Spouses Melecio and Gloria Daquep of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur didn’t have any experience in furniture making and trading when they ventured into the business in the late ‘80s. But the inherently hardworking and determined couple made the right business decisions and benefitted from a term loan provided by DBP, paving the way for the success they are now enjoying as entrepreneurs.
Mrs. Daquep vividly recalls the birth pains of their business. She hails from San Vicente, a town renowned for its furniture industry. At first, the couple bought small furniture items such as coffee and side tables and brought these to furniture stores in Manila. Because of the high quality attached to furniture produced in San Vicente and the brisk business that the furniture industry was experiencing back then, they were able to save enough to buy their own delivery trucks and engage in the trucking business. They also made a wise investment in acquiring a storage house in Manila. Their network of clients also expanded, as their furniture items reached as far as Pampanga in the north, and Laguna and Cavite in the south.
After a decade of engaging in the buy and sell business, the Daqueps felt they already had enough experience to go into furniture making. Eventually, they established King Harry Antique and Furniture Shop which produced chairs, tables, beds, and souvenirs made of scrap wood mixed with indigenous materials like coconut twigs, rattan, capiz, and bamboo. Their initial capital was about P30,000, which they used in renting cutting machine and paying for a couple of workers.
In 2003, the firm was granted a credit line by DBP for their working capital requirements. The said assistance helped King Harry Antique and Furniture Shop become the biggest furniture producer and trader in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur. The firm now employs around 50 workers and has an asset size of P7.6 million.
For Mrs. Daquep, hard work has always been the key to their success as entrepreneurs. Right from the start, she was involved in the management of the business -- she being a housewife and her husband having a full-time job as a soldier. Aside from their furniture business, Mrs. Daquep also engaged in the trading of various products such as bags, food, and footwear.
Not every venture has been a success for the Daqueps, though. There were even instances when their furniture business reached the brink of collapse. But the couple persisted -- even borrowing money from various sources -- in order to keep their business afloat.
“When you fail, that’s the time you actually learn,” she quips.
With their thriving business, the Daqueps were able to send their three children to school.Now all professionals, the younger Daqueps are being groomed to inherit the business that their parents have built through hard work and perseverance.
“I don’t want this to stop. The business has not only helped our family, but it has also provided jobs to many of our town mates. It can be tiring to manage the business, but it is also enjoyable. Hopefully, one of my children can continue what we have put up,” Mrs. Daquep ends.