High-end sales: Gowns and fashion accessories for milady
Joyce Peñas Pilarsky wears many hats, uh, bonnets. She is a model, beauty queen (People’s Choice Award in an international beauty competition in Niagara Falls, New York), former stewardess for PAL and Saudia, style icon, a bleeding heart for children in need of help, photographer, painter, sculptress, and so on.
Add nationalism to the list. She designed the Philippine map on one of her gowns during a fashion show abroad. Although married to a German, and with dual citizenship, she declares: “I’m proud to be a Filipina.”
Joyce is also a businesswoman and entrepreneur. For a long time she had been designing dresses, gowns and fashion accessories for herself, because she simply couldn’t find something she liked. Her friends also liked her own creations, and then one day they suggested: Why don’t you go into business?
Thus encouraged, she opened a boutique store named after her two years ago in 4291 Emilia St., Makati City (tel.5110620; [email protected]).
Here you will find made-to-order gowns, cocktail dresses, bridal gowns, day dresses (casual chic) , haute couture gowns, and a gaggle of fashion accessories known collectively as “JPP Daring Collections”: a combination of crystals, semi-precious stones, pearls, swarovsky, rhinestones and beads.
“It’s not easy to start a business,” sighs the couture designer. “It’s get this, get that permit, get this order if you want to achieve. I have little clients at the moment, but then it’s a lot of stress if you have a lot of clients.”
Through her friends, word of mouth, and the social media, the venture of the tall and willowy designer became known.
“My clients here and abroad are high-end,” Joyce says, without any hint of boasting. “They always want to be noticed. They feel so beautiful, so confident wearing my creations. That makes me happy.”
She is also doing her bit to promote Philippine fashion here and abroad, by showcasing her creations during the recent Fashion Week. So it was a fashion show in Paris last year, another in Baden-Baden, Germany, just last August, a third last month (September) in New York, and Philippine Fashion Week end of October in SMX, Mall of Asia, Metro Manila.
A day dress purchased at the JRR boutique may cost $200 and up, with a special price here. Other clothes cost P5,000 depending on the embroidery. A long wedding gown will cost at least P50,000 for the father of the bride or whoever is footing the bill.
The price tags for necklaces range from $200-$300 “because I use real stones,” says the designer. “It’s more expensive abroad because of transport and tax.” Bangles go for $100 up. Body jewelry is $2.
“Everything is unique,” observes Joyce. “The jewelry is one of a kind. I don’t repeat. It’s all original.”
To further improve business, Joyce concludes that “I have to invest in more machines, so that people will not do everything. In every business you have to invest. Profits? The profitability situation is encouraging.”
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