THE INC. LIFE

How This Start-up Brings Fashion Dreams to Life

Prod Hauz helps small clothing businesses start and expand without breaking the bank

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BY Ezra Ferraz - 06 Apr 2018

How This Start-up Brings Fashion Dreams to Life

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Hershey Hilado is no stranger to struggle. She gained popularity in the Philippines when a drama series on television aired her rags-to-riches story. Out of sheer determination, grit, and good business sense, by 25 Hilado had cracked into the world of fashion and e-commerce and now continues to build companies and mentor other entrepreneurs.

Her most recent venture is Prod Hauz, a textile and manufacturing company based in the Philippines.

She originally envisioned Prod Hauz as a base for her own fashion brands but decided to open up the factory to serve as a white-label, manufacturing arm for other start-up entrepreneurs.

“The Prod Hauz is giving start-up fashion entrepreneurs/business owners and established labels the opportunity to start and quickly expand without breaking the bank,” it says on its website.

Since making this switch, Prod Hauz’s growth skyrocketed and Hilado had to make additional investments to buy more machines, hire more people, and cover other expenses.

But she also needed to invest more time and attention. Hilado decided to shut down an e-commerce business to focus on Prod Hauz’s development as a platform.“I think at the end of the day what solves all our problems in business in general is trusting your instincts — certain sacrifices have to be made in order

to gain. Just remember that giving something up in order to have more is not a failure but rather a 10-step forward for a bigger opportunity,” says Hilado.

Helping entrepreneurs

The majority of Prod Hauz’s clients are e-commerce fashion entrepreneurs who sell their products in the United States and Australia.

Hilado says since larger brands can do up to 30 times the volume of a small business, the bigger players can afford to sell their merchandise a lot cheaper, forcing the smaller ones to compete on price, often until they go out of business.

This is where Prod Hauz can help. By offering white-label items, entrepreneurs can release their own unique product line and at healthy margins.

“Prod Hauz gives them the power to sell their products based on perceived value rather than just basing it on their competition,” says Hilado.

Prod Hauz aims to offer these entrepreneurs favorable terms. Hilado says their minimum order quantity of 100 pieces per style is among the smallest in the market, even in comparison to products manufactured out of China.

To acquire new clients, the company obtains leads through social media and direct marketing.

“We do our research and collect data, but when it comes to contacting the founders or the designers for brands, we send them direct messages on social media and we exchange emails from there — it’s the most cost-effective way for us to acquire new clients around the world,” says Hilado.

Over the next year, Hilado plans to expand to a larger factory, hire more team members, and develop its relationship with current partners.

“Our goal was never short-term. It’s always about longevity: how we can help our partners grow their brand so we can also continue to grow our business?” she says.