Monday, July 28, 2014


Millennial female entrepreneurs have redefined several industries with their unique business acumen and guts that can withstand all odds. Driven by passion, they run their business according to their own instincts and rules of engagement. 
Kristine Sarah A. Claudio is one of those women who has created a brand for her passion, consistently and successfully following the path to profitable businesses while building a collective reputation  --- philanthropic, resourceful, adaptable and collaborative. One of the country's top publications recently tagged her as a "serial entrepreneur" for her inimitable skill in managing 5 lifestyle brands namely, SUNLAB (a fashion boutique), a Penong’s franchise (located in Toril), For the Love of Prints and The Print Room (both boutique print shops) and Echostore (a licensed social enterprise).
Sarah, as she is widely known, is well-armed with theoretical knowledge on business and vast experience in different industries. 
"I finished school with a degree in Business and Economics, plus a master's degree on Business Administration. Soon after that, I worked for Kodak Philippines for 6 years in Manila. I was an Account Manager in the Consumer Imaging Division."
Of the 5 brands Sarah is currently supervising, she finds print and design closest to her heart as it reminds her of happy childhood memories. 
"When I was young, I collected notepads and personalized stickers. I also kept a diary, a notebook for poems and a stash of different stationery for letters I would mail. In high school, my barkada and I would trade notebooks which we called 'sulatan,' with which we would write stories about our day and share them among ourselves daily. I would always choose notebooks with nice covers and thick paper."

"My 6-year stint with Kodak led me to understand the print industry, all its marketing and technical aspects. Coincidentally, the Claudio clan owns a commercial print shop (Midtown Printing Co. Inc.) managed by the family of my dad’s sister. My dad used to own a newspaper company as well. I guess these things somehow contributed to my affinity to paper and print."
In the midst of juggling operations concerns for Penongs and Sunlab, Sarah found an opportunity to revisit her love of prints and forged ahead with it. "After Sunlab and Penongs, I felt that there was a niche market for a boutique print shop in Davao City offering invitations, photobooks and personalized stationery."
"I envisioned a homegrown concept print shop located in a premier mall. For the Love of Prints (FTLP) was conceptualized in such a way that it would provide room for product and service expansion. Two years after we opened, the company has grown its product and service portfolio which included personalized T-shirts, tumblers, mugs, bags, cellphone cases and other home and fashion accessories. Now, some of our merchandise can be found at select Fully Booked and National Bookstore branches. We also opened a stand alone branch called The Print Room."
"Establishing the business was a breeze because I knew how I wanted to position it and who my market is. Of course, there were birth pains, but it is a lot less work if you start a business that embodies your personality and things that you are passionate about." 
A successful design and print business requires not only proficiency with software, but also artistic talent or, as some would say, imagination quotient. Her knowledge of what the current market demands became her springboard to this creative venture. 
"I provide creative direction to all our artists to ensure that their designs fall within the brands creative standards. My knowledge on Adobe applications (all self-taught) made it easier for me to guide the artists. I provide reading materials on industry trends, pegs, training and creative tools to the artists to keep them updated to the market and FTLP’s evolving creative style. I empower my artists, I give them creative freedom and I involve them in product development. Apart from the design style which should be contemporary, chic and minimalist, we are very particular with print quality, the choice of paper and the use of embelishments and packaging materials. On my free time, I do the designs myself especially for my friends and family but most of the time, I just give direction so I can focus on other operational matters."
To Sarah, the market still has a lot of space for new adventures and ideas --- all waiting to be realized by creative people. "There are dozens more types of design projects. Each one of us might as well enjoy the creative process by having fun and simply being authentic."
FTLP is located at the 3rd Level of  Abreeza Mall, Bajada, Davao City. For inquiries, call 082 321 4086. You may also visit The Print Room, Unit 2 Lenel Bldg., Robinsons Highlands, Buhangin, Davao City.
---Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1 and A4, INdulge, Edge Davao, Vol. 7 Issue 92, 23 July 2014


At July 28, 2014 at 4:27 PM , Blogger Donna Ocon -Juezan said...



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