Inspiring Women

Inspiring Women: CURA V

December 4, 2013

 

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From Left to Right : Emi Jorge, Camille Ongpauco, Trisha Calma, Kai Lim and Nicole Whisenhunt

Our next Inspiring Women is a group of five ladies who are friends first then business partners, second. They are the women behind the popular and well-curated lifestyle home and jewelry accessories store, Cura V.  

This is one group of ladies filled with so much creativity, enthusiasm and certainly, style. They are women who are driven by passion to succeed not only in their respective careers but in this retail business together. They continue to push the boundaries and go beyond the norm of what is expected from a lifestyle concept store. In spite of their hectic schedules, they are able to strike that hard-to-find balance between their careers and their personal lives.

Read about the inspiring story of the Cura V women, through the words of Kai Lim :

What is CURA V all about and who are the women behind this lifestyle brand?

Cura V, which is short for Curated by Five, is a lifestyle concept store which focuses on one-off pieces and under the radar brands. We house a number of local jewelry and accessory designer pieces as well as carefully edited, foreign home and fashion brands.

Cura V is composed of five long-time friends who eventually became business partners. We would like to think that we embody the dynamic and modern women of today. We are : Emi Jorge, an Accessories Designer, who handles the HR; Camille Ongpauco, a restaurateur who handles the Admin; Trisha Calma, an interior designer, who handles all the Foreign Buying;  Nicole Whisenhunt, a Jewelry Designer, who handles the Marketing and I, Kai Lim, the only homemaker in the group, handles the Local Buying.

Can you tell us more about the different local and international brands you carry? 

We carry a number of local jewelry and accessory designers, most of them have become our good friends. Some of the local designers we carry are : Riqueza, Natalya Lagdameo, Janina Dizon Hoschka, 13 Lucky Monkey, Joanique, Beatriz, Joyce Makitalo, Gabriel Martel, Cada Dia, FAE, Isabel Gatuslao, Maco Custodio, Neil Felip, Angela Angeles,  and of course, our partners, Emi Jorge and Nicole Whisenhunt. We have a couple more local designers lined-up for the holidays. We will be launching them before the year ends.

Nicole product shot

Nicole Whisenhunt bejeweled clutch bag

Emi product shot

Emi Jorge’s minaudiere

Meanwhile, the foreign brands we carry for fashion are Kotur, Mawi, Fallon, Kenneth Jay Lane, Nadine Delphin Paris, and Betmar & Bailey. For home accessories, we carry Voluspa, Antica Farmacista, Thomas Paul, and Florence Broadhurst.

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The things that we have in the store are pieces that we ourselves carry or use. When selecting our merchandise, we always think about what the Cura V clients would  like and appreciate. We know that our clients have that eye for design, so a carefully edited selection is imperative.

What differentiates CURA V from the other lifestyle concept stores?

Cura V logo

I personally think there is room for everyone and each store has their own strengths. But perhaps what differentiates Cura V from the rest, is the way we edit – or curate – the pieces that go in the store. We are five women with five different personalities and tastes. Even if we have our own designation in the store, we still take into consideration everyone’s inputs when it comes to selecting and buying the merchandise.

Who is the typical shopper of CURA V?

A typical shopper of Cura V is a modern woman, who is both confident and fun. She loves to entertain at home, is well travelled and has a discerning eye for details. To us, this means quality, design, and craftsmanship are key essentials to our brand.

But Cura V does not only cater to women. We also have men shopping in our store. The Cura V man likewise has an eye for detail and design. Our 13 Lucky Monkey rings are quite popular with them. And we have had men enter our store purchasing a Voluspa home scent. I guess this is so because home scents are genderless and can be appreciated by all. We also had these remarkable wooden sculptures and decorative shark jaws (that had only 3 pieces of each) that were all instantly snapped up by our loyal male clients.

What are the usual challenges you face in the competitive retail world and how do you handle them?

The challenge for CURA V is getting the right systems in place. Our system has improved quite a lot from the time when we first opened in 2011, but we feel that we can definitely still improve on it. There is so much we would like to do and offer, but we are still trying to perfect the system first before we can implement these new plans and changes. Also with retail, we have learned that everything goes by so fast and there is always something new. With this challenge, we are always trying our best to be ahead by anticipating the pulse of our market.

As I mentioned earlier, there is room for everyone and we have such high regard for other boutiques that came before us. We only compete with ourselves. Personal best is actually our main motivation.

How do you draw the line between your friendship and professional relationship given that you are long time friends even before the business started?

I am blessed that my partners and I get along really well. We respect each other’s opinions and whatever differences we may have at work – we simply do not let that affect our friendship.

Any future plans for Cura V?

We just opened our second branch in Adora, Greenbelt 5 this year. We hope to have another one by next year.

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We have seen a lot of women (moms included) become entrepreneurs nowadays. Can you share some tips to the working moms out there on how to maintain that balance between work and family?  

I will be honest and say that it’s really not that easy. In fact it is always a challenge. As all moms would attest, we would like to spend as much time as possible with our kids. But reality cannot be avoided, as there is always work that needs to be done. It really is all about prioritizing well and managing your time efficiently.

I think moms have the natural tendency to feel like we should give more and do more  – without realizing that there is not enough time to do it all. So learning time management for me is key.

yumi and aki

In my case, I try to schedule my work and meetings around my kids’ schedules. Most of my partners are moms too and we all understand how this works. I am thankful that we all understand each other in the group. My kids are ages 5 and 3,  so any mom who has children of this age would know that spending quality and quantity time with them are very important at this crucial stage.

Last but not the least… I always say that there’s a “spoiled mummy” in each of us. What do you think makes you a Spoiled Mummy? 🙂

The “spoiled mummy” in me stems from the love and happiness that my family – my husband and kids – bring me. At the end of the day, everything I do is really for them. Family is everything to me.

Visit Cura V in their two branches :

Powerplant Mall – Rockwell, Makati City

Adora – Greenbelt, Makati City

Cura V is having a holiday trunk show this weekend, Dec 7 and 8.

See poster for details :

HOLAUCOUTEASER1_ED2

 

 

 

 

 

 

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