The first thing that people look for when they go to a new place is a souvenir; a remembrance that at least once in their lifetime they had been to that specific place. Forty-one-year-old Gina Paris of Itogon, Benguet earns a living by banking on the idea of souvenirs.
Gina had no prior background in souvenir-making. She went through the process of trial and error. At first, she tried making crochet coin purses. However, upon realizing that the production took too long, she shifted her focus to making key chains. This type of souvenir is patronized by tourist because they can be bought in bulk at an affordable price. They are also offered in different designs and are very handy.
She handles everything about her business, from purchasing materials to delivering items. Her children occasionally assist her when they are not in school, but she does most of the work. As she stated, her five years in this business have been a mix of joy and hardship. It was difficult in the beginning because most stores did not want to display her items, but quitting is out of the choice. She continues to offer her keychains until she found her suki in Mines View Park and in the marketplace. As a result, it becomes easier for her to sell her items; in fact, she has been delivering her creations weekly, depending on the number of orders she receives.
Aside from her hard work, CARD Bank also aided her greatly because she was able to use her loan to increase her business’s capital. She has been a CARD Bank member since 2014 simply because as she said, CARD Bank has good management practices and the interest rate is lower compared to others. She intends to grow her business more in the coming years with the assistance of the institution.
It is always the hard work that bears the fruit of success. It might take a little while to achieve what one desires but everything will surely pay off just like what happened with Gina Paris.