The Resilient Entrepreneur: Walter Coroza’s Journey from Risk-Taker to Footwear Manufacturer

In the picturesque town of Liliw, Laguna risk is woven into the fabric of entrepreneurship. It takes bravery, guts, and determination to thrive in an industry where uncertainties lurk around every corner. For Walter Coroza, owner of Grinter Footwear Manufacturing, risk is not just a word but a way of life. Born and raised in Liliw, he defied convention and chose a different path, setting out on a slipper-making journey that would transform his life forever.

“Umpisahan mo ang negosyo, hindi natin malalaman kung para sa atin ba ang negosyo kung susukuan agad. Maraming struggles, challenges pero dapat may pangarap ka para yun ang maging gasolina mo para maabot ang pangarap…kung gusto mo lumaki ang kita dapat dagdagan mo ang effort mo 

Hailing from a family with a slipper manufacturing background, Walter’s fascination with the trade began at a young age. He honed his skills while assisting in his siblings’ slipper shop, mastering the art of making heels. Despite this early exposure, fate led him to explore other avenues, including managing a school canteen and venturing into the world of food supplement networking.

But Walter’s entrepreneurial spirit knew no bounds. Undeterred by initial setbacks, he co-founded a gym in 2016, only to face its closure a year later due to maintenance issues. At the same time, his brother’s heel manufacturing shop, affectionately known as Bansuhan, met a similar fate. Determined to carry on the family legacy, Walter took a calculated risk and resurrected his brother’s shop, rebranding it as Grinter Footwear in 2017.

Embracing every opportunity for growth, Walter actively sought guidance from the Department of Trade and Industry Laguna Provincial Office (DTI Laguna). Participating in business coaching sessions, he learned essential skills in basic pricing and costing, which proved instrumental in propelling his business forward.

As with all entrepreneurs, Walter encountered obstacles, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite clients reneging on orders and shifting market trends, he persevered, refusing to let challenges impede his progress. Operating with limited equipment and a lone employee, production capacity was constrained to a mere 1,200 to 1,500 pairs of heels per week.

In 2021, Walter’s dedication caught the attention of the Business Counselor from DTI Laguna’s Negosyo Center Liliw, leading to an invitation to participate in a consultative meeting aimed at supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises. Through the Shared Service Facility program, a partnership between DTI Laguna and the Local Government Unit of Liliw, Walter was granted access to two much-needed bandsaws, significantly boosting his production capacity.

Empowered by this new equipment, Walter’s business took off like never before. He now churns out an impressive 5,000 pairs of heels and 2,000 pairs of slippers, all the while providing employment opportunities for the locals, including his own relatives. The success of his venture extends beyond footwear manufacturing, as he now sells materials to other slipper makers in Liliw.

Looking to broaden his reach, Walter plans to expand beyond his retail trade area and participate in trade fairs organized by DTI Laguna. Through these ventures, he aims to gain greater visibility and exposure for his products and materials.

Walter Coroza epitomizes the quintessential risk-taker, one who seizes opportunities without hesitation, knowing that time and tide wait for no one. His journey from humble beginnings to a thriving footwear manufacturer showcases the rewards that await those who dare to embrace risk and turn it into sweet success. In the entrepreneurial haven of Liliw, Walter’s story stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit that propels individuals to new heights, one daring step at a time.

Contact them at:

https://www.facebook.com/grinterfootwear/

+63 917 106 4975

[email protected]

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