It all started with a dream. A dream of making a Filipino watch brand patronized by fellow Filipinos globally to bring back our heritage for watchmaking.
This is what Nico Moreno did, from being a collector of watches to the founder of the first Filipino watch brand assembled in the Philippines – Ibarra.
Ibarra is a Filipino brand founded in 2015 by its CEO, Nico Moreno. The name Ibarra came from the famous novel Noli Me Tangere which was written by our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It values sophistication and style but more importantly, it also values substance and heart in its brand and its timepieces.
“I wanted to create a brand that is Filipino, a brand that’s classy… sophisticated and at the same time has substance and heart. So when I was creating the image of the brand, I wanted to call it Ibarra.”
A graduate from De La Salle University with the degree in BS Physics with specialization in Materials Science, Nico is a scientist by training. He had already published two international publications in Physics and spent two years in a multinational company before taking a leap of faith into entrepreneurship.
“My dream is to provide [and] to give back to my parents. And of course, by doing it with my passion, it helps me out more because I love what I’m doing.”
This dream drives Nico to move forward in order to achieve it. Walking through a path of a challenging life, he stood up and became who he is now. He is thriving to achieve even the little victories in his life through his continuous development not only in his business but also in himself.
“I don’t think it’s wise not to see it through. Given that you’re at the darkest portion of the tunnel, you have to move forward to see the light. You can’t [just] turn your back and go back to the other direction.”
He stood up and started to turn every struggle he had into an opportunity. The common struggle of starting entrepreneurs is not knowing the ropes of a business, just like with what Nico experienced when he shifted from being a physicist to an entrepreneur.
“Learning the things that I don’t know is one of my struggles as a businessman.”
What Nico did was to take advantage of each opportunity to gain learning to accomplish more in life. Achieving small victories in his life is what drives him to continuously pursue his dream and move forward. Just like on how Ibarra continues to pave its way in a very competitive industry eventually being recognized by institutions and even the government. Recently, his watches were chosen to become the commemorative gift for the heads of state who attended the ASEAN50 Celebration.
Before Ibarra was featured in the event, President Rodrigo Duterte also endorsed Ibarra in one of his press conferences. It was the brand’s shining moment when the president talked about the Ibarra watch that he was wearing. This was one of Nico’s humble victories which opened more opportunities for Ibarra Watches.
“Although I like the word success, I wouldn’t want to see that I’m already successful because I’m always a work in progress.”
Nico considered ‘mindset’ as the key to become successful. It is the drive to thrive and pursue your goals.
In the end, Nico stresses that with passion and a proper mindset, one can achieve his dream in business no matter what background one may come from. From Physics to business, this is the story of Ibarra’s founder – Nico Moreno.
To know more about Ibarra Watches check their social media at www.facebook.com/ibarrawatches/