OUR STORY

YELENA, pronounced as /yē•li•nä/, didn't just come out of nowhere it was born out of the founders’ love for Study Series by Maria V. Snyder. To quote from the book review of Mhyra:

"She is strong, matured, sensible and smart."

Read the full review here.

 

THE BRAND

Yelena aims to be a lifestyle brand not just for Maranaos but for Muslimahs all over the Philippines. We aim to offer a one-stop shop from clothing to hijabs, accessories, bags, makeup and skincare items, among others. We commit to providing high-quality products we can get from wherever our happy feet take us.

 

HOW IT STARTED
One hot summer day sometimes on April 2018, while the founders were having their usual morning cup of coffee and daydreaming of their next country to visit, a business idea suddenly popped into their minds. It wasn’t something new nor something unique—many travelers have been doing it and as wanderlusts themselves, they thought of doing it too because, why not? Besides, most of their friends always ask for pasabuys on their travels abroad. 

They started with the inspiration of making an outlet where they can share with others the products they can get from every country they visit. At that time, their planned trips (together or not) were already of a good list— Anna had Bali, Malaysia, Dubai, and Hong Kong whereas Mhyra had Malaysia, Singapore, Maldives, Vietnam, South Korea on her list.

And so, on Anna’s trip to Bali, she bought Rattan Bags just enough to take the risk. Alhamdulillah and MashaAllah, that bold move turned into confidence when less than 24 hours, all bags were sold out.

The overwhelming result of their first collection poked their impulses and off they went to a flight to Jakarta, Indonesia for their second collection, a preparation for the Ramadhan. Likewise, it was as successful as the first. They also brought products from Malaysia and Hong Kong on their respective trips.

On December 2018, they were able to showcase their products on a one-month Bazaar in Greenhills, San Juan City. Alhamdulillah, it turned out positive as well.

After a four-month hiatus mainly to focus on personal affairs, they travelled again just in time for their 1st Anniversary. Ups and downs are inevitable for starters but along the way, they are learning more and more every day. 

 

MEET THE WOMEN BEHIND YELENA

MHYRA AWAR
Yelena's Photographer, Graphic Designer, Video Editor, and Web Designer

Mhyra graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration Major in Finance from Xavier University and a Bachelor's Degree in Accountancy from Pilgrim Christian College. She was working as an Accountant/Consultant in Tokyo Consulting Firm when she decided to venture on an online business. Currently, she is working as an Auditor in Commission on Audit while co-managing Yelena.

 

ANNA LAO
Yelena's Director, Stylist, Sales and Inventory Manager, Marketer

Anna is a graduate of Xavier University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Language and Literature. She was previously an Executive Assistant in a government office before she enrolled again to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer. She came from a family of entrepreneurs, thus, it is no surprise that she follows their entrepreneurial spirit while juggling academics and running a business.

 

Good friends since 2008 and became "Besties" on their college days in XU, here are some of the things they have in common:

  • Both love to read—this is how they came out of the brand YELENA. They love the fictional heroine of a series by Maria V. Snyder.
  • Both love to travel, spontaneously or not. They can both be very detailed on their itinerary or be impulsive in buying flight tickets, going on road trips or bus rides to anywhere.
  • Both Foodies­—their respective weights can attest to that. Haha! They are both willing to travel far just to EAT and on their trips abroad, the usual checklist they have is “Must Try Food/Restaurants”. And they both go for anything spicy, always.
  • Both love sunrise. They can go an extra mile just to watch and chase the sunrise.
  • Both are generous when it comes to pasalubongs. 
  • Both are hot-tempered. Astaghfirullah. We are working on it, Bellas!

 

THANK YOU

With high hopes of continuous support, we thank our families and friends for encouraging and believing in us. Of course, a never-ending thank you also goes for our Bellas— we will not make this far, we will not be as eager and passionate as now, and we will not strive hard to improve without your belief and support.

 

With Love,
Yelena
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