The Sweet Scent of Success
Posted on October 27, 2023
Written By: Mary Rose Javier
Judy Otero believes that everything is better with a bit of fragrance. From this philosophy, she developed the sweet formula to a perfume brand which is now sold in various locations nationwide.
Amidst the busy streets of Pasay City, a family’s dream to create signature fragrances evolved from humble beginnings into an established brand in 2017 – the Leviste Perfume Collection. It was born out of the perseverance and passion of Judy Otero.
Judy manages the operations and is supported by her three sons, each with distinct roles. Her eldest manages the production, her middle child is in charge of planning, and her youngest helps in marketing. Their intertwined lives and business reflect a close relationship, all essential in the operation of their perfume business.
Alongside her partner, Antonio Leviste, they surpassed life’s trials. When Antonio passed away, Judy was left alone to raise their children. Her business of selling snacks became their financial bedrock.
A twist of fate at Star City, where all her sons worked, introduced them to the world of fragrances. Eager to create a secure position in the industry, they started to delve into perfume-making with vigor.
“Perfection never comes easy. Our initial attempts were riddled with challenges in achieving the true scents. This pushed us to seek the finest suppliers and industry experts to learn better,” Judy said.
After several months, their constant pursuit bore fruit as they formulated fragrances that their customers loved. With a small amount of capital from her son’s savings, they started with just ten distinct scents, they forged connections with top suppliers to ensure only the best ingredients for their brand.
Facing criticism head-on, Judy said, “We took every feedback to improve our products.” They never let negativity ruin the business they had started, instead used them to further improve their products and continue learning.
The year 2020 presented a new challenge: a global pandemic that made them lose some of their distributors and hindered their operation. Their business disruptions were mitigated, in part, thanks to CARD Bank, a microfinance-oriented rural bank that had been Judy’s financial partner since 2009. “CARD Bank’s loans bridged gaps in our finances, enabling us to innovate and introduce new fragrances despite the challenging times,” Judy shared.
Today, Leviste Perfume Collection offers 107 unique fragrances with a growing distribution network spanning Taguig, Baclaran, Quezon City, and Negros Occidental. They also cultivate their brand presence online that connects them directly to potential customers and distributors.
“If you have the chance to start your own business, do it. Aside from profits, the fact that you also create possible jobs for other people is more than enough motivation to build your own,” Judy said.
The family is still planning to add more perfume scents to their collection, expand to online markets, and hope to find more distributors that help in introducing their brand to broader markets.
“The beauty of perfumes is that they speak to our heart, reminding us of a certain person, time, or memory. Like the lingering scent of freshly picked flowers, may the fragrance of our business success be as long-lasting,” Judy concluded.
To learn more about CARD Bank, Inc. and Leviste Perfume Collection, visit https://cardbankph.com/ and Leviste Perfume Collection on Facebook.