I M BEAUTY
At a time when brick-and-mortar stores are upping their online presence, one Saipan entrepreneur has successfully migrated her Facebook venture into a business along Middle Road in Gualo Rai.
I M Beauty has been open since March 4 and Marivic Fernandez now says the general merchandise store was an offshoot of her hobby of selling beauty products on Facebook.
Fernandez said she and her husband, Paul, decided to open I M Beauty after her online business became such a hit that it only made sense to open a physical shop on island.
“It came to a point that it was hard for us to do meetups all the time because of the many orders we were getting from our online customers,” said Marivic.
Both Marivic and Paul work as nurses at the Commonwealth Health Center and operate I M Beauty after their shifts at the hospital.
Their full-time work explains why the store has temporary operating hours of 2:30pm to 7pm only, from Sunday to Saturday. However, once everything about the store’s point of sale system is running, they would be able to hire the staff that would operate the store during usual operating hours.
Aside from beauty products like makeup items, I M Beauty also retails shoes, bags, and clothing of brand name fashion companies from the U.S. and the Philippines.
All their items are original and of high quality, Marivic said, which is why her online business had such a great following on Facebook before they ultimately opened I M Beauty.
She believes that Saipan still prefers shopping for items on island instead of going online because of typical hassles like wrong sizing, different quality, and the overall general appearance and feel of products bought on the Internet compared to actually purchasing the items in local stores.
So far, Paul said, I MBeauty’s customers are mostly island residents and a sprinkling of tourists who were probably attracted by I M Beauty’s pastel façade.
The couple admits that opening a business at a time of economic slowdown and even government austerity comes with some inherent risks, but they believe that there is always an opportunity even during down times.
“There are some clothing and beauty product stores that closed shop recently and we’re very eager to fill the void. There’s always opportunity when it comes to business,” said Paul.
I M Beauty is located along Middle Road in front of Eucon International School and beside Kylie’s Bakery in Gualo Rai.