Asian Owned Business and Organization Campaign: Gian Celario

Written by: Sarah Chase

1. You mentioned struggling to find what you wanted to do in the future, so what advice would you give to anyone who is struggling to decide their future?

It takes time. It’s not weird that you don’t know what to do with your life yet. There’s so many different opportunities, so of course it’s going to be stressful! Who cares if someone else knows what their plans are already. Everyone moves at their own paste! But when you get there, make sure that what you’re doing is something you actually love and are passionate about. Don’t do something that you’ll regret doing in the future. Do you!

2. What interests you the most about graphic design and art?

As a child, I was always drawing. My parents would enter me in drawing contests and I would always win! I took all the art classes in high school and I was always animating and editing videos as a side hobby after school. Graphic design or art in general is amazing! I heavily believe that art is always going to be a part of our lives. Why? Because art is everywhere! If you look in your room, someone designed the bed you’re laying on, someone drew that poster in your closet door. If you go to a restaurant, the logo on their cups was designed and created by someone! Art is amazing, and they’re all different too!

3. What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

My favorite item in my shop is “Feeling Buttery?” It takes a lot of time and patience to make those earrings but the end result is always satisfying. It’s also one of my popular items in my shop and I can see why! It’s fully customizable, so my customers can choose any color they want! When I first made them, I absolutely fell in love. It’s also one of the first earrings I ever made, and I get a lot of compliments from customers too when I wear them to work!

4. What are your future plans for your business?

I plan to launch more jewelry for my brand. And once that becomes successful, I’ll sell merchandise like tote bags, shirts or hoodies! I also plan to make my packaging more eco- friendly. Due to my budget, I can’t really afford to go eco friendly which breaks my heart. But I will definitely get there one step at a time! I’m also planning to open another shop once “Yammies” starts taking off. I don’t know what I’ll be selling, but once I’m there, I know I’ll love it.

5. How do you balance school and running your business?

It’s a rollercoaster. Some days I find myself stressing out because I missed an assignment due to me putting all my energy on my work or my business. Or I’m getting way too overworked at my job that I don’t have time for either my business or my school. So it stresses me out. But thanks to my lovely boyfriend, Carson. He gave me advice on how to schedule my week better. So now, at the start of the week, I map out what I have to get done throughout the week and what days I can work on my business, school and what days I have to go to work. My life has been very well organized ever since and it’s all thanks to this weekly calendar . So if you guys ever feel as if your week is all over the place, I highly recommend printing out a weekly schedule template on google.

6. How long does it take for you to make your designs and your products?

It depends. It can go as long as 2 minutes to 35 minutes, depending on the product. I remember creating 3 resin products for a customer and it took me HOURS to make. I was getting frustrated because I kept messing up, but whenever I see the end result, it was always worth the hours.

7. What have you learned since starting your shop?

That it’s really difficult to run your own business. I always knew that I wanted to become my own boss. I hated the idea of being told what to do and the thought of having others be in charge of me. But in order to become that, I have to work extra extra hard to achieve that goal. I don’t have a business degree and I’m also an art major. I can use my creative side to think of logos, designs and other creative ideas for my brand but I have no knowledge of finances or how to run a business. So I basically had to step out of my comfort zone and educate myself on something foreign to me! And it’s not easy.

8. How did you come up with the name of your shop and what is the meaning behind it?

Well, I grew up in the Philippines with my mom while my dad was away working at the States. As a child, I loved eating sweets. I would ask my mom for candy but she was always a health fanatic so instead of buying my brother and I some candy she would instead buy sweet yams and boil them for us! Just a little sprinkle of sugar and yam was the perfect combination. So one day, I was thinking of ways I can name my brand. I wanted a name to tell my customers that they’re sweet! So I was thinking of names like “ cupcake” , “lollipop” or the word “ sweet” but those words are honestly well overused and I wanted to stand out. So I thought about my childhood and remembered the sweet potatoes! And that’s where the name “Yammies“ and our slogan “ be the sweetest potato” came from.

9. You mentioned when you started your shop, your family, friends, and boyfriend were all so proud. How has their support inspired you and kept you going!

It’s pretty hard to keep on going. Especially when I have those days where I get no sales for weeks and I’m practically losing money instead of gaining it. But when I have people that supports me, like how they do, it keeps me going. And if I ever feel like I’m falling behind on my work, they would keep me in check and they would tell me if I’m ever falling behind. So having that support system always motivates me to work harder. Especially when they believe that I can be successful!

10. What tips would you give other small business owners?

Keep working hard. I know that it’ll be worth it at the end. As long as we love and enjoy what we’re doing, people are going to see that! And it will definitely pay off at the end, I’m sure of it. So let’s all grow and work hard together. Let’s keep chasing our dreams. And be the best person you can be!

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