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“Felipe and Sons started out as a passion project between me and my friends. We wanted to find a place where we could get a good haircut, tailor our clothes, have a refreshing drink and a great time. Essentially, we wanted an establishment that could cater to all our grooming and styling needs. I didn’t realize that many other men in Metro Manila were looking for the same thing. That’s why we came up with the concept for our ‘barberdashery’ – an amalgamation of a barbershop and haberdashery.
Felipe and Sons officially opened in 2013 with the goal to create a space for men to feel pampered and get all their grooming needs in one place. I believe we were the first to bring this concept to the Philippines – our shop is often referred to as the ‘OG barberdashery’ in the country. We have since grown to seven branches around Metro Manila and have launched our own line of men’s grooming products so that our guests can relive and recreate the pampering experience in the comfort of their own homes.
The name of our store was inspired by our motherland – Felipe is the Philippines, and we are all its sons. The whole concept for our barberdashery, meanwhile, was influenced by my grandfather. He exuded old Manila elegance – he always dressed impeccably and acted like the perfect gentleman.
We want Felipe and Sons to be a place where our customers would be reminded of our old-world values and take pride in our unique Manileño heritage. That’s why our tagline is ‘Revive Manila Swagger.’ There are many ways to define swagger, but at Felipe and Sons, we refer to it as the distinctly Filipino trait of being ‘quietly confident’ or, in Tagalog, ‘hindi mayabang, pero may angas,’ which roughly translates to ‘not boastful, but with style.’
It was definitely a challenge learning how to start a new-to-market concept and build our branding from scratch in the early days. But seeing how we were able to reach and connect with a community of like-minded customers was worth it. Experiencing numerous hurdles and uncertainties taught me that resilience and creativity are key to building a successful business, and I think that’s what made Felipe and Sons grow stronger and myself more mature as an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur in this kind of business definitely highlighted to me the importance of providing great customer service – a concept that is also very familiar to me in my job as a chief of staff at Lazada Philippines, where the ethos of ‘customers first, employees second, shareholders third’ is among our core values.
In a very similar way, the goal of Felipe and Sons is for our barbers and staff to create a bespoke experience for each and every client who comes through our doors. As such, I make it a priority to provide our employees with ample opportunities to learn and improve their craft. We also make sure to treat all our staff with the utmost respect so that they in turn pass on this positivity to our customers. After all, people are the greatest asset to any business.”
Paulo Canivel, 42, is the chief of staff to the chief executive officer at Lazada Philippines.
Compiled and prepared by Mina Cunanan from the Lazada communications team in the Philippines.
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