 to cater for the orders of his 5 regular clients. Deliveries to these clients are made two to three times a week. Loyal customers include stall owners in Greenhills, Makati, and Parañaque.

In terms of returns, he says that the business is definitely profitable. He reveals that mark up on the pricing of his products is usually 50%.

[Tags]Home Business, Makati, Greenhills, Home Business Philippines, Financial, Design[/Tags]

One Comment

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