Grad's Company Has Supplied More Than 100K Hazmat Suits to Hospitals
FIDM Graduate Sheree Roxas-Chua Gotuaco, a veteran fashion retailer and apparel manufacturer, quickly pivoted her Manila-based company, OmniModa International, to respond to the COVID pandemic in her native Philippines. The founder of the fashion brands Freeway and Ensembles has produced over 100,000 hazmat suits and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as washable face masks and shields to hospitals nationwide.
“We spent the first couple of weeks of the lockdown studying what we could do, what people needed,” she recently told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “The demand quickly shifted to face masks and PPE suits.” Her other brand, Stylist in Pocket (SiP) has built an online site for PPE and other health safety needs such as disinfectants and dispensers, air purifiers, thermal scanners, UV sterilizers, and acrylic dividers. “We repurposed our team and put SiP’s styling business on hold,” she added. “Thus, we were among the first to supply a wide variety of PPE suits to hospitals and other places that needed them.”
According to the Inquirer, Sheree’s family has a long history in garment manufacturing. Her mother started the famed fashion brand 22BC and was a pioneer in bringing designers into ready-to-wear. After studying business at the University of Southern California, she pursued a degree in Fashion Design at FIDM’s Los Angeles campus. In the early 1990s, she founded the brand Ensembles, followed by Freeway, a few years later. In 2017, she launched SiP “to address the fashion needs of non-fashion-savvy Filipinos, an overwhelming majority of the population.”