Entrepreneur Magazine July 2014
If you’re a young start-up competing with established guys, it pays to be different.
Psychology graduate Alexandra Paradies founded APL Corporate Garments, Inc. in 2010 to cater to SMEs that require employees to wear uniforms. When orders exceeded initial targets, Paradies recruited her brother, Dado Pena, whose background is in business management and cousin, Pia Moras, whose specialty is fashion and merchandising.
But while the demmand is high – uniforms are changed yearly – so is the competition. “You learn that 95% of businesses in the Philippines are all in uniform,” 27 year old Moras points out. “If you’re a buyer, would you go with a new person that does the exact same thing as the old person that’s been supplying you for the past 20 years?”
To expand their market, they launched sub-brand Your Label, which provides customized uniforms and personalized services. It uses a barcode system that has improved efficiency, and also allows clients to check the status of their orders online. “If you speed (up) production, they’re willing to go with you. We’ve done that and it has allowed us to close more accounts,” says Moras, president of Your Label by APL.
The’ve also introduced patented textiles via Your Fabric, personalized accessories in Your ID and laundromat services in Your Laundry.
The tags of the uniform could be in your name, but a step further is to make the fabric fire retardant or water resistant – that is where Your Fabric comes in.
Your Laundry improves longevity of the uniforms: each Your Label by APL uniform owner receives a 15% discount card on all laundry services valid for one year, at any branch of Suds Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services.
“It’s not about us anymore, it’s about our clients. It’s really their product, we’re just providing that service of helping them get it. And it doesn’t have to be just uniforms. It can be a pen, paper, a lanyard, that’s why there’s Your ID,” she says.
Youth in this case, resulted in fresh, new and innovative ideas.
-Nana Nadal, July 2014