Threads of Hope

Posted on August 10, 2022

Despite facing many difficulties, Novenia Olabides encourages other entrepreneurs to keep being hopeful for a better future.

Starting at a young age, Novenia Olabides from Bacoor, Cavite already experienced a lot of challenges. When she was still in college, she moved to Ortigas in Pasig City to live with her because her parents could no longer support her studies. Her sister ran a handicraft business at the time. To earn her allowance, she worked as a shopkeeper in the handicraft shop. Manning the shop enabled her to learn and master weaving.

After some time, she bought the handicraft business from her sister. She then established another business, which is a repair shop. They fix broken chairs, beds, and other furniture. She looked for someone who knew a supplier who could source supplies for repairing and renovating furniture.

As she became a mother of seven, she started to lose focus on her business. Sales of her handicraft business dropped, particularly the handcrafted basket she is most proud of. She thought that this was her greatest failure.

But she did not let this failure overcome her dreams. She developed a plan to recover from this. She started a new business that manufactures sets of chairs, tables, and pallets. She searched for a supplier who could provide both high-quality goods and low-cost raw materials. Her bamboo furniture business took off. Her sales began to increase. She also made sure that her production would not bring damage to the environment.

Just when she thought that her life’s challenges were over, she became a victim of a scam. A group of people ran away with all her products and paid her with an unfunded cheque. She learned a valuable lesson of choosing trustworthy business partners.

At a time of despair, she met CARD CARD SME Bank, a thrift bank that provides financial and community development services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) towards development.

Novenia views CARD SME Bank as a needle that allowed her to weave a brand-new hope for her future. She used the loan that CARD SME Bank provided to her to purchase the resources she needed to reestablish her bamboo business. This brought her business back to life. They were able to resume production and their income soared once again. One buyer liked her products so much that brought it all the way to Malta, Austria. This is the start of them exporting their items outside of the country.

Our lives are made of different threads representing every moment we experience. These threads embody both the good and bad memories. “The dark threads only make the colorful ones even brighter. Our failures only make our triumphs even more valuable. Never give up and always hope for the best,” Novenia advises to people also experiencing life’s obstacles.