RUNNING a business enterprise is hard work, passion and determination by beauty brand Clocheflame (pronounced as "klosh-flame") which has built a thriving business, thanks to online selling platform Lazada.

Founder and creator Arianne Amante said her cosmetics line aims to make one "look good as you feel and feel as good as you look."

A play on her name, she revealed that she kept a personal journal then turned it into a blog called "clocheflame.net" when she was 15.

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"It used to also serve as a pseudonym when I wrote poetry for our school publication. Inspired by my first real name, Isabella, cloche is the bell-shaped jar one uses to cover a candle, while my last name, Amante, means love in Spanish. So Clocheflame combines love, spark and flame," she related.

Amante said she always knew she wanted to start a beauty brand.

"Even in college (as AB Multimedia Arts major at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde), my thesis was all about Filipinos' self-perception of beauty. I wasn't always the most confident person in the room and I would turn to makeup and skincare to give me a boost of confidence," she said.

She purchased from international brands, as she felt there was no local brand that resonated with her at the time – and this really inspired her to create her own [brand.]

"It was a matter of time before I had to starta matter of timing, when to finally start my business. In 2020, I was supposed to switch to another corporate job but eventually figured this was the right time to pursue my dream," she continued.

Clocheflame's brand roots from the idea of building a sustainable and ethical beauty brand, aligned with her own personal beliefs. One of these important factors includes sourcing materials locally and partnering with Philippine manufacturers to create her products.

"This is our little way of extending help to boost our economy. Sustainability, on the other hand, is something we really strive for and commit to. Some of the things we try to observe in our day-to-day processes are reducing the use of plastic, producing orders in small batches (to avoid raw material waste), and ensuring that our packaging is recyclable," she said.

The cosmetics line's first product was the All Around Flush – a multi-use skincare-infused blush that can be used on the eyes, lips and cheeks.

"The All Around Flush gives your face color that glows from within. The product easily melts into the skin, is versatile and easy to use. We really wanted to start with color products because that's what Clocheflame is mainly inspired from – the vibrant hues of summer in the Philippines," she described.

Clocheflame's product line-up includes the TLC Spray (restorative facial mist), Dream Filter (weightless soft-focus pressed powder) and Cloche Case (brand merchandise /makeup pouch). They are also launching their newest product this month called Lip Muse. The product combines three benefits in one – the creamy glide of a balm, the nourishment of an oil and the color of a lipstick.

"I'm proud to say that the brand is really growing. The next few years will be even bigger for us as we are already working on expanding our product line," Amante enthused.

The team is quite lean, taking on multiple hats and juggling lots of responsibilities. Like for the young entrepreneur, she is the CEO, but also serves as the creative director, as well as manages the company's HR.

"I'm lucky that I get to work with people who are team players, efficient and passionate about what they do. As a leader, I ensure that we maintain good communication and set realistic goals for my team. I think it is important to give recognition and appreciation to my team members. Finally, we really value our team's mental health; I allow them to take the time off when they feel like they need to take a break," she shared.

With her vision for growth in mind, she shared that making the decision to put her business on Lazada was a no-brainer.

"Lazada is one of the largest online shopping platforms in the country. We knew that putting up our business here was vital as it would help us with our resources and help us reach consumers in different parts of the Philippines. We were able to avoid costs like rent and high commission fees, and enabled us to set aside a bigger budget for research and development," Amante shared.

The platform has also opened up more opportunities for the fledgling brand – they were able to establish a presence for their business on LazMall, Lazada's authentic brands channel, as well as utilize the different features available to continue to improve their operations and marketing.

These include leveraging Lazada's livestream platform LazLive to engage consumers with content, the Business Advisor tool to monitor business performance, Lazada University for educational materials on how to scale an online business, and Lazada's logistics network for faster shipping and delivery to their consumers across the country.

"With the help of Lazada, we were able to scale up, reach more people beyond our target market, and were able to build more partnerships and collaborations. We also gained the trust of a lot of retailers because of our presence on LazMall, enabling us to continue to grow our ecommerce footprint," she asserted.

At 25 and only a little over two years in the business, Amante does not hold back in sharing the knowledge she acquired as a young entrepreneur. She shared this advice to fellow Lazada sellers and other aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to take the plunge:

"Know your why, stay true to your identity, and protect that spark. The one thing that will differentiate you from others is your story and your purpose. It really brings me joy when I see or hear people say that Clocheflame is a staple in their routine; that the products we made help them become more confident in their own skin, it definitely keeps me going and encapsulates why I started the brand in the first place," she concluded.

Apotheke Science

CREATED by a molecular biologist and a medical doctor, Apotheke Science is a local skincare line that provides Filipinos affordable and locally made products that aim to combat major skin problems such as acne, fine lines, wrinkles, eczema and rosacea.

One of the pioneering products that inspired the brand was a salve they created to help treat the skin of chemotherapy patients, rooting from the effects of the procedure. One of the co-founders started to provide this concoction for free to cancer patients, as well as doctors and nurses at hospitals he was affiliated with, whose skin suffered from stress and lack of sleep.

The positive reception to the product has led to the creation of the Apotheke Skin Doctor Balm.

The product is popular with their consumers for targeting dry skin and providing them with anti-aging benefits.

"The brand's roots started from thinking about the well-being of cancer patients and how their skin concerns are really an overlooked aspect of their recovery. Our goal is to be more inclusive and provide more quality and affordable skin care solutions for Filipinos, as well as continue to build a business rooted on sustainability," shared by the Apotheke team.

Apotheke now has a wide range of products targeting different skin care concerns, all at an affordable price point.

These products include a gentle Castile Facial Wash that pick up oil and dirt without harming the skin; a Firming Toner mist that preps the skin and adds hydration; the ever-popular Niacinamide (in 5 percent and 10 percent concentrations) to address blemishes, balance skin tone, and protect against bacteria; the Brightening Night Serum to halt the over-production of melanin for brighter, younger, more radiant skin; Spot Treatment – a serum that destroys active acne bacteria; Squalane that simulates the skin's natural moisturizing mechanism; and Detoxifying and Calamine Clay masks for proper exfoliation.

The brand saw the importance of building their ecommerce footprint. Joining Lazada enabled them to keep their prices affordable for consumers, as they were able to save up on operational costs such as physical store expenses. They were also able to utilize how accessible Lazada is for everyone; consumers who live as far as Visayas and Mindanao have no problem purchasing an Apotheke product and having it delivered on their doorsteps in a matter of days.

Apotheke also tapped on livestreaming on Lazada, especially during the height of the pandemic. Other consumer benefits they offered through Lazada to their customers include Lazada Bonus and Free Shipping Max, helping boost their sales especially during big campaigns.

Evolving from one person's desire to help cancer patients, Apotheke has now built a growing brand that is slowly building a cult following of dedicated customers who swear by the brand's simplicity. The founders aim to eventually grow their own botanical farm to source their ingredients, enabling them to empower Filipino farmers, as well as build a more circular and sustainable business.

Even with its success, Apotheke remains humble and lets its products speak for itself.

"When people like the products they use, they tell their friends and family about it. We aim to please our consumers and have them share their positive experiences of our products with them. As a brand, Apotheke Science adds beauty to life by helping people feel more confident in themselves," Apotheke team said.

Apotheke team ends with some advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses:

"Be generous with people – it will always come back in ways that will help you grow. Sell products that people want, take great photos, and spread the word."

Check out Clocheflame, Apotheke Science, and other brands by visiting the Lazada website Lazada Philippines: Online Shopping Philippines with Great Prices! and social media pages Log in or sign up to view and Lazada Philippines (@lazadaph) • Instagram photos and videos.

Interested in selling on Lazada? Visit https://pages.lazada.com.ph/wow/i/ph/PHCampaign/ to learn more.