Mompreneur Marjorie Te of Tinker and Play

It’s great to see more and more moms now engage into business. While looking for cute clothes for Zeeka, I came across a brand caled Tinker and Play. It turns out that the lady behind it was a classmate of mine back in College. Her name is Arjo and she is the mompreneur behind Tinker and Play.

Arjo is happily married for 8 years and blessed with a 3 year old girl and a two year old boy. She loves art, fashion, music and food. She used to work for San Miguel Brewery as a Business Planning Associate before becoming a full time mompreneur.

Mommy Arjo of Tinker and Play

Mommy Arjo of Tinker and Play

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Interview with Mompreneur Arjo Te of Tinker and Play

Ginger: What is your brand/business? What is it about?
Arjo: Our brand is Tinker and Play, a line of clothes and accessories for ages 1 to 4 years old that are fun, stylish and ready for play.

Ginger: How long have you been in business?
Arjo: My business is still new. I just started in October this year. Right now, I’m developing the brand by designing and producing items I hope would be appreciated by moms like me 🙂

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Ginger: Who is your target market?
Arjo: My market are moms with children aged 1 to 4 years old, interested in stylish, playful and one-of-a-kind fashion pieces for their little kids.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business, Arjo?
Arjo: My business is a result of my pursuit to find stylish and contemporary clothes and one-of-a-kind accessories. When I gave birth to my eldest, I realized I wanted to be my own boss and have flexibility to attend to their needs. I don’t want to grow old and miss out on their school activities and not have enough time to play with them. That’s why I really made it a point to take a leap of faith and pursue my dreams of becoming a mompreneur. Back when we still didn’t have kids, I designed and created fashion accessories/jewelry for myself and for my friends. I was always interested in clothes and accessories and I liked the idea of producing items that are not mass-produced, that’s why I thought I would try my hand in retail and create a line of kids’ clothes and accessories that are playful, unique and affordable.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a Mompreneur? What are these?
Arjo: It’s really a difficult decision to start the business especially if you are used to getting a monthly salary from a corporate job. It took me more than a year to convince myself that I’m ready for my leap of faith to entrepreneurship. The convenience of a steady stream of income from a desk job is really appealing but at the end of the day, I am reminded that it’s more fulfilling if I have the flexibility to spend my time with the kids. Balancing work with family, establishing contacts, business credibility and presence are the obstacles I face while starting the business.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a Mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Arjo: Passion, Determination and Diligence

Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Arjo: Surround yourself with people who are supportive and believe in you. Learn all the details of the business and never give up. I always believe starting the business is difficult and may discourage you to pursue it but in the long-run, the rewards will be tremendous.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Arjo: A friend of mine told me to “follow your heart” and someone advised me to “do what feels right”. It’s inspiring and I think it gave me the courage to try and be a mompreneur.

Ginger: Thank you, Arjo, for sharing your story! 🙂 More power to your business.

Watch out for next week Zeeka’s Baby OOTD. It will feature Tinker and Play!

Tinker and Play Contact Information:

Website: www.facebook.com/tinkerandplay
Email address: tinkerandplay@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 0921-384 06 53
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tinkerandplay
Twitter/Instagram account: @tinkerandplay
Pinterest: Tinker and play

Mompreneur Pristine Carmona Pascual of Party Please

Happy Friday everyone! I’m taking a break first from Baby Zeeka’s Friday Fashion entry since my little Fashionista has cough and colds and wasn’t up for posing like a model these past few days. Today though, I have a very interesting guest in my blog. Her name is Mommy Pristine (I love her name!) and she is a mompreneur. She has an interesting business and I’m sure, a lot of you would want to hear from her.

Interview with Mompreneur Pristine Carmona Pascual of Party Please
Pristine is a happy wife for 5 years now and a delighted hands-on mother to a 3 year old boy. She loves all forms of art and the artsy fartsy in her was awakened when she moved to NY a year after she graduated College in 2001. She worked full-time in a Christian Church in midtown Manhattan as an Office Administrator and Children’s Ministry Director. She also had a part-time job in Anthropologie as a Sales Associate, where she was constantly surrounded by talented artists who spent hours and days working on their breathtaking window displays.

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Ginger: Can you tell us more about your business? What is it about?
Pristine: My business is called Party Please. Party Please is a boutique event styling company. Our goal is to style beautiful and personal events, always with a cherry on top so no 2 events are ever the same.

Ginger: How long have you been in business?
Pristine: We have been in business since September 2011

Mompreneur Pristine working!

Ginger: Who is your market?
Pristine: Moms, bride-to-bes, basically anyone who wants their event to be beautifully styled with careful attention to detail.

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Ginger: How did you come up with this idea?
Pristine: I was planning the 1st birthday of my son in 2010 and wanted our venue to have an elegant yet fun atmosphere that both adults and kids can appreciate. After which, friends have asked me to style their parties too and the rest is history.

Ginger: What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Pristine: I love creative and uniquely designed parties. I also love conceptualizing designs and doing arts and crafts. So I figured, why not spread beauty one party at a time?

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a mompreneur? What are these?
Pristine: I have a tendency to be a workaholic. There are times when I would lie awake at night in bed, storming up ideas. Last New Year’s eve, we were out on a vacation and I caught myself answering emails in our hotel room. That was when I realized that I should learn how to balance my time and be a wife and mom first before being the entrepreneur.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Pristine: I think a mompreneur should first be a devoted wife and mother. She should believe in her own uniqueness and skills, since there are a lot of competition out there who may have more time in their hands. And also to have fun running her business, if it is something that she is passionate about.

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Ginger: Any unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Pristine: That it’s okay to take a day off once in a while to keep the good vibes flowing.

Ginger: That is so true! I thinks I need to remind myself that, too! What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Pristine: Always remember that you are an amazing woman who’s doing an awesome job!

Ginger: Thank you so much, Pristine! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I wish you more success!

Party Please Contact Information:

Email address – partiesbypartyplease@gmail.com
Mobile Number – +63 917-9188047
Facebook Page – http:/facebook.com/partyplease.com
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/PartyPlease

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

Mompreneur Jackie Caniza of Business Hat Inc.

I met mompreneur Jackie Caniza through my yoga instructor, Nature. Apparently, Nature who used to be in business development for Globe Telecoms is now a success coach under Business Hat, Inc. (apart from being a yoga instructor). Business Hat Inc. is the business of Jackie. It’s quite interesting! Let me share with you my interview.

All About Mompreneur Jackie

Mompreneur Jackie CAniza

Mompreneur Jackie Caniza

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Mompreneur Jackie Caniza is married to a banker. They have two wonderful kids — one is 13 and the other one is 9 years old. Both are girls. Jackie just recently became a mompreneur. She had spent more than 15 years working in a corporate environment. She mostly worked in Human Resources, but later on joined the business development team of the company she was working for.

Jackie has always wanted to help people handle ‘transitions’ and challenges in their lives. This passion led to a business idea.

Interview with Mompreneur Jackie Caniza of Business Hat Inc.

Ginger: Hi Jackie! Can you tell us more about your business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?
Jackie: My business is called Business Hat Inc. and I launched it last July 2012.

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Ginger: Who is your market?
Jackie: My market is anyone who is adjusting or undergoing ‘transitions’ in their lives. It may be people undergoing promotions, movements to another company or to a higher position, marriage, teens searching for the course to take in college, or people who are retiring, we can help them.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Jackie: It really started as an advocacy. I really want to help guide other people make important decisions in their lives. Through Business Hat, Inc., we help clients find better life balance and career satisfaction by using practical business concepts to train and coach them with. I started the business by training abroad to get a certification in coaching. When I came back, I started marketing my business. After sometime, more and more clients came to me, so I had to find a group of trainors, from different fields and I trained them so that they could help me in this business. I usually do the initial interview with the client then I pass them on to a ‘success coach’ who can best fit him or her.

Ginger: With all these clients and with the business booming, do you still get to find time for your family?

Jackie: Yes, definitely. Although, I’m busier now than I when I was working. I find myself working until late in the evening. I’m grateful though that my family is very supportive. In fact, my two daughters helped me create the logo for my business. They were the ones who suggested that we use the hat and use the three colors. If you’re familiar with the Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono, the colors are from three of the six hats. Green is for new ideas. Blue is for the process, yellow is for creative thinking.

Ginger: What have you learned from being an entrepreneur?
Jackie: In being an entrepreneur, you learn so much about yourself. In a structured environment, you do what you need to do. On your own, you realize what styles work for you. You have to motivate yourself ‘enough’ to get things going. I love talking to people so I personally struggled from the fact that I had no one to draw energy from.

Also, who you partner with is really hit or miss.

Ginger: What would you advise other moms who want to start their own businesses?
Jackie: Have a plan and be deliberate about it. If you want to start your own business, then create a plan and try to achieve that. Small steps and tasks that you accomplish each day brings you a step closer toward your goal. It’s really your decision on what you think is important for you. For me, I enjoy the working from home. I love the flexibility.

Also, try to get the right support — from your family, friends and even from success coaches like us. That’s why we’re here.

Ginger: Thank you Jackie for your time!

For those who want to read more about Jackie and Business Hat Inc., I have created another article on this here: http://manilareviews.com/2013/07/business-hat-success-coach-jackie.html

Jackie would also like to invite you to join this:
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Business Hat Inc. Contact Information:
Website: http://bizhatinc.com/

 

Mompreneur Ivy Cruz of Boo Couture Par Lierre

I had the chance to interview another momprenuer with a hair accessories business. Her name is Ivy Pabalate Cruz. Let’s find out more about her business, Boo Couture Par Lierre.

About Mompreneur Ivy

Mompreneur Ivy and Family

Mompreneur Ivy and Family

I’m a loving wife and I have two wonderful kids. My eldest is a girl, and my youngest is a boy. I have been married for almost 11 years now. I used to be a vocal coach at the Center for Pop Music Philippines. I’m a part-time mompreneur. I am a home-based online ESL teacher, and I have been teaching for 6 years now. I like singing a lot, I also like teaching, but I fell in love with arts and crafts.

My goals for now is to be able to be a good mother to my kids, a not-so-ordinary wife to my husband and to make my business even more successful in the next few years.

Ginger: What is your brand/business? What is it about and how long have you been in business?
Ivy: My brand is Boo Couture Par Lierre. I make headpieces, clips, headbands, favors for all ages and for any occasions. I have been in the business for 2 years.

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Ginger: Who is your market?
Ivy: When I started, I wanted to target mothers only. In the long run, I ended up selling to ladies too.

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Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Ivy: I came up with this idea because of my daughter, Arwen. I used to collect clips and headbands for her, but she often complains about her stuff (that it was always broken). The flowers from her headbands would fall off easily. The clips were rusty after just few times of wearing them. What I did was I decided to make for Arwen her own set of clippies and headbands. She liked it and her classmates loved it, too, so I ended up making more and sold them online.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Ivy: Yes there were many. I’m a working mompreneur, and I have two kids. The difficult task is juggling my work, my family and my business. There are many times when I never get to sleep early, or never have enough sleep at all, because I have to finish all of orders on time. Also, I have to wake up in the morning for my family and work in the evening for my job (Online ESL teacher).

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Ivy: Faith in God, hard work and uniqueness

Ginger: Any Unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Ivy: Always adjust to your customer’s needs if you want to be competitive. Also, never trust a next day delivery courier 100%. Ship your packages as early as possible to avoid any delay.

Ginger: That’s very practical advice, Ivy. I love it. What other advice can you give other Mompreneurs?
Ivy: Be patient, and trust God every time.

Ginger: Thank you, Mommy Ivy for the wonderful interview. More power to Boo Couture Par Lierre!

Boo Couture Par Lierre Contact Information:
Website/Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boo-Couture-Par-Lierre/209189659154067
Email address: harvygrey@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 09052809458
Instagram: http://instagram.com/boocoutureparlierre

Mompreneur April Dela Cruz of Glam Babies

Today’s feature is Mompreneur April of Glam Babies. Being the fashionista that my daughter is, I saw April’s products while going through different online stores. Here is her story and the story behind Glam Babies.

Mommy April’s Story
I’m B.S Psychology graduate from FEU. I’m a mom to a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. My husband is an OFW. It is so hard to have a husband who works so far away. With my first born, I was a stay-at-home-mom and every minute of the day was spent taking care of her. I didn’t have any yaya to help me out. When I had my baby boy, I had to hire a yaya since I could not manage taking care of both kids alone.

 

Mompreneur April Dela Cruz

Mompreneur April Dela Cruz

It took me a while to start my own business. I wanted to do something else at home to while the time, since my kids, I realized, were already growing up. “Wala akong ginagawa kung hindi mag-Facebook, maglaro ng games” (All I did was checked Facebook and played games). My life was spent waiting for my husband to come home while doing these things. Then, he’d come home and leave again, and then the cycle would continue.

One day, I decided that I wanted to “grow”. I put up a business at home. It was an eatery (tapsilugan), but it didn’t work out, since my body could not take all the work that had to be done in taking care of the eatery — from shopping for ingredients, serving at the eatery, cooking, washing the dishes, etc. I closed this business and I went back to just waiting again for my husband and taking care of the kids.

I decided to create birthday invitations and sell them through multiply. I learned how to create invitations through Youtube videos. I learned how to edit pictures on my own. I think I didn’t do that well in selling my services because I hardly had any customers. With this, I stopped offering this service. And this is where my Glam Babies story began…

Ginger: What is your brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business
April: My brand is Glam Babies Collection. I have been selling clothes under this brand for almost 1 year.

Glam Babies Tutu Dress

Glam Babies Tutu Dress

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
April: There came a point when I had the opportunity to buy and sell clothes for kids. I offered it to my relatives and friends and I got to sell all of it, so I was happy! And then, during that time, my littler girl was about to celebrate her 7th birthday. I searched the net to look for pretty gown designs so that I can have a gown made for her to wear on her birthday.

I saw cute tutu dresses and I liked it! I wanted to buy one for her but didn’t know where to buy. I looked at the pictures I saw on the internet and said to myself, “I can make these!” I searched for how-to videos on YouTube. That’s how I actually learned to make these tutu skirts. I got to make skirts for my daughter and I loved my finish products. I loved the colors and it was super cute!

I love going on Facebook, so I decided to post the skirts that I made. Then I got a lot of inquiries. People were asking me how much was I selling these skirts. Then I decided to create customized tutu skirts only. After a while, I decided to create even the tops, because I thought it would be cute. And then after that, I even added matching hair bows and accessories. All my items from tutu skirts, customized tops, hair bows, posh bows, customized shoes and tutu dresses are all hand made. That’s why I guarantee the quality of my products.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a mompreneur? What are these?
April: Yes, I had a lot of competitors selling Baby Clothes Tutus, but I believed that as long as I don’t step on anyone, my business will go well. In fact, I even add the other baby shops on Facebook so that I can share my clients with them. At least, by doing this, I can help my them in their businesses, too.

One of my favorite designs
Ginger: What are three traits that you think a mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
April: Hardwork, Dedication and patience in creating products and in serving customer. Sometimes, it’s tiring to entertain clients who ask about your products but they won’t buy or worse, they will order but will not get the product that you make for them. I just let these go. I don’t want to spend time arguing and making a big fuss out of this. God knows everything, so I leave it up to Him. 🙂

Ginger: Unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Mompreneur?
April: I learned to manage my time — for my family and business. I also learned how to talk and deal with different kinds of people.

 

Other styles from Mompreneur April for Glam Babies

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
April: Always think positive. Follow your heart’s desire. “Kung ano ang hilig mo dun ka mag-focus sa gagawin mong business… yung magiging masaya ka sa araw araw na ginagawa mo”. Don’t just think of money but think of the fulfillment that you will feel every time someone tells you that your creations are amazing! This always made me happy.

Ginger: Thank you, April, for your time! I wish you more success!

 

Glam Babies Contact Information:

Email address: glam_babies@yahoo.com
Mobile Number: 09082575225
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/glambabiesbyapril

Mompreneur Raquel Chua of Mama Chows

I met this very sweet lady, Raquel Chua and her husband Jon, in one of the workshops of Manila Workshops. Since I saw her passion for her business and the twinkle in her eye when she was talking about her products, I decided to interview her for the Mompreneur interviews section of this blog.

Mompreneur Raquel Chua, Pastry Chef of Mama Chows “A Mom’s Delight”

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Here is her story…

Ginger: Can you tell us a more about yourself, Raquel?
Raquel: I love to eat sweets like merengue (the one that you can buy at a local market), chocolate cake, warm leche flan (it has to be warm), breads and chocolates. But I only like eating, not making those. I remember that I started baking at the age of 10. I would go with my mom while she attended her night classes at a local public school. I made my first cheese cupcake at the age of 8, but after that I lost interest.

Choco Pistachio Cookies

Choco Pistachio Cookies

Now, you may be wondering, why am I a baker? During my OJT, I was assigned in the pastry department for 3 weeks. I fell in love with their chocolate chip pistachio cookies (from a famous hotel in Manila who serves chocolate cookies). The chef told me that he saw potential in me and if I can prove myself, he will give me his recipe. I took the challenge, and of course, I got the recipe. After that, I began to take interest in baking again. I worked for my mom as her assistant baker. I was just baking cheese cupcakes for her and molding ensaimadas. Then, eventually she taught me her ensaiamda recipe, and I took over. I studied baking at CACS and Heny Sison for short courses then formally enrolled at the Essential Baking at the Heny Sison Culinary School.

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Right now, I am a mom to my 2 year old baby boy named Saffron Matthew B. Chua. During my pregnancy though, I had GD, hypothyroidism, asthma and had to undergo 3x a week non-stress test. My pregnancy was very delicate and expensive. My husband (also a chef) and I decided to name the baby after the most delicate and expensive spice (just how my pregnancy was). My husband Jon and I are married for 3 years, but we were going steady for 12 years; thus, we have been together for 15 years.

I worked for a pharmaceutical company and was handling the healthcare program. I would go to different companies and offer free blood screening and then after that we package vaccines/medications for them and consultations for diseases like Hepa B, Hypertension, Diabetes, and Asthma. After a year and half with them I resigned and focused on baking.

Ginger: So are you a full time mompreneur?
Raquel: Yes!

Ginger: Any hobbies?
Raquel: Baking, I like collecting containers (Subconsciously! Aren’t we all?). Seriously though, I love fixing our house, I also love anything ‘crafty’. I am also trying out bento box for my Saffron and playing with my toys (Sylvanian Families). I’m into week planning menu, too. My advocacies are anything for ‘the children’. May it be wellness (I am pro breastfeeding), manners (the use of po and opo), education and early love for reading books. I have been supporting World Vision and Bantay Bata for 3 years now.

Ginger: Any goals in life?
Raquel: Our goal is to have another baby (hopefully, a baby girl and this time around and I pray it won’t be that delicate), to own a house (not on a condo, scared of earthquakes), to be financially stable and to travel (in our house we live by this… LOVE is spelled as TIME).

Ginger: Now, on to your business? Can you tell us more about it?

Cookie-Group-012
Raquel: It’s called Mama Chows “A Moms Delight” under the company name Mama Chows Food Express. We provide gourmet *ge-lai meals, lactation pastries for mommies and regular pastries good for everybody.

*To know more about ge-lai, please refer to this explanation by my mom blogger friend, Jen of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom (Po-ge-lai and Breastfeeding)

Ginger: How long have you been in business?
Raquel: I first started as Raquel by GinQuelRuS or GinQuelRuS Pastries for the regular yummy pasties I do. I have been included in ABS-CBN FOOD Magazine Present Perfect from 2001 to 2012. I make hand-rolled ensaimadas, cheese cupcakes, bars and cookies. I went by this name for 10 years. Then 2 years ago, we changed it to Mama Chows. With Mama Chows we started while I was pregnant, I made lactation cookies as gifts for friends and as preparation for breastfeeding. When it was my turn, my husband and I made a deal that I will undergo ge-lai only if the food served would be yummy. Ge-lai tradition is almost at a flat line. Friends were asking us to make it for them and that’s when we started the gourmet ge-lai, which eventually converted my GinQuelRuS recipes and transformed them to lactation pastries for the moms. And now we stick by the name Mama Chows, so not to confuse everyone.

Ensaimadas

Ensaimadas

Ginger: Who is your market?
Raquel: Chinese mom’s who will undergo ge-lai. Mostly Moms who are either breastfeeding or moms who is looking for yummy & preservative free pastries for their kids.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea?
Raquel: When we were still pregnant. We learned that we can cut hereditary illness by 50% if we breastfeed for 2 years. That was our main goal, to give our child somehow 50% advantage. Everything was set on stone that we will breastfeed our child. Then came the news that I will undergo ge-lai, which means I will not be allowed to eat veggies, fruits and drink water. We researched and research and I had stumble upon lactation cookies & Medela house. At that time, the lactation cookies available were not that yummy. So my husband said, “Why don’t you make yours since you are a professional baker?”

Cheese Cupcakes

Cheese Cupcakes

Ginger: So What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Raquel: Friends were requesting me so that they can give these out to their friends. Then we started selling.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a mompreneur?
Raquel: It was less for me because I have been baking for almost 13 years now. The hard part was perfecting the formulas. In baking you have to have balance. You start with an idea, then come the combination of flavors that you only formulate in your mind. You, then, execute and bake this and patiently wait for the results. If it is good then, congratulations. If its bad, then we have do it again. Baking is different from cooking since in cooking, you can re-adjust everything at the same time. Another concern is shelf life and storing these goodies. After that, comes the formulation of nutritional facts and the literature that comes with it.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Raquel:
a. Passionate: She has to be passionate with what she is doing and knows what she wants.
b. Hungry for knowledge: One should never stop learning; this will help her grow.
c. Organizational skills: She has be to organized in all aspects, may it be with her filing system or in her house. She needs to be determined that she really wants this and that this is not something she’s making because everyone is into it now (i.e. online selling). She has to be focused with her priorities.

Baking Couple

“Being a mom and wife is 24/7. I would drop everything for my family, literally everything.” ~ Raquel

Ginger: Any unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Raquel: We have to set our priorities straight. There was a time when I was so into baking and attending to other moms’ breastfeeding concerns that I neglected time with my son and husband. Now, I set my own limits. Being a mom and wife is 24/7. I would drop everything for my family, literally everything. I also made a schedule and I stick to it.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Raquel: Don’t let others tell you want you can and cannot do. You are the only one who can decide on that. Empower yourself. You can achieve everything and anything you want as long as you put your heart into it.

Ginger: Thank you, Raquel, for going through this interview with me. I will you more success!

Mama Chows Contact Information:
Website: under construction
Email address: mamachows@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 0917.3220926
Facebook Page: facebook.com/mamachows (Ginquelrus Pastries)
Twitter account: twitter.com/mamachows