F-STOP's first year anniversary

12:54 AM

Floral vintage blouse w/ peter pan collar F-STOP | Blue-violet draped skort F-STOP | Black wedges PRP |

Some outtakes from my 23rd collection shoot. Buy the whole outfit for only P550!

Individual prices - Top: P250, Skort: P300

Let's celebrate!

August 6, 2010 - F-STOP, my online shop, will be having its first year anniversary. Yipeeee! Gosh! I couldn't believe it's been a year already! Yes, of course there's a sense of fulfillment because online selling, unlike what most people think, is much more difficult than what it seems to be.

A brief background: I began this shop with a partner. My friend Rona and I took a cinematography-videography subject then. Though I feel a bit shy about spilling this, haha... when it got boring in class, we'd browse online shops (yes we're allowed to use computers/laptops in class).

It was only last year that I suddenly had an epiphany. Others may be surprised but I really got hooked on fashion just last year so I decided to put up an online store having only my online buying experiences at hand. The other reason of course is for us to have extra income so that we could help our parents in our own little way by simply spending for our own "wants". Since Rona and I were photography enthusiasts, I pitched the idea of naming the shop F-STOP, which would stand for Fashion Stop.

F-STOP, is originally a term in film (widely used in photography, cinematography and videography) which stands for the focal length divided by the diameter of the lens. Lenses are marked with a series of f-stops, each one lets in half as much light as the previous one. The light-gathering ability of a lens is determined by its area, and f-stops are determined by diameter. Area is related to diameter squared. The progression of f-stops, 1 - 1.4 - 2 - 2.8 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22 - 32, are powers of the square root of 2. How geeky right? Hahaha.

Photographers and videographers set their exposure using a combination of f-stops and shutter speed to get the correct amount of light on the film (or sensor--this all works for digital too). I thought that the said principle is somehow similar to what happened to me in terms of the evolution of my style and growing love for fashion.

F-STOP's thesis statement: "People need the right exposure to different styles and trends for them to figure out their own personal style." ... And the rest was history (taking my bow. Haha).

Some F-STOP vintage items (all sold!).

Sadly, due to certain circumstances, Rona decided to leave (only two months after the shop has been put up) because she had other priorities in mind, plus she's migrating to US. I ended up, running the business on my own - shopped for vintage stocks, looked for Asian apparel suppliers, studied basic website designing and Adobe photoshop etc. Without any friends or partners to rely on, it became an extreme challenge to excel (considering there are tons of other online stores out there) not to mention that I still have a life to live, studies to continue, more dreams to fulfill and more job opportunities to explore.

Because of certain trials, shortcomings and events in my life, updates and the potential progress of the shop has been compromised. As a result, sales were never consistent. There were always high and low points. On a positive note, I've earned quite a sum in my bank account and when sales are on a rise, I'm on a bliss. However, during those times when sales are down, it really gets discouraging.

To be honest, my parents do not approve and believe in this endeavor. This has been keeping me down for a long time now. Whenever they see my supplier deliveries, whenever they see my new stocks for the vintage section, they'd tell me to stop this "non-sense." I am currently in a guerilla and just so you know, I try to hide my products from my folks and pretend that I've stopped doing business.

I have a lot of plans for this shop but I'm going to wait until I finish certain priorities. I've mapped out a couple of future plans for F-STOP without really knowing when will all these be carried out (next year, two years?). While I haven't achieved certain goals for this year, while my parents still disapprove, I'll put certain project ideas on hold for the meantime.

As of now, I will still be here, constantly working on improving my shop to cater to client needs. I'll keep on looking for those fabulous pieces and slowly work on having my own improvised studio - which has been in my project list since summer! Urgh.

Shooting the vintage items can be a pain in the ass at times. My boyfriend and I have to sync our schedules because I borrow his camera and use him as my photographer-driver. Not to mention, the weather is very unpredictable; plus it's soooo freaking hard to change lets say in 20 clothes/outfits inside the car! It gets exhausting. I get haggard and all those distractions jeopardizes the styling.

Soo glad that JR is just very patient and understanding. Gaahd. What would I do without him. He's my number one cheerleader and I couldn't thank him enough for putting up with all these, for being dedicated and all-out in supporting me. Aaaaw.. I just love him so... Hahaha cheesy much?!

I've been blabbing for too long now. The most important thing I should not forget in this post is to send out my deepest gratitude. I would like to thank everyone who has been and has continued to be a part of F-STOP. To all past, present, future buyers and constant patrons, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. To the friends I made through this, thank you also! I appreciate all of you guys so much and thank you again (everything just means so much to me)!

I love you all!

PS. To you, who read everything till the end, thanks! Haha.

And now tadah! Promo schedules!

August 6

F-STOP's outfit giveaway to be posted in my shop's journal.

August 13

F-STOP's Spotted Feature: I will feature in my blog one of my most love clients.

August 14

Shop Support Feature: I will post an article about another online shop, aiming to help fellow sellers in promotion and sales.

August 15

F-STOP's Giveaway for Style and Soul followers.

August 31

Launching of my 24th collection! Weee.

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  1. Congradulations on one year! Your shop looks very cool.

    Christy of Dress Rehearsal

  2. Oh wow! Congratulations! I totally get you when you say its difficult than others think to have an online shop. I've stopped making my accessories for a month because of the busy schedule, and am starting to make some as of the moment for the coming month. Sometimes its hard to be consistent especially if thats not your priority. So I salute you! :)

  3. congratulations on your first year! i know we're strangers but i'm so proud of you! haha! because i know how hard it really is to run one and yes there are definitely highs and lows! keep it up girl!

  4. congratulations girl. I wish you but the best in your shop and in your life. Keep selling. When i was in college my friend and i would sell pillows and make up. hihihii. it was fun. Atleast may pang nood nood kami ng sine anytime we want and eat sa mga pizza chain bukod sa jollibee. It was so much fun.

  5. Lai, I know I've never told you this, but I love your sense of fashion and I'm so proud of you for going out and handling this endeavor. You rock, bb. <3 Will spread the word about F-STOP. :"D ILU. Miss you, we should hang out soon.


  6. cute pieces!!!


  7. Congratulations! Been lurking for a few weeks, btw. :)

  8. Congrats Melai for your shop!:) I wish to be partners with youand let's create a fashion empire together!:)

    Simone's Closet

  9. congratulations on keeping your shop going melai! :D i am so inspired by how you've kept going despite the disapproval of your parents..just continue to persevere and have faith that all your hard work will lead into the most wonderful things!

    ♥ vanilla ice cream ♥

  10. nice outfit.. i glad you are back with your outfit post melai! :)

  11. Congratulations to your shop!!! I love your items!!!

    I feel for you about not being supported? by your parents, if that's what you mean... as it always happen to me but anyway, that makes us a lot stronger, tougher and better, right?

  12. congrats! very artistic and fashionable. more power to you and your store! =)

  13. happy first anniversary to F-STOP! and i love F-stop's thesis statement! Hahaha! Congrats melai!:)

  14. Congratulations Darling! I love your shop, just wish you shipped to London lol


  15. You just won a blog award. Go to my blog to pick it up

    SusuanaLove xx


  16. Congratulations love, wow, that is such a very tough experience...but since you are trying your best to do everything for the shop I know it will be very successful...
    If you are dedicated to what you are doing then it will be the best thing you have ever done!!!

    Take care love
    wish you all the best in your shop!


  17. congrats to your shop melai!!! wow 1 year! i always wonder how you guys find really cute items in thrift shops when ever i go i can't find much at all... ;p i guess i'm not really blessed by the thrifting gods?

  18. congratulations!:)


  19. congratulation on your first year! wishing you more success :)

  20. Congrats!! A year is a really awesome achievement! Your outfit is darling. Love the top and the skirt- great pairing!


  21. Congratulations on a year of an amazing store. Have yet to visit your store so I think I will soon. :) I love how your photos are taken dear. :)

    Oh if you ever need any help, I'd love to help you, (though I have no idea where you live here in the country) but nevertheless I'd love to help of you need a helping hand. :)

  22. Congratz Melai!!! You know you deserve all the success in the world coz you are sweet and kind and just a great person. You and JP:) I wish the business Gods continue to bless you. And yes, I agree with Gizelle just continue with what you're doing despite of your parent not liking it, soon they'll realize how good you are with what you do. Goodluck and see you soon sis!=)

  23. Hi Melai! Congratulations on your one year!!! :) All the success! :) Online sellers unite!!! :) Like what you said cheers to us!!!

    P.S. I have followed you but, my avatar is not showing..:P can you help me please.. hehehe..newbie here..:) thanks! (sorry wrong timing ba? hehehe)

  24. Well, I think you are a determined lady to still have confidence in yourself even if your parents don't think it's the best business idea. Obviously, you are still able to do well for yourself. I wish you even more success in the future, Melai. As another commenter mentioned you are a sweetheart and deserve it! It's also sweet that your boy is so supportive :)

    B from A plus B

  25. Nice outfits:))
    Come follow me http://rayabo.blogspot.com/

  26. congrats on the anniversary! it looks like a fantastic shop, i cant wait to take a look see:)

    xx raez

  27. Hi there! Your blog is so inspiring! And I can tell that you write with your heart. Cheers! :)

  28. aww. congrats on the shop and how blessed you are to have such a supportive boyfriend.;)

    you have some neat pieces. you shot in UP too. hehe.:)



I appreciate anything you have to say. Thanks for dropping by. It means so much to me. Love, Melai

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