Archives for September 2013

Mompreneur Karen Umali of Vida Bows Hair Accessories Creations

There seems to be a lot of mompreneurs nowadays who have been delving into the hair bow and accessories business. I recently came across Mompreneur Karen Umali, Proprietor of Vida Bows Hair Accessories Creations. Here is her story…

About Mompreneur Karen Umali

My name is Karen Umali, happily married to Ariel Umali for 3 years now and a mother to only child Asia Kariele. I’m 30 years old and currently working as a Sales Administration Officer for one of the Paint Manufacturing firms here in the Philippines. I am also the proprietor of Vida Bows Hair Accessories Creations. I am a self-confessed kikay mom and I love dressing up my beloved daughter. Creating hair accessories is really my passion and my hobby for over a year. A month ago, I have turned this hobby into something profitable. In my life, I want to achieve more, aside from having a happy family and a stable job. I also want something I can call my own, and I believe that this would be my business, Vida Bows.

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Every single detail of the business, from the simplest thing to the biggest effort, is proudly my own doing. But of course, I have to give credit also to those people who supported me and trusted my abilities. Everything becomes possible because of our dear Creator, God. He molds me to what I am now and makes all these possible. I am grateful to my dear husband, who never fails to give me all the strength and encouragement I need. I also thank my beloved Kariele — my inspiration, my highest source of enthusiasm. I also thank my mother who gives me advise and recommendations for the improvement of every piece that I make. To a friend whose also in this industry, thank you for giving me facts about the industry I have entered. Thank you to friends and relatives who started to purchased my creations until other non-relatives and non-friends patronized my work. I have just started but I’m doing all that I can to improve everything that Vida Bows can offer you. I believe that all well known mompreneurs, as well as established entrepreneurs, started from being a neophyte, but what matters is that “it doesn’t just end there”; every day is a “working” day for challenges, improvements and success.

Here is my interview with Mompreneur Karen, Proprietor of Vida Bows Hair Accessories Creations

Ginger: What is your brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?
Karen: My brand is VIDA BOWS Hair Accessories Creations. I create hair accessories, hair bows and elegant head pieces made especially of little girls, and women of all ages. I started advertising Vida Bows online just about a month ago (August 2013).

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Ginger: Who is your market?
Karen: Vida Bows’ market are moms who love to dress and make their little girls fashionable. These are moms whose vice is creating new looks for their daughter as if the latter had a fashion show everyday.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Karen: Since I was blessed with a lovely daughter, I got hooked to ordering bows and hair accessories for her. Aside from the mall finds, I also ordered online and I was buying in bulk, not only single pieces. I made sure that every outfit of my child had matching shoes and hair accessories based on colors and designs. One supplier of raw materials had a product that had caught my attention and it was a starter kit for creating your own hair accessories, so I ordered and tried doing some pieces. Ever since, I have been searching online for a lot of tutorials and know-hows.

Vida Bows

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a Mompreneur? What are these?
Karen: Yes, there are a lot of competitors; most are already established. After posting my designs on social networking sites, some liked my designs but they didn’t take interest on placing orders. I felt disheartened and I kept asking myself Is it right to pursue this? and What was I doing wrong?  I almost lost hope. But my husband, my number 1 fan, gave me encouraging words and suggestions. After a week, I re-invented my pieces, did more fabulous pieces and posted them so that they looked really interesting, and during that week, in God’s grace, an order was made.

Vide Bows 2

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a Mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Karen: I always went by these rules from way back from my formal education, that if you are about to start a business it should be where your interest is. It should be with what you are passionate about to make you feel as if it were not work. So that when everything goes wrong, you would not lose hope, but instead fight and succeed on what you have started.

I think it is an important trait to be enthusiastic and have that drive that pushes you to improve the product and your selling ability, as well. Be courteous, in dealing with other people whether their regular clients already or even those who are prospective clients. But most of all, in everything you have started, always ask for God’s help, to mold us and guide us through.

Vida Bows in Green and Yellow

Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Karen: My unforgettable moment as a Mompreneur, is when my 23rd month old baby held one of my creations and said “mommy, pretty”. Coming from my beloved daughter, that was the best compliment I have ever received.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Karen: All the mompreneurs have only one goal, to give and dedicate everything to our child / children, so always remember especially during uneasy / busy days, always put the family on top of the priority. It doesn’t mean that you need to disregard the demands of clients. Time management is the best way to attend to both responsibilities.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Karen! 🙂 We learned so much from you today. Wishing you more success!

Vide Bows Contact Information:

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/vida.bows.9 www.facebook.com/vidabows
Email address: vidabows@yahoo.com
Mobile Number: 09228634299

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How To Care for your Baby’s Teeth

Baby Z already turned 6 months and I am truly excited for this ‘month’ birthday since we will start giving her food! Yipee!

Look at this cute little girl! The doctor mentioned to that we can start with organic brown rice cereal.
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But that’s a different story. Today, I’ll be sharing with you some of the tips that I read on caring for your baby’s teeth. Being one of the Lotte Xylitol Gum Brand Believers made me more conscious about caring for my baby’s teeth. I have been researching and reading about baby’s teeth and how I can truly care for them.

Some of the questions in my mind now are when to bring Baby Z to the dentist and how to clean her teeth? I’m pretty sure that anytime soon, she’ll be growing her first tooth. When we went to the doctor to have her check up, the pediatrician already told us that her two front lower teeth were about to come out. I’m so excited to see her teeth. Although, I know that these times will be quite annoying for Baby Z. She has been biting everything and producing extra saliva. When we were in Subic, she loved chewing on Lotte Xylitol Gum…the bottle that is (not the actual gum)!

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Now with all the reading and research, I found some interesting articles that answered my question, one of which is this video. Here’s an informative video that I found posted on Babycenter.com: How to care for your baby’s teeth and gums

Most of the sites that I visited suggests that you go to the dentist once you see a tooth popping out from your baby’s gums. You don’t have to go right away, BUT just make sure that you visit on or before your baby turns 1 year old. I read from www.webmd.com that if your child is not bottle fed anymore and is cup feeding and doesn’t drink in the middle of the night, you can skip going to the dentist until your child is two years old. Is this true? Have any of you heard about this before? Once the child reaches 2 years old, then that’s the time you visit the dentist every 6 months until adulthood. It also says that for children ages 4 and 6, dentists usually take the the first set of X-rays to check for cavities between the teeth (ooooh! That reminds me of a toothpaste commercial).

But then again, as I mentioned in my previous post about cavities and tooth decay, babies can already have tooth decay at the age of 9 months: http://mommyginger.com/2013/08/facts-caring-for-your-childs-teeth-infographics.html This is the fact that I am worried about. When Baby Z starts to eat, remnants of food and milk can get caught in the mouth and in between their teeth, thus causing tooth decay.

Hmmm… what other information did I read about? I also didn’t know that there are really pediatric dentists and they are different from the dentists that we go to as adults. But I think, just as long as they know how to deal with young children, then it’s okay to bring them to a regular dentist (but that’s just my opinion). If you feel safer with a pediatric dentist, here is a site of the Pediatric Dentristry Philippines and the Pediatric Dentristry Center Philippines.

For those wondering about when to start cleaning the babies mouth, gums and teeth, I asked my cousin pediatrician and she said that it is good to start as early as 3 months. You can start cleaning your child’s gums with a soft cloth or an infant toothbrush (the one that looks like a huge thimble). For toothpaste, you can use it as soon as you see teeth. You can brush her/his teeth twice daily using toothpaste with fluoride. Just place a smudge of toothpaste on the toothbrush (around half a pea for children less than 2 years old). For the children from 2 to around 5 year old, you an already increase it to a pea-size amount of toothpaste. Be sure that your toddler spits out the excess toothpaste after brushing. Also, be sure to assist your child in brushing since they still don’t know how to go about doing it by themselves.

Also, another thing to do is try to avoid using the utensils of your baby. I know that sometimes, especially when we want to test if the food is hot, we use baby’s spoon and then blow on it. This should never be done, because the bacteria from our mouth can be transmitted through the utensils or food to baby’s mouth. So we, ourselves, should be careful and avoid tooth decay and cavities.

For us, aside from brushing, gargling, flossing and going to the dentist, we can chew on two gums of Lotte Xylitol Gum at least 4 times a day to keep our teeth free from cavities. For those who haven’t read the infographics that I created explaining Xylitol and the benefits, here it is:
http://mommyginger.com/2013/08/facts-caring-for-your-childs-teeth-infographics.html

I hope my tips helped you answer your questions on how to care for your baby’s teeth. On my next post, I will tell you more about the Make It Zero Campaign of Lotte Xylitol Gum.

Mommy Ginger is very proud to be part of the Make it Zero campaign. For more information, please visit LotteXylitolGum.com.

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1st Baby Expo PH 2013 in SMX Manila

Manila – The country’s leading convention center, SMX Manila partners with MediaCom Solutions Inc. to host the 1ST BABY EXPO PHILIPPINES 2013 – Welcoming Life, Love and Care, to be held on December 06-08, 2013.

BABY EXPO PHILIPPINES 2013 is the country’s biggest family expo dedicated to nurture family development and child care with over 200 participating brands and over 10,000 expected visitors. This three-day event will cover the stages of family growth from maternity, newborns, toddlers to early childhood and is co-presented by Cordlife, Asia Pacific’s largest network of private cord blood banks.

With 200 babies being born in the Philippines every hour and an average of 3 births per woman, the Philippines have the highest fertility rate in East Asia. The partnership launches the opportunity to provide a suitable and nurturing environment for parents, families, relatives and friends to learn the newest trends from the country’s experts, with talks on pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting, child care, nutrition, family development and even yaya training sessions, explore from a wide variety of exciting baby and family related products and services, from baby apparel, skin care, baby essentials to family security, healthcare and education.

“It is our privilege to hold the 1ST BABY EXPO Philippines 2013 at the country’s leading convention center, SMX Manila, where our sponsors, exhibitors and visitors can be ideally accommodated.” says David Abrenilla, MediaCom Solutions Inc. president and BABY EXPO Philippines founder.

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From L-R: SMX National Sales Director, Charry Casabar; MediaCom Solutions Inc. CEO and Baby Expo Philippines 2013 founder, David Abrenilla, and SMX Asst. VP of Sales and Marketing, Marivic Marquez

Parents, families as well as relatives and friends will be able to avail of exclusive discounts up to 80% from participating brands like Bosom Buddy, Mamy Poko, Mustela, Bambino, Enfant, Numa, and many more. The whole family can enjoy and participate in exciting activities like the Sayaw Baby and the Baby Olympics, happening on the second day while mommies can get pampered for free at the Mommy Makeover station.

Highlights of the program are the Baby Fashion Weekend featuring maternity wear, kids and parent fashion show, the “Sandie Awards” which will recognize outstanding celebrity families and entrepreneurs through the Golden Family Awards and ParentPreneur Awards, as well as the crowning of the #BibongBaby of the year.

To be a part of this fun filled family event, call +632.843.2174 or email info@babyexpo.ph

Stay informed and get current updates by visiting www.babyexpo.ph, liking the Baby Expo Facebook page www.facebook.com/babyexpoPH or follow www.twitter.com/babyexpoPH

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The Silver Lining

I’m sorry for not being able to come up with new posts for almost a week now. It’s because I had Dengue. For Filipinos, having this dreaded virus seems so ordinary already (since everyone seems to be getting it). And with a lot of people acquiring this virus, the medical staff in St. Lukes Bonifacio Global City, seems well versed and trained in handling patients with this virus. I was confined for almost a week and during my stay, there were 10 other patients scattered in two other floors who had the same virus.

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Well, what got me worried was not really the condition I was in, but more of how to sustain feeding my baby with breastmilk and how to maintain my milk supply. My baby is still at six months (she just turned 6 months yesterday) and i’m exclusively breastfeeding her. I had high fever and I only agreed to be confined 4 days after, because I didn’t want to leave my baby at home. I finally gave up and had myself confined when my platelet count was below normal.

With a temperature of 39 degrees celsius, I was still directly breastfeeding my baby and having her latch on to me. Those who are breastfeeding would know why I was acting the way I was. Maintaining a good supply of breastmilk is one huge feat for some moms (like me). To maintain my supply, I need to directly feed Baby Z often and express milk religiously. So with this, my main worry during that time was not having enough milk for my baby.

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Then amazingly, people started sending in breast milk donations. I was too shy at first to ask my friends, but had no choice since baby Z finished all of my stored milk and the milk that I was expressing (my supply) was decreasing and wasn’t enough to feed Baby Z. After the donations from friends came in, I then had more than enough to feed Baby Z during the days I was in the hospital.

One of the things that I realized during the time I was sick is that there are a lot of people who are willing to lend a hand and these people may be the ones whom you may not always be in touch with. They may be friends whom you haven’t seen for a long time or even acquaintances whom you only get to see and talk to on social media.

A lot of people were also giving great advice on what to take and what to do so that I would recover faster. People were sending me Tawa Tawa (herbal plant) and Dr. Gerry’s coco nectar to help increase my platelet count and to help strengthen my immune system. By the way, these remedies, although not yet scientifically proven, have got my vote. I think these really helped me a lot!

There were a lot of concerned people sending prayers and tips, and to all of these people, I am really grateful and thankful.

During these times, I was also nominated as one of the finalists for the mompreneur awards for this year under the social entrepreneurship and advocacy category. CLICK HERE to VOTE! Although, I didn’t get to campaign as much, the mere fact that people saw that Manila Workshops was something that helped people achieve their personal and professional goals in life, was enough for me. It was something that confirmed that I was doing something right and good. People were voting for me and to these people, I send my thanks! It’s such a nice feeling to be a part of this list of mompreneurs (some are actually people whom I consider to be my ‘idols’).

This was the silver lining that I saw during these low times for me. My heart was filled with amazement, gratitude and love for every single one of you — family and friends.

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