Nitro 7 Coffee and Tea bar

It’s so nice to see and reunite with friends. A few days ago, I met up with a friend whom I haven’t seen for the longest time. I think the last time we saw each other (but didn’t really get to talk) was when he and his wife attended our homeschooling conference in 2016. So when I found out that he had a new coffee business, I took the opportunity to catch up and interview him for my blog!

Today, i’ll be featuring Richard Torres, one of the owners/founders of Nitro 7 Coffee.

Richard’s Story

I’m a family man. Nothing helps me de-stress more than spending time with my beautiful wife, whom I’ve been married to for 5 years, and our 2 boys.

I love business, coffee, arts and design, and just finding ways to make things work. Many describe me as a handyman, a fixer-upper. And I think I have a pretty good eye for design.

 

I started out as a small-time salesman in college, selling real estate, pagers, mobile phones and odds and ends. After university, I worked as business development manager for a mobile content provider company, and then later on built my own ad agency and production house. On the side, I did take on some marketing consultancy jobs. Eventually, I tried out designing, building and selling condo units and houses. Nitro 7 is my newest venture.

My goal is really to build a global brand!

Nitro 7 Coffee’s Story

Ginger: Hi Richard! Can you tell our readers what your startup or brand is?

Richard: It’s called Nitro 7 Coffee and Tea Bar! 🙂

Ginger: What is it about?

Richard: Nitro 7 is a coffee retail brand that serves nitrogen-infused coffee and tea products. #Nitrocoffee is an 18-hour cold brew coffee that’s later on infused with nitrogen gas. It has a full-bodied flavor with very low acidity. Nitrogen gives our drinks their added sweetness without the sugar, and a thicker, creamier mouthfeel without the milk.

Ginger: How long have you been in business?

Richard: I’ve been in business since college, but Nitro 7, which is my first retail startup, has been operational for 9 months now.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? 

Richard: So far, our patrons are from a broad demographic. Each bar seems to have a different market. But generally speaking, millennials love us, and we love them back. We’re a delicious cup of coffee that’s very reasonably priced. The drama of our nitro coffee, it’s cascade and crema, and our whole setup is very visually appealing and attracts a lot of active social media users as well.

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

Richard: Both my partners and I are actually bible-study group mates. We’re all businessmen and coffee aficionados. We wanted to create something that would be pleasing to God, and that we could personally patronize because we loved the product so much!

Initially, we considered putting up a regular coffee shop, but there were so many of those in the market already. So after extensive research and product testing, we came across Nitro coffee, which is huge in the US.

Today, our 9-month old baby, is the first Nitro Coffee and Tea bar in the Philippines, and has 12 branches strong.

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

Richard: Too many to mention! Haha. Retail was new for me, and I had no technical know-how in terms of the draft system or using nitrogen. I had to learn along the way. But like I said, I enjoy making things work, and this is what I did for our setup and system.

Other obstacles are being overly dependent on third-party suppliers, and having to manage different kinds of people.

In a start-up business, you really have to step up and learn how to do everything yourself.

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

Richard: Innovating– creating new products. Engaging trial. Encouraging loyalty. You have to open-minded and be willing to wear many hats.

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

Richard: Creativity, perseverance, and a willingness to go the extra mile.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Richard: I try my best to live by these 4 P’s:

  1. Give Praise – Praise God and have a thankful spirit. Remember that you are one of the blessed ones who’s given the opportunity to have a business to bless others.
  2. Be Persistent – Believe you can do it! Be determined to make things work. You have to have that drive and dedication to your business so it overflows and motivates your team. You have to learn how to do everything yourself, especially in the beginning. Be willing to get your hands dirty!
  3. Pray – and then pray some more! You can never pray too much. Ask for the guidance and the wisdom to get you through you day to day. Lift everything up, and remember that ultimately, your business belongs to Him.
  4. Be Patient – Learn how to wait and how to endure. There will be a lot of obstacles swinging at you from left and right, from top and bottom. Patience and endurance will build you character and entrepreneurial spirit.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Richard: As an advocate for entrepreneurship, I’d like to say yes, but the truth is, no, it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of brilliant people who aren’t wired to be entrepreneurs, and that’s okay.

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

Richard: You’d be surprised by how many of the people you know are looking to invest in something. Just share your concept to people who you think might be able to help you.

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

Richard: We consider our bars as our billboards, but social media is our friend. We also intend on maintaining a product that is consistently high-quality and delicious. We’ve also been getting a ton of franchise inquiries and are looking at this as a logical next step.

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

Richard: We have a POS system and inventory management system. But in general, we have not maximized tech tools at all. All of our activity online is organic.

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

Richard: I said it before, I’ll say it again. Business can be overwhelming, and PRAYER is so important.

Ginger: Keep the faith, dude! There you have it, readers! Wise words from Richard Torres of Nitro 7. Hope you can visit their branches! Thank you again, Richard, for sharing your experiences!

Contact information about your business:

Website: www.nitro7.coffee
Email address: hello@nitro7.coffee
Mobile Number: (02) 621-9340
Facebook Page: facebook.com/nitro7.coffee
Instagram account: nitro7.coffee

S&R Membership Club July Shower of Savings

I feel so refreshed! I did some decluttering in my home, and I’m so eager to face the day. It feels different when you see that your cabinets and drawers are so organized. It seems like they can breathe more, and you can breathe more 🙂 One of the things that we can do to save money is to hold a “garage” sale. In my case, it was more like a sala sale! Check out how my house looked for the past days.

My friend taught me the KonMari Method, where you only choose the things that spark joy. I was surprised that I owned so much stuff! I am putting away around 2 balikbayan boxes of clothes. We just started tidying up our clothes, since we’re doing it per category. I’ve been earning (at least a little) from selling my pre-loved items, and I feel amazing. The little that I earn from the clothes that I owned can be used to buy things that will really spark joy. Now, I am more intentional when I shop. I see to it that I really want it. Speaking of shopping and savings, another way that you can save while getting the things that you really want during this month of July is to visit S&R Membership Club! Oh my! They are offering huge discounts on several items — and really quality items. Check out these items that I’m looking at buying. I have actually bought a few already 🙂

For those looking to move into a new apartment, office or space, check this out!

  1. 1.5HP Inverter Aircon from GREE at Php 38,000+. When you buy this, you get a FREE (yes, take note of this!) 1HP Aircon from GREE, probably worth around Php 15K+.

For those looking for quality luggages for travel this year!

2. Nicole Miller 3 pc Luggage set in these cute colors for only Php 12,999 from Php 14,999

3. PERRY ELLIS 2 pc Luggage Set at Php 10,499 from Php 12,499

4. MIA TORO 2 pc Luggage set at Php 5999.95 from Php 6999.95

For those looking for clothes, comforters and things for their baby!

5. Pekkle 4 piece Diaper shirt at only Php 499.95 from Php 649.95

6. Pekkle 4 pc Gift Set at Php 549 from 849

7. Big Believers Traveler Bed in a Bag (Twin) for only Php 999.95 from Php 1799.95

8. Canadian Baby Comforter with pillow 24 x 42 at Php 849.95 each from Php 1049.95

9. Cotton Tails Baby Wipes at Php 499 (Buy 1 Take 1)

10. Pampers Diapers.. Save Php 100 if you buy 2!

For the homemaker!

11. Delichef Bread Toaster at Php 1499 (Buy 1 Take 1)

12. Food Network Ceramic Coated 10 pc Cookware Set at Php 3499 from 6999

For the food lover!

13. North Star English Toffee 6 pack (Php 299 — Buy 1 Take 1)

14. US Assorted Loaf at Php 189.oo (Buy 1 Take 1) — Flavors are Rhum Loaf with Almond, Coffee and Red Velvet!

 

These are the great deals that S&R Membership Club is offering you! These and many more, actually! What are the great deals that you have seen in S&R Membership Club this month? Please share it with us using #LoveSnR and#SnREveryday More details on Facebook @snrmembershipshopping and Instagram @snr_official

Love,

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

PS. I’ll blog about the KonMari Method in another post 🙂

Whiten Teeth with AP24 Toothpaste from Nu Skin

One of my goals for self care is to whiten my teeth. I’ve been a coffee drinker since I was in college, and it’s true that it makes your teeth yellow. Although, my dentist said that teeth should be yellowish. Being a bit yellowish
(it actually shouldn’t be as white as paper!) means that your teeth is strong.

But of course, I want to bring my teeth back to (at least) the actual color that it should be. From research, I got to find out that if your teeth are more yellowish than before, it is due to both intrinsic and extrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains are those that can be found on the surface of the enamel, which is the the hard and outermost layer of your teeth. Enamel that is said to be even harder than bone can still be easily stained by dark-colored foods and beverages. These things are high in chromogens that produce pigment that stick to tooth enamel.

The other cause are intrinsic stains, which (as the term used explains) happens within the tooth. Different factors alter the light-transmitting properties of the enamel and the underlying dentin. These are sometimes caused by medication that tend to cause discoloration. Ingredients like chlorhexidine, minocycline, etc. can cause these intrinsic stains.

So going back to my desire for whiter teeth, I really just wanted my teeth to look a few shades whiter. I saw this video: https://www.facebook.com/allthingsnu/posts/1880339782207080

After seeing this, I wanted to try AP24 Toothpaste by Nu Skin. I just saw it on my friends wall, and I am not in anyway, selling this product. I just really wanted to try if it’s effective.

The active ingredient is Sodium monofluorophosphate (MFP), which is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Na2PO3F. (*wikipedia). MFP is odourless, colourless, and water-soluble. This salt is an ingredient in some toothpastes.

This toothpaste aids in the prevention of tooth decay. I used the product for 7 days, and since the objective was whitening, here are some pictures to compare:

July 15, 2017

July 24, 2017

Noticed that it was a bit whiter. I’m excited that it can actually whiten it more, since it has been just exactly 9 days. I’ll continue using the product and let you know how it goes! The toothpaste is not that “bubbly”, but it’s not really something we should look for. I think it does it’s job of fighting cavities, which is good.

Overall, I think that the AP24 Toothpaste of Nu Skin does what it says it does. I think its safe to use (I’ve heard of whitening products that actually make your teeth weak), so I wanted to share this with you so you’ll consider a more effective and safer alternative. I’ll update the photo again after using it for two more weeks.

Have you tried this AP24 toothpaste? How was it for you? Was it effective? Please share it in social media and tag me (@mommyginger).

For more information about the product, you can visit: https://www.facebook.com/allthingsnu/

 

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/