This month for me has been knowing more about skincare and the different ingredients that I should look for or watch out for. There is a plethora of products that you can choose from in the market, and the challenge really for retailers now is how do I stand out and what will make me unique and different. Looking at different skin care products from Korea and Japan, you would notice that they make use of quite interesting products like snail, lava, horse oil, orange, grapes, and even “unicorn tears” (I wonder how they got that! haha!). Then I got myself looking at Filipino made products, too (of course!) and one brand caught my attention, and that was My Natural PH. They make use of Seaweed.
I wanted to know more about the whats, hows and whys of My Natural. This is why I interviewed, Marina, one of the co-owners of My Natural PH.
About The Moradas
Marina is the daughter of Noel Morada, who started the business. Noel is a UP Alumnus and has an MBA in Marketing and Finance. He is a graduate of Business Administration and is a businessman who has been in the seaweeds industry for more than 20 years.
Marina is an IMC Graduate from UA&P (yeeeeah! same school and course as me!). She is also a graduate of Masters of Applied Business Economics. EJ Morada is the younger brother who helps in the business. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila University (Business Management).
Interview with Marina of My Natural PH:
Ginger: Hi Marina! It’s great to meet you. Can you tell everyone what My Natural is about and how long have you been in business?
Marina: We’ve been in the seaweeds business for more than 20 years but our personal care line made out of seaweeds was only launched June this year after 2 years of research and product development.
This new venture is all about providing SAFE, HEALTHY, and EFFECTIVE natural products. It stems from our belief that having a healthy lifestyle does not stop with developing healthy habits and eating healthy foods but should also include the use of different products for personal care, home care and air care which are natural and environment friendly. Consumers need such products that will help them sustain a healthy lifestyle. This is the need that we wish to address through MyNatural products.
Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?
Marina: Our product line generally caters to the health- conscious natural advocates who keep on finding ways on how they could maintain a healthy lifestyle. They have personal preference over natural products knowing its benefits.
We have 3 brands and each have distinctly identifies the type of consumers to address their needs.
Algynatural: For the regular consumer who wish to have the benefits of seaweeds and natural personal care products which they could sustain for their everyday needs.
Ocean Blue: For the ultra- sensitive skin consumers who are looking for natural, safe, and effective solutions that could help them manage skin conditions.
MyNatureland: For every homemaker that wishes to keep every corner of her home naturally fresh and clean without using harmful chemicals.
Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Marina: Being in the seaweeds industry for several years, we have attended International conferences and exhibits and learned the benefits of seaweeds for skin care and other personal care needs. These are evidenced by numerous scientific studies, presentations and research papers by experts in the fields. More than this is our ardent desire to promote sustainable healthy lifestyle through products that help consumers take care of themselves as well as the environment. Last of course is our determination to provide more livelihood and continuously build self-sustaining and sustainable communities.
Before embarking on this business though, to be viable we asked ourselves 3 basic questions:
– Is there a market for the product?
– Do we have the resources ( capital, human, raw materials, etc.) to be in this business?
– Do we have the competitive advantage?
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?
Marina: Oh A lot. Putting up a business is always a challenge. But as an entrepreneur, you got to have the grit. You have to be tough – psychologically, physically, and emotionally, you have to have the capacity to find solutions to complex problems, the ability to see the opportunities and potentials of future products to fulfill human needs, the steadfastness to pursue your dreams and strong faith in yourself and God of course.
Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business?
Marina: Getting the right product that will address the need of the market. This is the product development stage where you really spend a lot of time, resources and human talent to be able to get a perfect product as much as possible. Then you have the challenge of getting your product to the market. Identifying the right market and communicating to them. How is your product relevant to your market? What are the right channels to reach your market? What marketing mix shall you use… Then you have the logistics side of it so that products get to the customer in a seamless and faster way. Finding customer expectation and fulfilling them is huge challenge for entrepreneurs. Getting the needed resources is likewise a challenge.
Ginger: What are three traits that you think a Start-up Founder/Entrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
- The passion to succeed no matter what the odds (grit)
- Eagerness to learn to keep up with the changing times.
Perseverance / Hardwork
Ginger: Do you have any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Start-up Founder/Entrepreneur?
Marina: Think ahead. As an entrepreneur you should always be forward looking. Your decision today may no longer be applicable tomorrow so you should be always have plan B and C.
Learning is a continuous process.
There is an opportunity that lies for every problem. You just have to identify it.
Of course, never give up!
Ginger: What advice can you give to other Start-up Founders/Entrepreneurs?
Marina: Equip yourself with the right tools and mindset before starting a business. Learn from the mistakes of others. Always put your customers first (know and understand your market ) they are the lifeblood of any business. Never stop learning.
Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Marina: Everyone has the opportunity but only few succeed. The general ratio they say is 1:10; that means only 1 out of ten succeeds. Being an entrepreneur is a conscious decision that you make to achieve a higher purpose ( change lives, create positive impact, etc) . It’s a commitment you should be willing to make to yourself and to your stakeholders (partners, consumers, investors, suppliers, etc).
Ginger: What is your belief about raising capital? What are ways that you can do to raise capital?
Marina: Generally the source of initial capital are personal savings then additional capital from relatives and friends. The formal channels of raising capital like banks, venture capital and other financial intermediaries or institutions and eventually the equity market, come in only in the growth stage of the business. So raising capital during the start up stage of the business is always challenge.
Ginger: How do you market your products?
Marina: Right now our products can be purchased online through our own website and other online shopping sites like Beauty MNL.
Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?
Marina: On line marketing tools and apps. ( Facebook, Instagram, e- store). Automation of the accounting, financial, inventory and customer base.
Ginger: Thank you so much, Marina, for spending time with me! I learned a lot about seaweeds, its benefits and of course, a lot about starting a business!
Contact information about your business:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile Number: 0917 132 1977 OR 0920 977 1977
Facebook Page : MyNaturalPH
Instagram account: @MyNaturalPH