SOMETIMES, when products that are available in the market do not share your values or are not holistically beneficial, you go miles more to search for what is best for you.
Freediver and beach lover Daryl Ngo did it with her choice of sunscreen. But apart from finding that best product, she also found a business opportunity in it to serve those who may have the same struggles as hers.
“Sa Sun Bum gyud kay gapangita man gud kog sunscreen nga okay for the coral reefs ba kay kabalo ko usually sunscreens nga naa sa mga stores, naay oxybenzone nga component which is mao tong nagableach sa coral (Sun Bum started when I was looking for sunscreens that are good for the coral reefs because the usual sunscreens in stores contain oxybenzone which caused coral bleaching),” Ngo said. “That time, na afraid ko and nag search ko, wala sa Davao. So that’s why na came upon ko sa Sun Bum (That time, I became afraid and when I searched for it, there is none in the city until I came upon Sun Bum).”
Sun Bum is a California-based brand of summer essentials that are approved by Skin Cancer Foundation and certified to be free from sulfate, paraben, oxybenzone, octinoxate, and gluten – chemicals that may harm the skin and marine life. Their products ranged from sunscreens for adults and babies, after-sun care, and hair care, among others
After contacting the brand, she was referred to an official distributor in Manila until she became the lone sub-distributor in Davao City since 2017. She explained that she can only sell to areas where there is no Sun Bum distributor.
For two years, selling Sun Bum products is her side hustle on top of her 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. marketing job in her family’s hardware items retail business.
She said her main struggle is how to make people fully understand the importance of applying sunscreen whenever indulging in outdoor activities such as swimming in the beach or surfing. She created social media accounts to market its benefits.
“I have to push it and remind people that sunscreens are important because it is the no. 1 cause of aging and skin problems when we get older because of lack of sunscreens in the earlier years,” she said.
She also accompanied the products currently being displayed in Davao City’s Chimes Boutique stores with informational materials such as brochures.
“Daghan people wala kabalo even how to apply sunscreen. Ang makita nako, mag apply sila’g sunscreen before muabak sa boat but ang right is you give it enough time nga maabsorb sa imong skin (There are still a lot of people who do not know how to apply sunscreens. What I observed is they put it before jumping from the boat, but the right way is to give it enough time to be absorbed by the skin.),” she explained.
Her other challenge is that the product is quite costly compared to sunscreens being sold in drugstores. She said it is because of its formulation which is specifically made to protect both the skin and the reefs.
However, those challenges did not drag down her sales.
Her strategy is to be continuously visible in the market.
“Sales are better when I got into Chimes it is already out there sa mall. So as long as there is foot traffic, people see the product, there is a bigger chance that they buy it and people will get to know the product,” she said.
Since she was given possible price ranges, she adjusted the cost to the convenience of her customers.
She added that people’s growing concern for the environment has also become a good opportunity to sell these kinds of products.
“People now are environmentally conscious than years ago. So even me I am willing ko to buy premium or with a higher price for something that is good quality,” she said.
Aside from Sun Bum products which also include lip balms and lotions, she also sells splash-proof pouches of Hawaii-based Aloha Collection. The pouches can be used to contain clothes wet after swimming or sweat-drenched after a workout, among others. She sells them under her social media account, Kalik.
She is also considering entering into beach resorts.
She understood that sunscreens can be seasonal but going to the beach does not necessarily have to be on summers. But as long as you believe in the product you are reselling; you can go miles with it.