Q&A: Patricia Mancao-Canton reveals what makes Cheeky Chic unique
CHEEKY Chic is a fun, fashionable brand that is all about travel accessories and organizing. It’s a lot of fun, filled with lots of prints, and the best part it everything is made in Cebu – from the materials used to the hands that stitch each product, Cebu is stamped in every inch of Cheeky Chic. Owned and managed by Patricia Mancao-Canton and her husband, Barry Canton, this family business brings the fun in functional with their pretty and useful items. Sun.Star Weekend got to know the lady behind Cheeky Chic, Patricia, who talked about how it all started.
How did the business start?
I used to work in merchandising, so I would travel every month internationally and domestically. And it started basically because of my love for travel. I love making pouches. I love having small things around, the kind of person who likes ballpens, stationeries, pouches, stuff like that. I also have a degree in fine arts and have always been creative since I was a child, having come from a family of creatives. It’s always been there. Then mixed from the background I had from retail and wholesale experience both from New York and here, everything just came together.
We started with pouches made out of interesting materials. We came up with a catalog, and in that catalog we had a section for traveling. And that part was what really did well. So I just expanded from that. We have shoe bags, laundry bags, organizing kits, cosmetic kits, toiletry kits, kimonos, scarves… so it started there.
When did you know that you had a market for your products?
I started making it when I was still working in merchandising. I was just making it for me. But then one day my mom told me I had too much stuff and that I should try selling them. So we had a friend who owns Tymad Bistro in Banilad. We put up a small stand there with my stuff. Then in one weekend, we earned a lot. So that was how we saw that it had potential. So when people see me in bazaars and appreciate what I make, it feels good because these are my products. It’s so fulfilling.
Having this business is interesting and exciting and scary because you’re investing a lot of money already. The more inventory you make, more money is sleeping, not until you get it out and sell to people. But the good thing is it’s always me and him (Barry). He does the designs and I do everything else. I pack, I do the tagging, and I source the materials. He helps with the marketing. It’s a team effort. To see it grow is the interesting part.
What are some obstacles that you faced in the business?
It took me awhile to find a sastre, someone I could really rely on. My sastre now has such a nice story. He is a stay-at-home dad since his wife is in Japan working as a seamstress also. He cooks for the kids, does the laundry, everything, and he still has time to sew for me. He comes every four days. I give him the materials and he comes back with the finished products.
Next year, our main goal is to get production on the roll. Before, I wasn’t so sure how the people would react to the products. But I like what I do and now people like it. Our products run out quick, especially in bazaars. I know now that the demand is there, so we’ll focus now on production and better quality. Hopefully, once the supply is there, we can start distributing to different channels.
What makes Cheeky Chic unique?
Cheeky Chic is unique because it is a homegrown producer of fun, everyday accessories for modern needs. Our goods are crafted in a manner cognizant of the values of social empowerment and materials recycling.
Where can people buy Cheeky Chic products?
Normally, I join bazaars and that’s how a lot of people got to know who I am. If I’m not in bazaars, people message me and come up to the house because I’m home-based. Early next year, since we’re already signed up with Lazada, we’ll go online. We’ve been invited to several boutiques. Eventually, we’d like to have our own distribution channels. Hopefully, early next year.
*To learn more about Cheeky Chic and its products, contact 09088187636 or follow them on Instagram @cheekychiclove.