Archives for July 2017

Learning about Seaweed and My Natural PH

This month for me has been knowing more about skincare and the different ingredients that I should look for or watch out for. There is a plethora of products that you can choose from in the market, and the challenge really for retailers now is how do I stand out and what will make me unique and different. Looking at different skin care products from Korea and Japan, you would notice that they make use of quite interesting products like snail, lava, horse oil, orange, grapes, and even “unicorn tears” (I wonder how they got that! haha!). Then I got myself looking at Filipino made products, too (of course!) and one brand caught my attention, and that was My Natural PH. They make use of Seaweed.

I wanted to know more about the whats, hows and whys of My Natural. This is why I interviewed, Marina, one of the co-owners of My Natural PH.

Mommy Ginger and Marina Morada

About The Moradas

Marina is the daughter of Noel Morada, who started the business. Noel is a UP Alumnus and has an MBA in Marketing and Finance. He is a graduate of Business Administration and is a businessman who has been in the seaweeds industry for more than 20 years.

Marina is an IMC Graduate from UA&P (yeeeeah! same school and course as me!). She is also a graduate of Masters of Applied Business Economics. EJ Morada is the younger brother who helps in the business. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila University (Business Management).

Interview with Marina of My Natural PH:

Ginger: Hi Marina! It’s great to meet you. Can you tell everyone what My Natural is about and how long have you been in business?

Marina: We’ve been in the seaweeds business for more than 20 years but our personal care line  made out of seaweeds was only launched June this year after 2 years of research and product development.

Mr. Noel Morada with the the country’s seaweed experts

 This new venture is all about providing SAFE, HEALTHY, and EFFECTIVE natural products.  It stems from our belief that having a healthy lifestyle does not stop with developing healthy habits and eating healthy foods but should also include the use of different products for personal  care, home care and air care which are natural and environment friendly. Consumers need such products that will help them sustain a healthy lifestyle. This is the need that we wish to address through MyNatural products.  

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Marina: Our product line generally caters to the health- conscious natural advocates who keep on finding ways on how they could maintain a healthy lifestyle. They have personal preference over natural products knowing its benefits.  

We have 3 brands and each have distinctly identifies the type of consumers to address their needs.

 

Algynatural: For the regular consumer who wish to have the benefits of seaweeds and natural personal care products which they could sustain for their everyday needs.

Ocean Blue: For the ultra- sensitive skin consumers who are looking for natural, safe, and effective solutions that could help them manage skin conditions.

MyNatureland: For every homemaker that wishes to keep every corner of her home naturally fresh and clean without using harmful chemicals.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Marina: Being in the seaweeds industry for several years, we have attended International conferences and exhibits and learned the benefits of seaweeds for skin care and other personal care needs. These are evidenced by numerous scientific studies, presentations and research papers by experts in the fields. More than this is our ardent desire to promote sustainable healthy lifestyle through products that help consumers take care of themselves as well as the environment. Last of course is our determination to provide more livelihood and continuously build self-sustaining and sustainable communities.

Before embarking on this business though, to be viable we asked ourselves 3 basic questions:

– Is there a market for the product?
– Do we have the resources ( capital, human, raw materials, etc.) to be in this business?
– Do we have the competitive advantage?

Ginger:  Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Marina: Oh A lot. Putting up a business is always a challenge. But as an entrepreneur, you got to have the grit. You have to be tough – psychologically,  physically, and emotionally, you have to have  the capacity to find solutions to complex problems,  the ability to see the opportunities and potentials of future products to fulfill human needs, the steadfastness to pursue your dreams and strong faith in yourself and God of course.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business?

Marina: Getting the right product that will address the need of the market. This is the product development stage where you really spend a lot of time, resources and human talent to be able to get a perfect product as much as possible. Then you have the challenge of getting your product to the market. Identifying the right market and communicating to them. How is your product relevant to your market?  What are the right channels to reach your market?  What marketing mix shall you use…  Then you have the logistics side of it so that products get to the customer in a seamless and faster way.  Finding customer expectation and fulfilling them is huge challenge for entrepreneurs. Getting the needed resources is likewise a challenge. 

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a Start-up Founder/Entrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

  1. The passion to succeed no matter what the odds (grit)
  2. Eagerness to learn to keep up with the changing times.
  3. Perseverance / Hardwork

Ginger: Do you have any unforgettable moments or  lessons that you learned as an Start-up Founder/Entrepreneur?

Marina: Think ahead. As an entrepreneur you should always be forward looking. Your decision today may no longer be applicable tomorrow so you should be always have plan B and C.

Learning is a continuous process.

There is an opportunity that lies for every problem. You just have to identify it.

Of course, never give up!

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Start-up Founders/Entrepreneurs?

Marina: Equip yourself with the right tools and mindset before starting a business. Learn from the mistakes of others. Always put your customers first (know and understand your market ) they are the lifeblood of any business. Never stop learning.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Marina: Everyone has the opportunity but only few succeed. The general ratio they say is 1:10; that means only 1 out of ten succeeds. Being an entrepreneur is a conscious decision that you make to achieve a higher purpose ( change lives, create positive impact, etc) . It’s a commitment you should be willing to make to yourself and to your stakeholders (partners, consumers, investors, suppliers, etc).

Ginger: What is your belief about raising capital? What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Marina: Generally the source of initial capital are personal savings then additional capital from relatives and friends. The formal channels of raising capital like banks, venture capital and other financial intermediaries or institutions and eventually the equity market, come in only in the growth stage  of the business. So raising capital during the start up stage of the business is always challenge.

Ginger: How do you market your products?

Marina: Right now our products can be purchased online through our own website and other online shopping sites like Beauty MNL.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Marina: On line marketing tools and apps. ( Facebook, Instagram, e- store). Automation of the accounting, financial, inventory and customer base.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Marina, for spending time with me! I learned a lot about seaweeds, its benefits and of course, a lot about starting a business!

Contact information about your business:

Website:  www.mynatural.company
Email address: sales@mynatural.company
Mobile Number: 0917 132 1977 OR 0920 977 1977
Facebook Page : MyNaturalPH
Instagram account: @MyNaturalPH

Magnolia Chicken for the Roasted Chicken that I love! #PambansangManok

I love chicken! 🙂 I’m always looking for delicious chicken to bring home, and what I normally buy is whole roasted chicken that I ask them to chop. I take what I can eat for my meal then keep the rest inside the fridge to eat for the next meal. I can tell you where the best roasted chicken are, but then recently, I realised that I can’t assure my family that the cooked chicken that I purchase is fresh. So being the main decision maker and the “queen” of the household, I decided to just buy raw chicken and just cook it at home.

I buy Magnolia chicken, because the chicken that I buy from them is always fresh. The Magnolia chicken are raised in stress free environments, with Omega 3, free from antibiotic residue, and free from hormones and steroids. I also love that Magnolia has spearheaded a monumental campaign empowering Mom’s all over to choose only the best, and freshest, when it comes to serving the family – because when you have the power to choose, why settle for anything less than the best? From now on, I am choosing what’s best for y family!

Like the queens of Philippine pageant history and the country’s pride – Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 69’, Margie Moran, Miss Universe ’73, and, Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 15’, we can all choose what’s best for our families.

Since I love roasted chicken, I’m sharing the best marinades that I have seen on the internet:

https://addapinch.com/best-grilled-chicken-marinade-recipe/

http://www.marthastewart.com/1144303/delicious-chicken-marinade-recipes-upgrade-dinner

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/mustard-lemon-rosemary-roast-chicken/1f1b779e-0881-46dd-a8bf-315ced8d5ecb

Do you have other roasted chicken recipes that you’d love to share! Share it using #PambansangManok. Choose the best ingredients for your family. Choose Magnolia, ang #PambansangManok.

For more updates on Magnolia Chicken, check out these pages:
IG: @Magnoliacsph
Twitter: @Magnoliacsph
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MagnoliaChickenStationPhilippines/

Beauty and the Beast from REP Theater (Yey!!!)

When I was a child, I loved going to plays and musicals. I loved collecting different playbills. I loved to read, so I was amazed at how they can bring all of these stories to life. Being a stage performer is one of the my frustrations! haha!

I’d love my daughter to experience these plays and witness the amazing talented performers that we have in the Philippines. What better way to introduce her to plays, but to start with a story that she already knows. We all love Beauty and the Beast, right moms? I’m so excited to share with you that REP is bringing this magical and timeless fairytale to life at Onstage, Greenbelt 1 from August 12 to December 14!

REP’s staging of Beauty and the Beast is this year’s production of the REP Theater for Young Audiences, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Cara Barredo, Alana Vincente, Jill Ita-as, and Maya Encila are set to play Beauty, while Arnel Carrion, Jos Jalbuena, Hans Eckstein, and George Schultz will be portraying the Beast.

Alana Vicente

Arnel Carrion

Cara Barredo

Han Eckstein

Jillian Ita-as

Jos Jalbuena

I can’t wait how REP Theater will tell the tale of a loving father who wanders into an enchanted garden as he takes shelter from a storm. Since he promised his daughter Belle (Beauty), the youngest of his three daughters, that he would bring her home a rose, he decides to pick one, unknowingly angering the Beast who owns the garden. As punishment for the “crime” that he committed, the Beast demands that Beauty live with him in his castle in exchange for her father’s freedom. Little does Beauty know that her captor is under a spell that can only be broken by true love.

Don’t miss this spellbinding show directed by REP’s Artistic Director and founder of REP Theater for Young Audiences Joy Virata, with book written by Peter de Valle and John Ahearn, music by Michael Valenti, and lyrics by Elsa Rael.

Seats are sure to go fast, so book yours right away! Purchase your tickets by calling REP at 843 3570 or Ticketworld at 891 9999, or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph.

For updates and show schedules, log on to www.repertoryphilippines.ph, like and follow repertoryphilippines on Facebook and Instagram, and follow @repphils on Twitter.

Choosing the Right Diapers and Pampers Premium Care

I always thought that all diapers were one and the same — a diaper is a diaper is a diaper. This was what I thought until I researched and found out why Pampers Premium Care stands out. We all know that our consideration as a mom in choosing diapers should be one that keeps our babies healthy and happy! If they wake up in the middle of the night, several times (even if you already fed them), it “may” be because they are not comfortable with the “nappy” that they are wearing.

Here are the things that I found out about Pampers Premium Care that was so shockingly amazing!

– It was made in Japan with cutting-edge Japanese Technology for world-class care. There are a lot of amazing technologies that are developed in Japan, and these technologies make their products of utmost quality.

– You’ll immediately notice that the Pampers Premium Care diaper is very soft. Pampers makes sure that it uses quality materials that ensures softness, dryness, and comfort for babies’ sound sleep and happy mornings.

– I love the Magic Gel Channels that can only be found in the Pampers Premium Care line. When this technology was shown to us, we saw how fast the absorption was. It easily spread to the different parts of the diaper, therefore the problem of bunching up only in the lower part when the diaper becomes full won’t be a problem.

– The Magic Gel keeps baby dry also by turning liquid into crystal form in seconds. This gel is also the reason why a Pampers Premium Care diaper is thinner than other diapers!

– Pampers Premium Care has also upgraded diapers with with Skin Protection Lotion to wrap babies in silky softness that is gentle on skin.

– Pampers Premium Care has also has unique innovations designed specifically for a particular lifestage in your babies life. For newborns, the NB and S sizes come with a specially designed top sheet called the Absorb Away Liner. This quickly absorbs runny messes, and helps reduce the risk of skin irritation.

I was also so happy to know that the Pants variant is now available in the Philippines. In the Pants variant, a unique S-Flex technology protects the skin from friction. So when your toddler, like mine, loves moving around and running around, they can do so comfortably.

These are the things that I learned about diapers. I didn’t think that there was so much more really to choosing, but there is! After seeing this, I don’t think I’ll be looking at any other brands soon! If you want to see how Pampers can work for you, check out their store in Lazada: http://www.lazada.com.ph/pampers-official-store/?spm=a2o4l.brand-376.0.0.d88FWQ

The Reading House and Teacher D

I’m not sure of my daughter, at age 4, should know how to read words already. What is your experience on 4 year olds? Since I’m panicking, I found this The Reading House online. I found the concept to be very interesting, so I decided to know more about the business. The Reading House is ran by Teacher D and her husband. Read her story here!

Teacher Deidre Story’s

My name is Teacher D and I am a mom to our sweet little Tala. I’m married to Marky, who works in IT Sales.  I have 2 older sisters who have their own families already.

Both my sisters were equally thrilled when they found out that I was pregnant, because finally I’m no longer the “Fun Aunt” and I’m going to parent an actual human being already (haha!). My parents are simple business owners, who like any other grandparents, are “obsessed” with all their apos. Apos call them Abuelo and Abuela. All our kids are lucky to have them.

I have been a teacher for almost 10 years now (and counting). My first teaching job was in Wordlab, a school that specializes in teaching kids with Learning Disabilities. During the years that I stayed there, I taught in the Reading Clinic, a one-on-one learning set up that closely implements reading intervention programs for kids with learning needs, mainly Dyslexia. I became the Head Teacher in that Department. I learned a lot about how to become an effective teacher, one that assures that no child is left behind. But being fairly young then, I wanted a new environment, I decided to resign and try out other types of school. That’s when I applied to Xavier School, something new and also somewhere close to where I live before. I taught 3rd Grade English there for 3 years. I have nothing against traditional schools because I am a product of one, but the ways of it didn’t conform with what I believe as a teacher so I decided to transfer to Keys School Manila, a progressive school. I enjoyed my stay there in Keys. I like that the students are assessed not just as a learner but also as a person and even a citizen.

Then last year, after some waiting time, I got pregnant.

When I decided to resign from teaching, I told myself that I am going to enjoy motherhood in all its glory and I am! I enjoy each day that I get to see her wake up, bathe, eat her first solids, the teething drama, dressing her up in cute outfits (by far my most favorite), story time, nap time and all her other firsts. Apart from all these, what I really enjoy is I don’t need to pump anymore! Yayy! One (sort of) promise that I made to Tala and myself is to do all my best to breastfeed her up until her toddler years. I guess that makes me a breastfeeding believer too.  During times that Tala allows me to have free time (a.k.a. her nap time), I enjoy reading and watching TV series. I’m lucky that I have a husband that is very hands on and just willing to grant me “Me Times” from anytime I ask for it. I’m thankful that we both believe that self-care is an important part of being parents.

 

The Reading House’s Story

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?

Teacher D: The Reading House is a Literacy Center that aims to help children with Learning Disabilities and Difficulties. The services of The Reading House covers all the sub-skills of reading that we use in order to read continuous passages meaningfully.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Teacher D: We aim to help children with Learning Disabilities and/or Difficulties. We chose to help these kids because as a teacher, each child learns differently which is why I believe that no child should be left behind in learning.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Teacher D: I wouldn’t have learned everything about Reading intervention, if not for my first teaching experience. That is where I will credit this idea to. As a teacher, I know that there aren’t enough teaching facilities here in the Philippines that can help children with learning needs.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Teacher D: This center took me almost a decade to build. I had to learn a lot about the approach that is proven effective for these types of children. There were moments of self-doubt whether I am fit to build such center. There were a lot of questions (largely from me to me) if I am equipped enough. I know that these children need consistency and dedication. I know that because of frustration a lot of them just lost their interest in learning overall.

I studied, did a lot of research and studied again and really took time to further educate myself about Learning Disabilities and what is the best way to help children with these conditions.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Teacher D: The greatest challenge that I have had ( and so far I am having ) would be how to spread awareness about it. Sadly, the Philippines’ education system is not completely geared to help children with Learning Disabilities. Learning Disability is something that we misinterpret as a lot of things, slow, lazy, disinterested and other more. What I want is for teachers to have patience and understanding before tagging a child. I want to convince them that not all children learn in the same way and it’s our job as teachers to determine what way do our students want to learn.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Teacher D: According to importance, I think that first is to be passionate. I don’t want this to sound as a cliché, but passion is what really pushed me build The Reading House. I think that I gained an interest on helping these children and worked for it to become a passion. Second would be patience, it’s not a secret that putting up, let alone maintaining a business is a lot of work. I believe that every challenge and all the hard work that we pour into it will all be worth it at the end.

My last most definitely not the least choice is, prayer, some of my friends would probably be surprised if they hear me say this. I am known to be the type of person that keeps it to herself and misconstrued as carefree, but throughout this whole process of putting this center up, I found that prayer is a sure fire tool that helped me in all my decision –making, be it a small one or the most major of all. I became more secured and assured when I talk to God about it first, whatever it is.

Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder?

Teacher D: This venture is a partnership with my husband. Being in the line of sales, at times, my husband tended to deal with things in a ruthless (for lack of a better term) manner. This would sometimes contradict with how I, a teacher, is used to doing things with diplomacy, gentle and thorough processing and explanations. It’s like he’s the brain and I’m the heart, and we can’t work things together. It’s also heartbreaking that sometimes it happens in front of our daughter, which really truly concerned me. This is the sole reason that brought us to the resolution that we, in the future will really have arguments and sometimes we won’t be able to keep it from our children, but what’s important is for them to see that we make up and fix things at the end of the day. We also made sure that all mealtimes are (and will be) spent together, argument –free.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Teacher D: One advice that I can give other Entrepreneurs is to have a perfect balance of mind and heart.  You have to be logical in all your decisions but at the same time be kind and considerate on how people around you would feel. I also strongly believe that if you treat your employees right, they will in turn develop a genuine love for what they are doing.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Teacher D: I’d like to believe it, because initially I didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur. All I wanted was to help kids with Learning Disability, but with the challenges that came in my way as I am building this center, along with the struggles of a first time mom, I was able to make it possible.  I believe that’s what being an entrepreneur is about, jumping over hurdles and still finishing strong.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Teacher D: My husband saved up for this. We opted to have a small and intimate wedding so that we can use the money up for something we think is more worthwhile. Aside from these, we pitched the concept to our trusted friends and family and gave them share of the ownership.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Teacher D: Our main marketing strategy now is through the Internet. We spent on a website and created a Facebook page where interested people could reach us. We also gave out leaflets to schools that are near our center. We reached out to fellow parents who we think has a great influence on others.  The Reading House sought their help in not just promoting or featuring our center, but more importantly, to raise awareness about Learning Disabilties.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Teacher D: Our “edge” from the other Literacy Centers here in the Philippines is that we use a digital multi-sensory program. The name of the program is iSpire. iSpire fleshes out all the subskills of reading to assure an optimum learning experience for its users.

Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important

Teacher D: The Reading House is also open to conduct some workshops about spotting and handling children with Learning Disabilities in a classroom set up.

Ginger: Thanks for the inspiring story, all of the advice and for the tips, Teacher D! 🙂

We have a surprise for our readers! We will be giving out ONE FREE  Literacy Diagnosis + Reading Enrichment Session. All you need to do is leave a comment below on why do you think you need to win this! 🙂 We will raffle of this prize on July 25. We will announce the winner on this page, too! 🙂

For more information about The Reading House, check these out:

Website: thereadinghouse.ph
Email address: info@thereadinghouse.ph
Mobile Number: 09178314920/ 09498717901
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheReadingHousePH/

Understanding Influencer Marketing

I have always been fascinated about how one becomes a key opinion leader (KOL) or an influencer. I had this short conversation with a friend who wants to start a blog, so that she can be a KOL. But is being an influencer that simple? Is it just about starting a blog and writing content or posting pretty pictures on Instagram or Facebook?

Before I answer that, based on my own observations and opinion, let’s look at Influencer Marketing and understand where this new marketing phenomenon (if you want to call it a phenomenon) came to be.

The Evolution of Marketing

Marketing has greatly evolved from a decade ago. I remember that 10-15 years ago, the concept of customer-centric marketing came to be. From a product-centric perspective, marketers realised that they needed to truly understand the customer in order to stay ahead of competition. Customers became more entrenched in their own decision making process (researching, asking people about their experience with a certain product) since they wanted to get what they deserve with the money that they spend. Thus, marketers chose a specific niche to give value to, to focus efforts and to spread clear messages about what their proposition was.

After this focus on the customer and making customers happy, marketers found that they can use the entire experience to make the entire product experience memorable. This was then the birth of experiential marketing. With experiential marketing, word-of-mouth became the main objective of marketers. They needed people to talk about the product and tell other people about their personal experience with the brand or product.

With the advent of social media, anyone can now actually share their experience with products that they purchase and with experiences that they had with a service. Way back in 2000, Malcolm Gladwell published a book called the Tipping Point, that talked about three archetypes: the salesperson, the connector and the maven. This is how Gladwell described Mavens.

A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests … they like to be helpers in the marketplace. They distribute coupons. They take you shopping. They go shopping for you … This is the person who connects people to the marketplace and has the inside scoop on the marketplace.

I thought that his description was a great prelude to what we know key opinion leaders or influencers to be. As early as the year 2000, or even before that (no one knows), the concept of influencer marketing (I believe) was already being practiced but in small circles. Social Media paved the way for KOLs/Influencers to reach more people, once geographically impossible to reach.

What is Influencer Marketing?
As I’ve mentioned, I have this weird fascination for Influencer Marketing. I’ve always wondered how people become influencers. Influencer Marketing is using people with influence to talk about and sell your product and services. They say that for every $1 that you spend on an influencer, it comes back 20x in terms of revenue / sales. I don’t have exact figures for influencer marketing in the Philippines, but it may be true!

In the process of observing celebrity influencers, tier 1 influencers (yes, there are levels!), and other influencers no matter what level, I have come to realize these things about Influencer Marketing.

Who they are?
In terms of personality, I have seen that the effective influencers don’t wear any masks. They don’t pretend to be someone that they’re not. They tell it as it is. This is the reason why influencers come in all shapes, forms, sizes, etc. Banish all judgement on how you think influencers “should be or look like” because a template does not exist. They can be introverts or extroverts. It doesn’t matter. They are very authentic people, and honest about who they are and how they feel. This authenticity builds trust. This trust makes everything they say believable. It makes everything that they do aspirational, and all of the things that they do commands respect.

What they say?
They are known and are effective when it comes to talking or spreading the word about a particular topic. And usually, these are topics that they are truly passionate about! They “talk”, “write”, “vlog”, “draw” with so much passion that the energy is felt by their audience. There is a certain charisma (I actually don’t know if it’s the right term) that draws people to stop, look and listen to this person.

What did they do?
Consistency is something you’ll notice they have. I’m not sure though if this stems from the being passionate about something that they believe in or something that they love doing. So if it’s blogging, they always have new and relevant content that contains experiences that resonates with their audience. If it’s posting in social media, they constantly post Instagram stories or status that slowly builds and tells a “story” about their life or about who they are as real people. They deeply engage with brands that they love, that help their “cause or advocacy”, and are proactive with reaching out to them.  They also engage only with brands that they authentically love!

Obviously, as an influencer, it took quite some time to get to that status, and it takes hard work and constant reiteration of what you believe in and what you stand for. And that “reiteration” is not a blatant, hard-sell kind of a thing. Since everything is authentic, the “message” is intertwined with the influencers lifestyle. It’s almost impossible to distinguish what is “sponsored” and what isn’t.

These are my thoughts on Influencer Marketing. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this? Think of an influencer that you know and tell me what makes you gravitate towards that person (leave your thoughts on the comment section below). Why do you think what he / she says and does makes a huge impact or resonates with you?

Together, let’s analyze how influencers become influencers! 🙂

A Visit to the Zen Institute

If women and men want to look good, and if they can afford it, I don’t think it’s being vain. The thing about today’s society is that we succumb to beauty shaming. What happened to Maureen Wroblewitz, the winner of Asia’s Next Top model, was a perfect example. She was insulted, because she was pretty. I just think that if we want our voices to be heard, let’s not waste it on negativity. Speaking up about issues and things takes effort, and practical ME encourages everyone to say good things about other people.

Now going back to trying to the topic of looking good and beautiful, we all want that! I don’t think anyone would say that they don’t want to look their best. If I had more time, I would probably allot more time to looking good. Looking good boosts confidence, and being confident means that you can face anything and achieve anything that you want to achieve. Last week, I took time out to visit The Zen Institute in BGC. My first encounter with the brand was when they spoke at the Boss Bellas event.

I decided to be adventurous and check out their services. I haven’t tried any treatments lately, and all these terms in their flyer seemed so unfamiliar. But, I was really interested to talk to them and experience their services. Check out my video!

So what I tried that day was Ultralipo. It’s a non-invasive treatment that burns fat. As mentioned in the video, doing this treatment regularly can lose approximately 5 inches in a month. Ultralipo uses radio frequencies to burn fat by driving controlled heat deep within the fat cells and subsequently destroys them. It only targets fat cells so it’s safe. You can have Ultralipo done for your arms, thighs or tummy. You lie on a metallic plate that touches the skin in your back. The lady then uses the machine (looks like an ultrasound machine) by rubbing it on your thigh with a gel. It’s a bit warm as it glides through your skin.

Obviously, since I had it done just once, I don’t think there was a difference in the circumference of my thigh, but I felt my skin was smoother and a bit tighter.

I love that the people in The Zen Institute really explained to me what the treatments were for. Because of the exceptional service, I recommend that you get their Weight Management Program! Also, ask about their Membership card! I actually got one for myself. I got a Silver Card at Php 5000 and got treatments worth around Php 50,000!!!

If you’re interested to visit The Zen Institute, please do visit their site or their BGC branch and look for Veron! http://www.thezeninstitute.com/

Easy Cures Story (Interview with Entrepreneur Tina Vitas)

I meet a lot of interesting people during the workshops that we conduct at Manila Workshops. One of the interesting people that I have met was Tina Vitas. Tina is the owner of Easy Cures.

Having coffee with Entrepreneur Tina Vitas of Easy Cures

Tina’s Story

I studied in Boston University for college, worked in Los Angeles for 3 years and then worked in New York for 9 years before finally making Manila my home again in August 2003. I got the inspiration to open an online store for natural remedies – Easy Cures – from watching my Mom do this as a hobby for 30 years. She was in the costume jewelry business.

On top of that, I held her hand through a health crisis as she approached her 70’s where we discovered a few different alternative healing modalities that worked for her.

She is obviously a fabulous inspiration for me being an ultra-successful businesswoman. She is also my favorite person in the world, my best friend and my mentor (we have very different ideas about how to run a business since I tend to be more modern, in general).

I thought that bringing these products that have helped us on our journey to health, wellness and happiness to a wider audience online would be a great idea, in tune with the times. After being employed in the corporate world most of my life and having dabbled in a few different businesses (restaurant, food, fashion, fragrance, education), I wanted to do something that resonated so deeply with who I am as a person and where I am on my life journey. I am on a continuous personal evolution and spiritual awareness & awakening.

I am a consistent practitioner of Vinyasa Yoga at Urban Ashram Yoga and Kundalini Yoga at Sat Nam Shala in Urdaneta with Madonna English. I meditate daily for about 20-25 minutes. Although I am not 100% vegetarian, my diet has very little animal protein in it. That is deceiving because I love to eat (chocolates, ice cream and pastries are a weakness, thus, I have to budget them strictly on a weekly basis). I’m dining out with family & friends about 5 to 6 times a week. I lived and worked in New York City for nine years. If I can walk it, I will. I support the Missionaries Of The Poor in Sta. Ana which is my charitable institution of choice and I also support the Library Renewal Partnership. I am a member of the US Alumni Club PH, Asia Society and the Business Professional Women’s Group.

Easy Cures Story

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?

Tina: Its an online store for natural remedies. Officially started in May 2016.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Tina: The target market for natural remedies, in my mind, is anyone who has the consciousness that there are alternatives to Western medicine and harsh, chemical-laden products that are commonly found in the market today. But because one of our star products is for aches & pains, the natural market for this would be someone who is a bit older, approaching forties. Or someone, even younger, who is extremely active or has a recurring condition that can be managed with such natural remedies.

 

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Tina: Obstacles for a start-up entrepreneur who is self-funded is almost always the available resources – money, marketing, staffing, logistics etc.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Tina: What I encountered is that many people still shy away from purchasing online. It will still take some time for Filipinos to be completely comfortable with e-commerce in the way they are with bricks & mortars stores. Having accepted this year, I decided that I have to compliment my online store with offline partner stores who share the same values & mindset at Easy Cures. Filipinos, particularly if they are buying something that needs to be tried and is also not yet a known brand, will want to see the product in person. The actual product experience is important to them. It builds trust and reputation faster than if they just read about the products online. Online and offline work well together and can drive each other.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Tina: Patience, flexibility and grit.

Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder?

Tina: Ask for help from others. You’d be surprised at how accommodating and generous people can be when asked.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Tina: A start-up business is very unpredictable. Finding your market who loves you/your products is key to growth and will take time. After you find them, you have to make sure you keep them coming back. Know from the very beginning that you will question yourself many times during this journey and you will also change your roadmap because reality requires it. But if you truly believe in what you are trying to do, keep going at it. You and your goal will find each other, eventually….. It takes time!

This is a product that I love very very much!

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Tina: Nope, not everyone has the ability to handle the unpredictability, the inconsistency and the build-as-you-go structure of starting and running a business. At the start, you will be doing pretty much everything and involved in every detail.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Tina: Through family & friends. I have raised capital before with another business, through a bank loan. I don’t recommend it. The larger the capital you raise, the bigger the pressure you feel to deliver in a short amount of time. For me, at least, this has resulted in my making decisions that I would not have made had I continued to be self-funded or funded with a limited amount of money.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Tina:  Social media and SEO. I also sponsor health & wellness related events. Grow online with the help of offline.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Tina: Online platform for the store, Facebook Instagram, Google Analytics & SEO.

Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important?

Tina: It’s a long, winding road. Remind yourself always why you started in the first place and have fun! Have a few businesses, if possible, so you have different income streams at any given time.

Ginger: Wise words from a very wise woman! I hope you continue to inspire more people, Tina! 

 

Contact information about your business:
Website: http://www.easycures.com.ph/
Email address ask@easycures.com.ph
Mobile Number +639178117580 on Mobile, Viber & WhatsApp
Facebook Page: @easycuresph
Instagram account: @easycures.ph
Pinterest: easycuresph