Ana Clarissa Dela Fuente

Shop Señorina Co.

Paranaque City

For Ana Clarissa Dela Fuente, owner of Shop Señorina Co., making dream wedding gowns is more of a passion than a vocation. “I love creating beautiful gowns for my client brides. Every bride is unique and deserves a wedding gown made exclusively for her special day. So each creation for me is a work of love,” Clarissa shared.

As mass gathering and celebrations were prohibited during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Shop Señorina Co. struggled for three months when most of her made-to-order wedding gowns and entourage gowns were canceled.

Shop Señorina Co. did not generate any income during the initial implementation of the ECQ. At most, all Clarissa got was the 50 percent downpayment she initially collected upon her clients’ final order. “Yung mga order sa amin, hindi na na-claim. Although I was able to collect 50 percent downpayment, lugi pa rin,” she said.

When she finally resumed operations, the business did not pick up instantly. There were no walk-in clients and orders were still unclaimed. “Wala pa rin kaming customers. Takot pa rin sila lumabas. Para magka-customer lang, nag-offer na kami ng home service at delivery,” Clarissa added.

Adapting to the new normal, Clarissa shifted to catering to the needs of the community during the pandemic — she resorted to making facemasks and personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We needed to adapt to the realities, kung wala na munang market para sa gowns then we need an alternative product,” she said.

During the temporary closure of Shop Señorina Co., Clarissa provided groceries and allowances to her employees. “Naiintindihan naman nila na wala talaga pumapasok na pera. Binibigyan nalang namin sila kung ano ang meron, parang pamilya na rin kasi kami,” Clarissa added.

According to Clarissa the experience made her realize the importance of having savings for the business. It is also important to be avail of government programs that can help businesses bounce back.

The loan from Bayanihan CARES will be used for my employees salary and bonuses. Gusto ko namang makabawi sa kanila,” she concluded.