Easy Cures Story (Interview with Entrepreneur Tina Vitas)

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

Having coffee with Entrepreneur Tina Vitas of Easy Cures

Tina’s Story

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

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

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

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

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

Easy Cures Story

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Tina: Patience, flexibility and grit.

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

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

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

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

This is a product that I love very very much!

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Interview with Entrepreneur Vida Lim

Today, in my blog, I’m interviewing a very inspiring lady. I actually talked to her years ago but I didn’t get to ask if she still remembers me. I have seen her products a long time ago. For today, I’ll be interviewing a lady named Vida to tell us more about her brand Vida Lim.

VIDA LIM

The Lims 163

About Vida…
I love being hands-on—in business, but most especially, at home. When my kids wake up, I should be the one by their side. My husband brings them to school and I fetch them. There was never a time that we let our help fetch our kids. I have a lot of help at home but I just give instructions on what needs to be prepared. I make sure to have time to unwind, though. I love music! I sing and sometimes play the piano. I love watching TV series, reading books, and shopping online, even while I’m pumping milk for my youngest. As a born-again Christian, I have devotional everyday. I also have a D-Group; we’ll be meeting again every Monday when school starts for the kids. At the end of the day, I make sure everything I do is to please God.

Interview with Vida Lim
Ginger: Hi Vida! Can you tell us more about your brand. What is it about and how long have you been in business?

Vida: My jewelry line, Vida Lim, started as a hobby around 2004. I was working with my dad in the family’s hardware business but I really couldn’t work in an industry that doesn’t have anything to do with art! I studied interior design in college but pursuing it as a career would definitely have to be full-time—meaning less time for the family—so I took a jewelry design course at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines. I just tried designing jewelry, creating big, bold, vintage-looking pieces I loved that weren’t available in the market. To my surprise, it did very well! I consigned pieces with stores like Firma and AC+632 around 2010 and eventually launched my website, Facebook page, and Instagram account, where I now sell my collections.

The Vida Lim brand is all about bold, dramatic, and glamorous conversation pieces.

FP ROYAL BLUE GALAXY TASSEL EARRING

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

Vida: I cater to a wide market—from yuppies to socialites, from twentysomethings to senior citizens. Perhaps it’s because I have a variety of designs and different price points as well. I have pieces under 3,000 pesos that even those in their 20s can afford, then I have the more expensive, intricate pieces with semi-precious stones.

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

Vida: Less expenses. There are risks in spending that are not worth it. There are companies that spend millions to market their products even before they’ve really established the company, and sometimes, the money just goes to waste because the campaign doesn’t work. Start small.

 

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

Vida: Clients who don’t pay.

Ginger: What?! Really, there are clients who don’t pay!

Vida: Yes, and another would be training the workers on how to achieve the level of quality you want for your products. There must be symmetry, the stones need to be protected—and so they need to follow a certain process. It’s tough when your instructions aren’t followed and the quality suffers, and sometimes the materials get ruined.

Those losses are part of the business, though. To be successful, you have to be patient, hardworking, and creative. You also need PR skills. Plus, you need to have faith so that any obstacle wouldn’t hinder you from achieving success.

FP GALAXY HAMMERED GLOSSY CUFF

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

Vida: An entrepreneur should be hardworking. Being proactive is key in success because if not, the business could be stable, sales may come in, but there may not be significant growth.

There’s also the need for creativity. You do not want your clients to get tired of the products you are offering. You always need to give the clients something different, something to look forward to. That’s why I continue to do my research on different materials and techniques.

Finally, you need to have faith in your business. You need to believe in your product. If you do not believe in your product, how are you going to sell it?

Ginger: Are there any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an entrepreneur?

Vida: It was amazing to see my creations featured in magazines and newspapers for the first time! The first magazine to feature my work was Preview, and for newspapers, I’ll never forget the entire spread about my jewelry line in the Philippine STAR’s YStyle section. I was also thrilled when I first spotted celebrities wearing my pieces.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Vida: You just have to believe in your product, your brand. You should be able to highlight its benefits. If you really believe in your product, you’ll have faith that you will become successful as long as you are hardworking and patient. You also need to be creative, and you need to be good in dealing with clients.

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Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Vida: No. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses, and the qualities and skills required of an entrepreneur may not be among somebody’s strengths. It is important to know what you’re good at and focus on honing those skills—whether in putting up your own business or pursuing another career. Stick to your strengths.

Ginger: Thank you so much Vida for taking time out for this interview. I hope that a lot of people will be inspired after reading this!

To contact Vida or to purchase from Vida Lim, here are the contact details:

ww.vidalim.com
Email address: vidalimjewelry@gmail.com
Mobile number: 0917-656-5615
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vidalimjewelry
Twitter account @vidalim
Instagram account @vidalim

SME Interview with Jade Dolor of Little Beans Baby Store

Today, I am again proud to feature a hands-on mommy and her name is Jade. I’m really proud and happy to see more and more mommies and daddies who are going for their dreams of starting their own businesses. I love writing about them here in my blog because I know that they need all the help they can get in terms of promotions and marketing. I know because I have been in that predicament when I started.

 

Munoz Family
Jade owns and operates Little Beans Baby Store – doing virtually everything from sales and marketing to design, supplier coordination, and even manual work when we do bazaars. She also work two full-time jobs, one as a Director of Operations for a company that provides reservation systems to over a thousand hotels worldwide. She also works from home as the Copy Manager of a company based in Canada.

Jade_Office 

Between juggling these three things, I also take on some writing projects when I have free time. For instance,  I recently completed a project as one of the scouts for Yelp for their Manila launch. I am a hands-on mom to  my toddler. We have never had a yaya since birth and I breastfed her for two years – this was a time I truly  cherished and even now that I am no longer a breastfeeding mommy, it is still one of the things I advocate. I  am able to balance all these because I have a very supportive husband and family.

 

 

Interview with Jade of Little Beans Baby Store

Ginger: Thank you, Jade for agreeing to be interviewed. First of all, can you please tell us more about your brand/business? What is it about and how long have you been in business?

Jade: Little Beans Baby Store is currently the only brand offering Filipino statement onesies for infants and toddlers. While that is our main product, we also carry other brands for hip accessories that we import from other countries. We started in September 2013.

Little Beans Logo Lazada
Ginger: Who is your market and why did you choose this market?

Jade: We want to cater to A,B and C markets by providing quality products at an affordable price point. Our onesies come in three sizes: small fits 3 to 6 months, medium is for 6 months to 9 months and large is for 9 months to 12 months. However, our sizes run a bit big, so it usually fits up to 18 months.

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

Jade: When my daughter was about 6 months old, I was definite that I wanted to get out of the corporate world and start my own business. The first thing I tried my hand on was organizing bazaars. My first bazaar was a baby bazaar in Ayala Ave. It was pretty successful. I interviewed some of my merchants (who eventually became my friends) and they were really happy selling baby products. I was inspired and decided to try to be at the other side of the fence by going into retail. I made some very good connections with suppliers and started from there.

Ginger: That’s a great story! I didn’t know that you had that jump from being the organizer to being one of the sellers. In this journey, were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur?

Jade: While I had a lot of experience in events, managing a business for other, online marketing and a lot of other things, retail wasn’t really my strength. So I started with very little capital and a lot of trial and error testing. I did make some mistakes with product choices at first, so I have some stocks from two year ago that still haven’t sold.

Little Beans Filipino Statement Onesies Banner

Ginger: How do you market your products?

Jade: Online (through facebook and an ecommerce store), by real life interactions in bazaars and through business partners like Lazada.

LBFSO-BATL002

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

Jade: Having your own business is very similar to raising your child. You may think you know things or that you can learn about it just by reading, but when you really get deep in the trenches of everything about your business, you’ll find out just how little to know and you’ll have to adjust quickly to different situations. Don’t be afraid to fail because it is in those mistakes – whether they be big or small – that you learn the most from. As an entrepreneur, the willingness to learn new things is definitely a must and so is bravery – don’t be afraid to fail or to try new things.

LBFSO-WABL011

Ginger: How about unforgettable moments or any lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur?

Jade: I think the most unforgettable moment has to be my first taste of success. I joined a bazaar where I sold out most of the items I had and I was really happy with the results.

LBFSO-DMTL007

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Jade: Just keep going at it and keep believing in yourself and in your product/brand. No one ever became a success by giving up on their first try or their second or even their third.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Jade: Honestly, it is not for everyone, but I certainly hope those who dream to be entrepreneurs get the support they need and the courage to take that first step.

Ginger: Amen to that!  Thank you very much, Jade, for sharing your thoughts and your experiences. I’m sure a lot of retailers and those with online stores will be able to gain knowledge from this article.

To contact Little Beans Baby Store, here are their contact details:
Website: www.beansbabystore.com
Email address: violetdolor@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 09162475704
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/BeansBabyStore