How To Have A Successful Souvenir Shop: Butuan's Madyaw Kadyaw Story

One Stop Souvenir Shop

A tagline that says, "the only shop in the city that has it all", this phrase surely captured my attention while I was examining Rosanna's business card as we were about to start the scheduled interview in her shop a few days back. It led me to think what really is behind Madyaw Kadyaw Souvenir Shoppe? Is it like the story of Shoe Mart (a successful mall chains in Asia) owned by Henry Sy? Curious, I went on.

According to Rose, Madyaw Kadyaw a business that endured more than a decade of challenges and hard times is now experiencing blissful moments of prosperity due to her unique style of handling the business and most of all by God's grace.

It's amazing to be inside a 'Divisoria-type' of establishment in Butuan City where locals and tourists (individual and groups) flock the store almost daily! A musuem, gallery and trade fair area in one.

Missionary At Heart

To my surprise, this lady entrepreneur who shared her tough and challenging experiences as once the only woman President of one of the male-dominated transport organizations in Butuan City actually began an unlikely career as one of the missionaries of the Universal Peace Federation at age 14 . A non-government organization promoting peace advocacies in different parts of the country and the world.

From thereon, Rosanna or Rose as she is warmly called related her missionary experiences led her to view things with a wider perspective and allowed her to look at things differently with a touch of compassion.

Migrant's Triumph

Ironically Rose, as one of the successful entrepreneurs in Butuan City and the Agusan del Norte province whose been in the business of selling souvenirs for local and foreign tourists and not to mention the number of customers who buys her goods for "pasalubongs" (giveaways) whenever they travel outside of the city is not a native of Butuan. A migrant just like most of the people in this historic city known for its ancient trading with Asia and the world.

Born in Aklan, raised in Bacolod City, lived in Cavite and Mindoro and later on ventured in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Caraga Region in Northern Mindanao together with her spouse and children really enriched her experiences that eventually helped her established a peculiar business during challenging times when the logging industry plummet during the early 1990s.

Creative Business

With other current business options at hand, Rose actually was made to choose which among the five possible businesses that she'll venture into. She needs to decide well considering the limited resources she had that time.

From pharmacy, purified water business, general merchandize and souvenir shop, Rose chose the latter. Asked why she opted to undertake the souvenir shop project, she simply answered, "something unique".

She also found out that there was no clear cut competition in the souvenir shop business and from knowing that Butuan City has a lot to offer especially in the arts and crafts because of its richness in cultural heritage. Aside from the viability of the endeavor to open up a souvenir shop Rose desired to develop her artistic gifts and make it productive and worthwhile. Going creative.

Rose even proudly remembered that her creativity even attracted a number of known clients in the community. One of them was Atty. Josefe "Jojo" Sorrera Ty a renowned lawyer and personality in Butuan City whom Rose designed a gown for her oath taking ceremony a few years back.

Social Enterprise

"Business is only for profit, but it is also to fulfill our social responsibility to the community". As Rose Czar modestly shared how she describes her business. Her viewpoint is beyond business for profit, but business for service. A budding social entrepreneur.

At present Madyaw Kadyaw is not only involved in the business of creating artistic and quality souvenir items. Madyaw is also engaged in reaching out to the less privilege of Butuan City particularly the poor families in Brgy. Amparo, Agusan Pequeno, Pagatpatan and as far as Agusan del Sur.

For some time now Rose is very active in organizing people who belonged to the marginal sector in the community (farmers, women, youth and especially the indegenous peoples) at the same time providing them assistance through trainings, marketing and technical support as well as engaging in livelihood activities such as weaving, beads-making for fashion accessories and consolidating goods produced my local food and non-manufacturers. Access to trade fairs and exhibits were not even an exception to the vast opportunities that she lovingly provided.

In addition, Rose provided scholarship to her employees who were undergraduates and were not capable of providing for their education. On top of it, also with free board and lodging !.

Even until now, majority of Madyaw's employees and former scholars are working still in the enterprise and helping Rose reach out to others especially those who are in need of educational and livelihood assistance through piece-rate basis.

Despite of Madyaw's philanthropic approach, Rose remains to be humble and even grateful to God for the opportunity to be a blessing to others no matter how challenging the business may be.

Dream Consolidator

As I get to know Rose better, I realized that Madyaw's Kadyaw's Souvenir Shoppe is not only in the business of selling mere souvenirs. Rose also has a big heart for helping other micro-entrepreneurs in the community. As a consolidator of goods (whether foods or non-foods), Rose does not stop from merely merging other products to be marketed in her store, she also see to it that goods are paid the moment they are delivered by producers.

Cash on delivery or COD is her style of doing business with her suppliers. She believes that it is her unique way of helping her supplier-partners since most of them doe not have enough capital to wait for payments as in other groceries and other big consolidating business pays their suppliers.

"It's not helping small businesses when you pay after the goods have been sold" Rose replied. "Instead of helping entrepreneurs, they delay the growth of the business, the approach of delayed payment is self-serving to the big businesses."

After the interview and looking back as I live Rose, I thought, "Maybe one of these days, I'd like to practice social entrepreneurship too". Madyaw Kadyaw truly is an inspiration for people with the passion for arts and serving the community in Butuan City and the rest of the Caraga Region.

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