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?

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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.

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“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

Mompreneur Jennifer Mateo-Lozano of Party Crafts by Ava

Since yesterday, I have been receiving messages from my sister on themes that I could do for Zeeka’s first birthday! Waaaah! I know right?! My dear sister, that is still 9 months from now. Baby Z is just 3 months old (not to mention that we just had her Baptism so I’m not really looking forward YET to spending again).

Anyway, since we’re discussing Zeeka’s party, I came across a cool business and party supplier. It’s called Party Crafts by Ava. I got to interview the mompreneur behind it. I’m actually thinking of getting them for Zeeka’s first birthday party… 9 months from now (hehe!).

Mompreneur Jennifer Mateo – Lozano of Party Crafts by Ava tells us about herself…

Momtrepreneur Jennifer of Party Crafts by Ava

Momtrepreneur Jennifer of Party Crafts by Ava

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I am married for 3 years and a mom to my 2 year old daughter, Ava Cristiana. I used to work as an Asst. Mall Marketing Officer handling events and promotions and later resigned and worked for the family business. I am also a breastfeeding advocate who believes that breastfeeding is the best investment and decision I have made for me and my family. Being a stay at home mom allows me to continuously breastfeed my daughter for 25 months now and counting. Travels, movies and food top my list of favorites.

Mompreneur Jennifer tells us more about her business…

Party Crafts by Ava

Party Crafts by Ava

Ginger: Can you tell us more about Party Crafts? I’m sure my readers are all excited to read about it.
Jennifer: Party Crafts by Ava is a one stop party shop offering arts and crafts stations for kids and adults alike such as decorate a coin bank, sun visor, notebook, foam frame, crown & tiara, tumbler and ceramic magnet painting, rock and pebble art, nail art & edible cupcake decorating. These activities allow kids and adults to express their creativity while keeping them busy and at the same time having fun. Other services include event styling, photo booth, themed souvenirs, food carts, invites, photo coverage, hosting and other party needs. Party Crafts by Ava was formally launched last June 18, 2013, following the second birthday party celebration of my daughter.

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Ginger: Who is your market?
Jennifer: Parents and party enthusiasts who want to celebrate hassle free, unique, and creative parties.

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

Jennifer: I have always been fond of planning parties and the details that go with it. It all started out when I was planning for my daughter’s party. I wanted it to be worthwhile for both kids and adults. I stayed away from side entertainment, instead, I incorporated craft activities to keep the kids occupied while the parents mingle and relax. During and after the party, I received compliments and inquiries with the craft stations, they were surprised when I told them that I personally prepared and provided all of them. I was all the more encouraged when my family and friends showed their support.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What were these?

Jennifer: I am still in the stage of establishing Party Crafts by Ava and with that, I am running a one woman business to cut down on expenses. Being my own run around girl keeps me real busy which sometimes eats up the time that I should be spending with my family.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

Jennifer: I think one should be efficient in time management, creative and patient.

Ginger: Any unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?
Jennifer: That at the end of the day, I am a still a mom and a wife, that my family is and should always be my priority.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Jennifer: I am privileged to answer such question. I am still a newbie but here’s my cent’s worth of advice – do not be afraid to take risks, you may have failed once but that shouldn’t stop you from trying again.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Jennifer! I wish you success in your business and I definitely hope that I can invite you to be there for Zeeka’s first birthday!

Party Crafts by Ava Contact information:
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/PartyCraftsByAva
Email address: partycraftsbyava@yahoo.com.ph
Mobile Number: +639178875369
Instagram: partycraftsbyAva

Momtrepreneur Mary Louise Moldez-Sandiko of Lil Miss Belle Hair Accessories

An Interview with MOMTREPRENEUR MARY LOUISE M. SANDIKO of LIL MISS BELLE HAIR ACCESSORIES

I’m a full time mom for a two year old girl. I’m five years married to Engr. Christopher Sandiko. I could say that I am an organized person. I love a little of photography, which I use for my hobby/business and scrapbooking. I was in a semiconductor company for 4 years as my first job then I transferred to a cable company, a very demanding yet exciting job since I was in marketing and advertising for almost another 4 years. My last corporate job was in Honda.

 

MOMTREPRENEUR MARY LOUISE M. SANDIKO of LIL MISS BELLE HAIR ACCESSORIES

 

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I had a hard time of becoming pregnant. My husband & I encountered many challenges of becoming pregnant and when the time I became pregnant; it was an ectopic one. But God is Good, because after 6 months God blessed us with another pregnancy. This time we put our full trust in HIM, and sure enough, HE never failed. My baby, Elliana Faith was born on February 13, 2011 via normal delivery and in all natural way with no medication involved in ‘The Birthing Clinic of The Cathedral of the King’ under the care of a very anointed woman, Sis. Charito Flores. I was gifted with a baby girl, which made me so excited to dress her up and to doll her up with hair accessories. But she was so fragile & I was afraid to try anything on her head. Each time we would go out, I always looked for something beautiful & elegant to put on her head to make her more prettier, but I couldn’t find one. I didn’t like some of the boutique displays, since their garters were not ‘baby-friendly’. What I did was I just grabbed only one headpiece which I thought was the best and most comfortable for her to wear on her baptism.

 

LIL MISS BELLE HAIR ACCESSORIES

LIL MISS BELLE HAIR ACCESSORIES

After that I became so interested in hair accessories for babies. I researched different designs on internet and I fell in-love with the couture baby designs— very elegant, very chic, just a little formal for babies but very stunning. Since I have been doing scrap-booking for a long time, I told myself that maybe I create ribbons, too.

This became my hobby; I create when my baby sleeps. During that time, I was not active on Facebook, because I was busy. I didn’t know that there were available shops of hair accessories, too. I didn’t have any plans of selling my creations on Facebook. I just loved making her different hair pieces. But every time we would go to the mall, sales ladies, mommies & children would notice my daughter’s headpiece. They would approach me and ask me on where I bought my daughter’s accessory, since they haven’t seen anything like that in dept stores. I told them that I made it myself. They would then ask me where my shop was. I would answer gracefully that this is just my hobby, and they would tell me that I should have one.
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With these kind words, I was encouraged and I started to buy some materials (P5,000.00 worth). I began making designs for babies. I launched LIL MISS BELLE HAIR ACCESSORIES on my private account first on Facebook last July of 2012. My brand “Belle” was derived from the French word which means beautiful, because for me, all little girls & all little misses are beautiful on their own special way, and they become prettier when accented with beautiful hair accessories. LIL MISS BELLE HAIR ACCESSORIES can make or create simple bows to elegant headpieces.

I was not ready to create an account or page because of my limited time. I just made few designs and after a week, all my stocks were sold-out, so I had to replicate them again, because many were still wanting to buy. I was really surprised because my target market were for infants only. The funny thing was, I didn’t have hard headbands or clips that time, because my thinking was infants do not wear clips or headbands because their heads are very delicate. Then I had my initial purchase of headbands & different clips to cater the little girls, teens & moms. And now, I’m into creating of formal headpieces for weddings, too! Currently, I have hats, maternity sashes & clips and headband organizers, but these are custom-made. I started supplying my creations to some boutiques here in the Philippines last November of 2012 and started accepting re-sellers in Facebook.

Right now, i’m a one-woman team. I wish I could have more time and more people to help me. If I have bulk and mall orders, I consign some people to help me. I have limited time to make creations because my baby is so active now & demands much of my time, so I make my creations and orders during the night. I always advise my clients of the delivery lead time because most of my creations are meticulously handmade so it takes time. I’m a very detailed person and I want to make sure that everything is in good condition.

I still need to do more improvements here in LIL MISS BELLE HAIR ACCESSORIES (LMB). Bigger plans & dreams are in store for my shop and clients in the near future, like I want to focus more on promoting my creations to some boutiques, joining bazaars & sourcing different materials. While my team is doing the production, I am still on the top of it. I just need to teach, trust and learn how to delegate work, so that I can focus more on marketing & advertising. I pray that God will grant the desires of my heart and guide me in everything I do. I just want to give GOD all the glory for giving me this new talent.

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If you want to start your own business, think of what makes you happy while doing it. When you love your work and become passionate, this “PASSION” can make you a successful mompreneur. You need also to have a good talk with your partner about your plans. Good communication with God is very important, too. Ask Him to give you wisdom in everything that you do. Keep your family intact and in good health while doing your own thing. Don’t forget that you’re a wife and a mom first.

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For the stay-at-home moms out there, taking care of our babies & family is our first priority. But doing our own thing that brings us into another form of happiness is what makes us complete and fulfilled as a person, too! We just need good time management, a cooperative and supportive hubby and put GOD at the center. Always be reminded that apart from GOD WE CAN DO NOTHING.

Facebook Page Account – www.facebook.com/LMBHairAccessories
Facebook Private Account – www.facebook.com/lilmiss.belle

Momtrepreneur Helene Marie Sonza of Baby Chic Boutique

An Interview with Helene Marie Sonza, Owner/Proprietor of Baby Chic Boutique

I got to interview miss Helene Marie Sonza. Momtrepreneur Helene is happily married to her loving husband Rogel, and mom of 2 wonderful kids – Mari, her 4-year old son, and Haley, her 15-month old daughter. She used to work as a registered nurse before she decided to quit her job when her part-time earnings as a freelance writer exceeded her salary. She opened Baby Chic Boutique February of last year. She loves to read and write and travel, and she just absolutely loves being a mom to her kids. She is currently a part-time writer, part-time momtrepreneur, and full-time mom. She promotes cloth nappying and breastfeeding to family, friends, and whoever would listen! She has been happily breastfeeding for 15 months and counting!

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Ginger: Hi Helene! Can you tell us more about Baby Chic Boutique?
Helene: My shop is Baby Chic Boutique, and for me, it’s “Where Chic Babies Make Happy Mommies.” Basically it’s about offering adorable, useful and “chic” items in the market for babies. I’ve been in the business for more than a year now – I just celebrated the anniversary of my shop this February.

Ginger: Who is your market?
Helene: My target market is moms with babies and toddlers who are looking for chic, adorable and useful items that they can use in their everyday life.

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Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Helene: Well, after I had my daughter Haley – I had already quit my nursing job and was working part-time as a freelance writer – I started thinking about going into business, since I had some time in my hands. I first wanted to offer pretty and chic items such as ribbons and clips since I thought there was still a lack of these items in the market, and moms like me with baby girls are always on the lookout for cute items to dress up our kids. But then I discovered cloth diapers, and I immediately fell in love. These oh so cute diapers are useful, eco-friendly, and absolutely chic and adorable… And now it’s become the main item that I sell in my shop. It’s because I truly believe in using them – my daughter is exclusively using cloth diapers – and I think they’re truly the better alternative to using disposables. I also offer many other baby items in addition to cloth diapers such as legwarmers, shoes and skidders, healthy baby snacks, Melissa & Doug toys and books, and I’ll soon have more baby and toddler clothing as well.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Helene: Well, money was the first issue – but because of the savings I had from my freelance writing gigs, I was able to put up my online business. There were some other hurdles – I like to think of them as hurdles, and not really obstacles – such as wondering whom should I target, how do I promote my business, should I give up or not… Yes, there were times before when I almost gave up, but the hard work paid off, and slowly I was able to find my niche and now I continue to have a growing number of new and regular customers.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Helene: Being willing to take a risk, being patient, and being able to balance work and life effectively. Business is always a risk – there’s a chance that you fail or succeed. And it’s really important that you be patient and persevere, since it can take a while to become established and build up your consumer base. And add the fact that you have kids to take care of – so you really need to know how to balance everything so that you can give your kids the time and attention they need as well as ensure that your customers are given the attention that they need.
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Ginger: Are there any unforgettable lessons that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?
Helene: That it’s not easy… that success really takes time, and it’s really important to maintain balance in everything. 

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Helene: Going into business is not for the fainthearted, so make sure that you’re up for the challenge.

Ginger: Thank you, Helene! You’ve shared wonderful insights! I wish you more success in your endeavors.

Baby Chic Boutique Contact information
a. Website: https://www.facebook.com/babychicboutiquephils/
b. Multiply site: http://multiply.com/babychicboutique (still under construction since multiply upgraded their site)
c. Email address: babychicphils@gmail.com
d. Mobile Number: 0932-9787278
e. Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/babychicboutiquephils/

Momtrepreneur Ethel Cuerpo-Bernales of Celestina & Co.

An Interview with Ethel Cuerpo-Bernales, Mommy-in-charge/Designer of Celestina & Co.

Ethel with lovely daughter, Celeste

Ethel with lovely daughter, Celeste

Ethel is always knows that she is a wife and mommy first. She is mom to a little girl named Celeste. Ethel is an interior design enthusiast. She loves colors all around 🙂

Ginger: Hi Ethel! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for this mom blog. Can you tell us more about the popular Celestina & Co.?
Ethel: Celestina & Co., a specialty online boutique that carries accessories for little girls. We will be celebrating our 2nd year this February 2013.

Celestina & Co. Logo

Celestina & Co. Logo

Ginger: Wow, congratulations on hitting your second year! Can you tell us more about your market and how you survived two year in the business. This is quite an inspiration for the other moms who want to be momtrepreneurs.
Ethel: Well, my primary market are young moms with newborn, infants and little girls.

Lovely bows from Celestina & Co.

Lovely bows from Celestina & Co.

Cute head band in the lucky color for this year!

Cute head band in the lucky color for this year!

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Ethel: It started because I was having a difficult time looking for suitable hair accessories for my baby then. I wanted a special accessory for her to wear for her christening and photo shoot. I didn’t like what I bought because I felt it was not comfortable for her and would leave marks. I started playing with the idea when I began searching online and saw what’s available in other countries particularly the US and Europe.

Ribbon shaped like a rainbow! So cool!

Ribbon shaped like a rainbow! So cool!

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Ethel: As with starting any business, the early months are very difficult in terms of finding that balance and managing your time. I was the one initially doing everything from making the bows, taking photos, doing the customer service and packing all the items. It was a great experience because you know everything that’s going on. It can get pretty hectic, but my family knows that they are my no. 1 priority no matter how busy it can get. Even as I slowly expanded and started getting help, I’d still sit down and make the bows if I can. It’s my therapy.

Lady bug ribbon from Celestina & Co.

Lady bug ribbon from Celestina & Co.

Ginger: I wish I had your creativity! Ethel, what are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Ethel: Passion – You’ve got to love what you’re doing. No matter how much you manage your time, there will still be some sacrifices so it has to be worth it. Knowing ones strength and focusing on that. You have to know your strengths and ask help at areas you don’t feel comfortable doing. Educate yourself and make a business plan no matter how simple it is. If you don’t have a business background, it’s even more important to educate yourself. There are a lot of free resources out there. Also, it doesn’t matter if you’re running a big or small business, putting things into writing gives you some direction and peace of mind.

Check out more ribbons, headbands and accessories from Celestina & Co.

Check out more ribbons, headbands and accessories from Celestina & Co.

Ginger: I have to agree with you on that one. I will be coming up with a series of blog posts to help mompreneurs create their own simple business plans. I hope that helps them. Moving on, what advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Ethel: As a momtrepreneur, we are unique in a way because our customers expect a level of customer service that they won’t expect from a big business. It can be difficult as you expand and grow but as long as you stay genuinely true to yourself, I think your customers will still feel that.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Ethel, for your valuable insights. Congratulations on your second year of business! I wish you continuous success for Celestina & Co.

Celestina & Co. Contact Information:
a. Website: www.celestinaandco.com
b. Email address: ethel@celestinaandco.com
c. Mobile Number: 998-8088/0916-7958255
d. Facebook Page www.facebook.com/celestinaandco
e. Twitter account: @celestinaandco
f. Pinterest, Instagram: celestinaandco

Momtrepreneur Charlene “Cai” Sio of Paper Chic Studio

An Interview with Momtrepreneur Cai Sio, the owner of Paper Chic Studio

Cai is a wife to her BOS (Beacon of Strength) and a mom to two beautiful kids, Yukie (28 months) and Raizo (7 months). She’s a full-time working, breastfeeding/pumping momma and a mompreneur. She’s a programmer by profession but her ultimate dream is to become WAHM someday. She also blogs about her adventures and mishaps as a mom on Apples & Dumplings. She’s also one of the founding moms of Mommy Mundo SoMoms!

Momtrepreneur Cai for Paper Chic Studio

Momtrepreneur Cai for Paper Chic Studio

Momtrepreneur Cai's Daughter Yukie

Momtrepreneur Cai’s Daughter Yukie

Momtrepreneur Cai's Son Raizo

Momtrepreneur Cai’s Son Raizo

EJ, my husband actually shot the products of Cai in our condo unit. We got to bond there and I got to learn more about Cai’s business.

Ginger: Cai, so how long have you been in business?

Cai: We just launched Paper Chic Studio just last December 2012. Paper Chic Studio basically is a one-stop shop for eco-friendly and chic party supplies.

Paper Chic Studio
Ginger: So Paper Chic Studio is relatively new! Amazing. It seems that you already have numerous clients. Who do you normally get to sell to (your target market)?

Cai: Our target markets are moms and party enthusiasts who love chic party supplies and who like to DIY and who are very attentive to every little party detail.

Baby Boy Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Baby Boy Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

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

Cai: It all started with my daughter Yukie’s 1st birthday. I was looking for a theme for her birthday and I stumbled upon all these party planning and DIY blogs that inspired me to semi-DIY some of the party details. While I had fun planning Yukie’s party and doing the DIYs, I wished the pretty party supplies I saw were available locally and online. A year later, I was yet again planning Yukie’s birthday and with the advent of the being green, I tried looking for environment friendly supplies but to no avail. This is how Paper Chic Studio is born.

Baby Girl Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Baby Girl Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

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

Cai: Balancing my day job and Paper Chic Studio is one of them and still is. Since I’m a working mom, there are days when I had to take a leave for meetings for Paper Chic Studio. I’m lucky to have a husband who helps me handle some of the things I couldn’t tend to. Another obstacle was coming up with the capital. I had to think and decide for a very long time on how much I was willing to shell out and risk for the business.

Black and White Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Black and White Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: You mentioned that you thought long and hard on how much capital to place into your business. What do you think momtrepreneurs should consider when thinking of how much capital to place into a business idea? How did you decide on yours?

Cai: Business is a risk. Shell out money that you can risk without you going broke or without you feeling guilty when the business goes down. With Paper Chic Studio, I computed everything (expenses, investments, etc.) and from there I decided on how much I’m willing to spend as my initial capital.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

Cai: A momtrepreneur must be driven, always educating themselves, and most of all, a momtrepreneur has to be passionate about her business, products and must have trust in her products and also passionate about being successful.

Colorful Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Colorful Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?

Cai: You have to be creative and wise on deciding what line of product/s or business you want to sell and start. Find what you are passionate about. I guess that’s one the reason why it took me so long to start my own business because I was looking for THE ONE. When you have found what you want to do or sell, start small and expand as your business flourish.

Ginger: Thanks so much, Momtrepreneur Cai! We are looking forward to seeing more products from Paper Chic Studio in the future.

Paper Chic Studio Contact Information
a. Website: www.paperchicstudio.com
b. Email address: info@paperchicstudio.com
c. Mobile Number: +63917-8199229
d. Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/PaperChicStudio
e. Twitter account: www.twitter.com/paperchicstudio
f. Pinterest, etc.: www.pinterest.com/paperchicstudio

What’s your “Business” Reason, Momtrepreneur?

In business or even in marketing, you cannot do away with the word “objective”. What is your objective? I have become immune to that sentence. I do know of some people who are allergic to that word though. Come to think of it, it really sounds intimidating. I don’t want to use that word in this post. I’ll simply use the word “Reason”. I think that’s a lighter and more practical word to use.

Setting goals or objectives can be too intimidating for some especially when asked even before starting a business. At least with reason, it’s a word that we cannot do without since we use this human capacity for making conscious decisions, analysis or justifying actions based on existing information. Like for example, I made this conscious decision to inhale this packet of peanut butter cookies even though I may have gained more than expected during the holidays.

What diet???

What diet???

But seriously, before starting a business, you really need to state a reason for doing so. Objectives and goals can come after. What is your reason for planning to put up your own business? Is it for the financial gain that comes with it? Is it because you want to pursue your passion and life-long dream?

I read this article of Jeff Haden entitled, One Test Every Entrepreneur Must Take. If you answered “yes” to both questions I raised above, what Jeff says will be a disappointment for you. He says that “Sadly, these two options tend to be mutually exclusive–unless what you love to do is grow a business”.

He continues to explain that there will come a point in time when your business will have to expand and grow to give you the financial gains that you expect. If your business is something that you love doing “hands-ons”, then eventually, you will have to let go and watch it grow from a distance where you may not be able to do the things that you are passionate about.

I actually agree with him. I personally believe that at some point in time, I will have to learn how to delegate and be busy with strategy and direction for my business. Right now, I am enjoying doing everything for Manila Workshops — meeting new people, developing plans for partners, making each learning experience worthwhile and building relationships with suppliers, attendees, and partners.

How about you? Have you thought of your reasons for starting or coming up with your own business? If you want to choose both, you can pretty much do so by determining where line intersects between the income that you will be content with and with the satisfaction that you get from doing things in our business that you love. As a momtrepreneur, this is key. If you and your husband plan to make this business of yours the primary source of income in the future, then you may have to choose financial gain in the long run. If you think that this is just so as to augment or to help in adding to the household budget, then maybe, your reason is to do the things that you are passionate about.

What’s your reason?

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Momtrepreneur Angelica (Angel) Cristobal from Keishables

An Interview with Momtrepreneur Angel Cristobal, the owner of Keishables.

Angel is a full-time mom & wife and part-time online seller/momtrepreneur. She’s the mother of one adorable little girl named Keisha (26 months) and wife to a loving and supportive husband named Kirby. She is a self confessed lover of arts and crafts. She loves scrapbooking, photography, designing and event organizing (just for her family and friends).

Momtrepreneur Angel with her family

Momtrepreneur Angel with her family

Momtrepreneur Angel with her daughter!

Momtrepreneur Angel with Keisha!

Here is my interview with Mommy Angel.

Ginger: Hi Angel! Can you tell me more about Keishables?

Angel: My business, Keishables, is named after my daughter. What I do is I sell raw materials for making hair bows. It was only in the latter part of 2012 when we decided to join bazaars to sell hair bows ourselves. I founded Keishables in June 8, 2011. I’m proud to say that we are at 1 ½ old now.

Ribbons from Keishables

Ribbons from Keishables

Other designs from Keishables

Other designs from Keishables

Ginger: That’s pretty interesting. You are the first mom who I have encountered to have that type of business. So, who do you think your market is?

Angel: My market is mostly moms who also want to have their own business by selling hair bows online. I also have some clients who are crafters and moms who just want to make bows for their daughters and who do not intend to sell.

Ginger: I’m sure a lot of people would like to know how you came up with this idea, since it’s pretty unique. What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Angel: When my Keisha was born in 2010, I was really having fun making her fancy flower headbands and hairbows. Many people asked me “Where did you buy it?” and of course, proudly, I would answer: “I made it!”. That was when I thought of having my stuff available online. I went to Divisoria to buy hairbow-making materials, but unfortunately, I did not find any store selling polyester grosgrain ribbons (which is usually used for making hairbow). I found one store who sells nylon grosgrain ribbons and tried it out, but it didn’t work well because it wasn’t as nice and fluffy once you make it a hair bow.

During that time, my husband went to China and I asked him if I can order some ribbons there. I made my research and I found one manufacturer who happens to be in the same province where he was going. I ordered online and didn’t notice or even imagine that I ordered a lot! (I was thinking that the ribbons I ordered were just in small spools). When my supplier delivered it to my husband, it was 3 balikbayan boxes! He wasn’t able to bring it home due to its weight and we opted to just ship it here in the Philippines. Since I had all of these ribbons, I decided to sell some ribbons online. I was surprised with the how many people wanted to buy. Many crafters and moms were looking for it for a long time already so I started importing from then on.

Other ribbon designs

Other ribbon designs

Ribbons from Keishables

Ribbons from Keishables

 

Ginger: That’s a great story, Mommy Angel. With all of these successes, were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?

Angel: Working at home is a bit challenging if you have a toddler. My daughter wants to have “Mom and me time” for almost all of the day so when I’m working, she gets my attention by pulling my ribbons from the rack or playing with my resins or centerpieces.

Another challenge is having a permanent time for work. If you work in an office you often go to work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, but in my case it’s usually between Keisha’s nap or sleeping time. I don’t have a helper, so that’s the only time I have for myself and work.

Momtrepreneur Keishables 0005

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

Angel: I think every business starts with passion. Without it, you will not be successful in any type of business. Time management is also crucial for a momtrepreneur, because managing a household and business at the same time is really tough work. You also need the courage to be innovative when it comes to your service or products. Do not be afraid to introduce something new to your market and don’t be afraid of your competitors, as well. Competitors are there to bring out the best in you.

Momtrepreneur Keishables 0002

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?

Angel: I think the best advice I can give is our word of life: Isaiah 43:5 “Do not be afraid for I am with you”. If there comes a point that you feel you have failed in your business or in any aspect of your business, always get the support of your family, most especially your husband. Pray to the Lord and claim that you will regain abundance and find solutions to your problems.

Ginger: Those are great words, Mommy Angel. Thank you for our time and I hope that momtrepreneurs out there get to be inspired with the story of how Keishables came to be.

Keishables Contact Information:

a. Email address: keishables@gmail.com
b. Mobile Number: 0917-5895570
c. Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/keishables
d. Twitter account: @keishables
e. Pinterest: keishables