Contact lenses may have been the last thing on Little Red Riding Hood’s mind when she said, “What big eyes you have!” to the literally huge-eyed, bushy-tailed wolf disguising as her grandmother. Since the wide-eyed ulzzang (a Korean word which translates to “best face” in English) look became popular through hallyu (Korean invasion), however, wider-than-life eyes are now more a sign of vanity than a mark of a villain--and some entrepreneurs have taken notice.
Japanese Candy, a local online shop that sells circle contact lenses--designed to make the eyes appear wider by covering not just the iris, but also part of the sclera--caters to those who are brave enough to go bright-eyed.
Japanese Candy first sold handmade accessories, pre-owned clothes, and Japanese anime merchandise online in 2006, but when the craze over the doe-eyed look--common in Japanese animes and among women in Korean telenovelas--hit in 2008, the online store has since transcended its moniker. Gladys Yap, who put up Japanese Candy, pounced on the beauty business opportunity and set out to make the world a more eye-popping place, one pair of contact lens at a time.
An extensive online search led her to various sites that listed manufacturers who would soon supply her with Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA)-approved circle contact lenses. As the owner of a start-up that now banks on dealing with these sellers, Ms. Yap has learned a basic but nevertheless important lesson: transactions are based on trust. “It's all about [keeping] a harmonious relationship [and] keeping [the suppliers] updated,” she said.
While it is easy to dismiss the cosmetic lenses as a fad, Ms. Yap believes that the store merely invests in the spunk of Filipinas in sampling the latest looks. “They love trying different things, especially when it comes to beauty and fashion,” she said.
It is this bold beauty outlook that helped the store slowly gain a loyal following among the trend-conscious crowd. Standing out amid the various contact lens online shops may prove to be quite a challenge for any beauty business on the rise, but Japanese Candy has carved its own niche by giving a fun Asian twist to the otherwise fussy ordeal of wearing contacts. “We have different varieties to choose from--[whether] it comes to brands, sizes, colors, or designs. Our lenses are more fashionable and trendy,” said Ms. Yap.
But the popularity that came with the profit also brought in a test of patience. Since Japanese Candy relies on foreign suppliers, the start-up has had to live with occasional delays in stock arrivals--an inevitable part of the business that has caught the ire of some overzealous shoppers. “There were customers who could not wait [for their orders to arrive] and ended up mad at us. Some of them would even blackmail us through the Internet,” Ms. Yap said. Still, she considers the business a blessing instead of a burden.
Japanese Candy, she added, is currently preparing for its fourth anniversary in November–-a milestone that will surely keep the eyes of women peeled for a daring set of peepers. “We will be adding new brands of contact lenses, [do] promotions, and launch the anniversary website soon.”
For inquiries about Japanese Candy products, e-mail email@example.com or text 09159257496.- Anna Patricia G. Valerio
Raul L. Locsin Building I
95 Balete Drive Extension,
New Manila, Quezon City,
Extensions: 706, 709-711
Direct Line: (632)535-9923
Fax No.: (632)535-9925
Email: New Media Group