Behind the Business: Braving the Pandemic

Una Ricci, a local company, founded by Nina Malinao Eleazar (Nina Ricci) in a leap of faith entered into a joint-venture agreement with writer/editor-turned-entrepreneur Margaux Salazar, whose heart remained in operating a physical retail store despite the onset of the pandemic.


Margaux, who operated Tryst Studio for 2 years turned to financing the store’s European inventory during its second year, thought it be best to remain open and brave the pandemic--but had to be with someone who could step into the financial crisis the store was facing without any buyout or purchase of shares. This made every living entrepreneur think, really think out of the box just to survive.


Our scenario: Margaux had an existing European inventory on hand and a physical store that was left on her shoulders to close shop at the end of the month--with only less than a month to solve the situation, if she wanted to recoup her investment on the European goods. A very familiar story when Covid-19 entered our lives. Nina Ricci, whose consigned goods were the only items moving in store, was whom Margaux thought of as her one and only option. It was just with one phone call and in an hour or so, Nina Ricci accepted the challenge of operating a physical store bringing in Una Ricci goods and its concept into the existing space and be financially ready as Nina Ricci had to take in the full responsibility committed to some if not all previous store’s offshore suppliers. Una Ricci remains a local brand delving into operating a physical store with a one-of-a-kind concept and having 3 product lines under one umbrella, namely its own trading and retail name Una Ricci for anything fashion and lifestyle; expanding to Una Ricci Home Cafe, wherein you’ll find a lot of special items from food to home decor, tableware, and kitchenware; and lastly, its Covid-protective essentials and other eco-friendly products under protectPH.


Margaux Salazar, whose years of writing for fashion and lifestyle magazine Sense&Style, under the tutelage of Manila Bulletin’s AA Patawaran, earned herself a network which had proven to be a big help in supporting the company during the most challenging time. With Nina Ricci’s business sense and attention to detail, managing a business on a daily basis from afar was especially challenging but doable as everything had been based on trust with Margaux (who’s operating the physical store). It would have been physically impossible for Nina Ricci to operate a store with Una Ricci’s day-to-day operations on top, so venturing into a physical store with a fellow entrepreneur is truly divine providence.


This is our story, in the midst of Covid wherein we are continuing to strive and do our best to remain operational, having an offline store in this out-of-the-box business set-up where respect, trust, and perseverance matter the most. But most of all, even with all our plans and everyday efforts, without God in the center of our lives, we will never prevail. We will never have any of these blessings, in which we find ourselves in awe of His guidance and provisions on a daily basis. We are proud and blessed to be sharing our story. To date, Una Ricci has also received three lease offers from different malls in the metro, opening doors and opportunities for our further expansion. But again, none of this would be possible without God’s grace.


We will keep you all updated on our plans but truly, trust knows no bounds--Una Ricci as a company entering into a joint venture agreement with an entrepreneur in operating a physical store is really something you should look into now. It’s time to change our mindsets and welcome change with Him being in the very center of every decision, praising Him for every time we win or lose, and when the latter happens, it only means He has better plans ahead. We have been fighting an everyday battle, but we are not stopping. There is no fear for the unknown with God in our midst. All this we do to glorify His Name.

Yours Truly,

Nina Ricci Eleazar                               Margaux Salazar

PRESIDENT                                         ENTREPRENEUR

Una Ricci