Running a business entails hard work, passion, perseverance, and at times, help and support from the community.
For the newlywed couple Dyh Yan Riberal and Ike Gimeno, living in a community that supports their business is something they are very grateful for. Their small enterprise is thriving, thanks to their community and “The Good Guys Weekend Market” of the SMDC Trees Residences in Fairview, Quezon City where they live.
Adapting to the needs of the community
“In 2016, we started our online business selling perfumes. We supplied souvenirs for special events. When the pandemic disrupted supply chains, we had to stop it as sales went down. So we needed to adapt to thrive,” said Riberal.
After studying market demand during the pandemic, the couple decided to sell cleaning and disinfecting essentials like alcohols, sanitizers, and hand soaps. With the pandemic restrictions on movements and travel then, the SMDC Trees residents formed a chat group to support each other with buying or ordering online. When this power couple joined the chat group, they offered their essential items.
Through the chat group, this enterprising couple learned about the group members’ wants and needs. “We varied our offerings. Now we sell pasalubong items like delicacies,” said Gimeno. Providing the products needed by neighbors, their platform had the support of the community.
Then the property initiated the “Good Guys Weekend Market” program in support of the growing homepreneurs in the community. The couple and like-minded neighbors joined as sellers.
“Joining the Weekend Market allowed us to widen our market, gain connections, and join a network of resident entrepreneurs. We met new friends and nurtured rapport with our fellow community members. And these are very important for us humans—we grow through the relationships we build and the lessons we learn as we go on,” Riberal furthered.
The Good Guys Weekend Market is a small initiative and partners with the local barangay. Starting at SMDC Trees Residences, the program has spread to other SMDC development., showing that communities can create a neighborhood of thriving businesses.
Gimeno said that being a resident entrepreneur at SMDC has opened opportunities for them. Starting as online sellers with no extra funds to set up a physical store, they now have a space to sell in the bazaar alongside other resident entrepreneurs. “This helped us earn our keep and pay our bills,” he added.
A supportive community is a key to a successful enterprise
The couple has been living in SMDC Trees for three years. They were secondary school teachers and now are online entrepreneurs. Both agree that SMDC provided what they needed during the pandemic: accessibility and convenience.
“This two-bedroom unit was a gift from our parents. Little did we know that this gift could become more meaningful in the pursuit of our dreams,” shared Riberal.
The couple enjoy the cozy and calm atmosphere inside SMDC Trees and its safety and security of this community. “These made us consider settling down here,” Gimeno said.
“We know we made the right choice by living here. We’ve blossomed as entrepreneurs in ways we didn’t expect. Before, we just sold our products. Now, it is our habit to chat with customers and more about their wants and needs. The Weekend Market has become an avenue for us to socialize,” Riberal shared.
The community enabled the couple to earn and grow as entrepreneurs. Now, they share their learnings with others.
“You have to be passionate and hardworking as there are a lot of challenges that you will face. You have to be strong to overcome challenges,” Gimeon commented.
As for Riberal, being open-minded is essential. “You have to immerse yourself in new learnings to adapt and be flexible to the varying needs of your customers.”
SMDC’s ongoing The Good Guys Weekend Market has created a neighborhood of thriving businesses within and outside SMDC. To date, SMDC maintains its obligation to add value to the entrepreneurial mindset of SMDC residents and beyond communities through its Resident Entrepreneurship Program.