SME Interviews

Mommy Ginger shares interviews with momtrepreneurs that will inspire you through and through!

I remember when I had Zeeka. I wanted to frame and keep everything — from how little her hands were, to hair from her first haircut, etc. As parents, we want to preserve these things to show our children when they grow up and for us to preserve the happy memories. This is the mission of Cast for Keeps, a small business in the Philippines. I had a chance to interview Andrea. Andrea Aranas is the Managing Director of Cast For Keeps and this is her story.

Andrea: I am a spontaneous person. I love random things depending on my mood and as of now I am into crafts and vlogging. But the things I like that will never change is public speaking, hosting, playing sports, and trying new things. I have a small family – it’s just my husband, my daughter and me. My husband and I have been married for over a year. We love travelling by car, but we don’t really go to specific destinations. We just love to go on joyrides. I never had the chance to work as I started crafting my own business, but I want to work with public schools and help the less fortunate as this has been my advocacy since I was in grade school. I have a passion for helping the needy,  especially children from to broken families.

Interview with Andrea Aranas

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

Andrea: I do lifecasting. Where I use molds and casting techniques to capture 3D copies of the hands and feet of my clients and turn them into rare memorabilia. I only started this year.

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

Andrea: The first lifecasts I did were for infants’ hands and feet. Then, I realized other members of the family deserve to have their own keepsakes. Lifecasting preserves the memories of my clients’ their babies and  children as they grow. Then, beginning this month, I am trying out a product to cater to corporate clients.

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

Andrea: I saw it randomly on the internet and thought it was cute, then I got curious and wanted to try it out.

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

Andrea: It was hard to find Suppliers of the materials. I had to look for high quality items, so all
my ingredients are shipped from Australia.

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

Andrea: Well, many Filipinos are hesitant to splurge on memories. They’d be more practical.

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

Andrea: Willingness to take risks. Patience. Perseverance.

Ginger: What are some unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an entrepreneur/startup founder?

Andrea: You will always lose money in the beginning, so you should really work on capital first if you do not want to take too big a risk.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?

Andrea: Do what you love to do, but be creative.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Andrea: Yes.

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

Andrea: Personally, I resell. Then, I declutter and try selling things I son’t need or making something out of them that will easily be sold.

Ginger: How do you market your products? What’s your growth strategy?

Andrea: Facebook, of course. Also advertisements, tie-ups, sponsorships, and, most importantly, word of mouth.

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

Andrea: Nothing much. Just my smartphone.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Andrea, for sharing some tips and your experiences 🙂 And we have good news for my dear readers! Andrea will be giving away 1000 off for any services.

Mechanics to join the raffle (these are just 3 easy steps!):

  1. Like the Cast For Keeps Facebook page: www.facebook.com/castforkeeps
  2. Follow them on Instagram: @castforkeeps
  3. Tell us why you want to win on the comment section below!

Contact information about your business:
Email address: castforkeeps@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 09174344671
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/castforkeeps
Instagram account: @castforkeeps

 

 

Sharing with you this interview with Jaycee Recto of BagWings! 🙂

Hey, I’m Jaycee Recto. I am the father of 5 kids. I am a natural designer on both traditional and digital medium. I graduated at Far Eastern University for free by being an Athlete. I love Football but being 36, my body is disagreeing with my brain.

I never thought I’m gonna cook. Bagwings is a food concept that we made based on another thing that Filipinos love to do, and that is drinking. We started with a menu that was built to be the ultimate “pulutan” selection, but then something happened, we noticed that people were ordering rice from the next stall after ordering Bagwings , so, we decided to make it a full-on rice meal concept. Our signature Bagwings dish is a mixture of roasted pork belly, chilled then deep-fried to perfection to attain that Northern and Southern fusion (Ilocos bagnet + Cebu Lechon) paired with fried chicken wings in various flavors glazed with our famous Bagwings chili oil.

Interview Questions:

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business?

Jaycee: BagWings!

Ginger: What is it about?

Jaycee: Bagnet Fusion and Chilli garlic wings.

Ginger: How long have you been in business?

Jaycee: Roughly 3yrs

Ginger: Who is your target market?

Jaycee: Everyone

Ginger: Why did you choose this market?

Jaycee: Its everyone eh!

Ginger: Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Jaycee: You can never go wrong with fried chicken and pork.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea?

Jaycee: I was drunk…It’s a long story….

Ginger: What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Jaycee: The quest for quality pulutan…turned into a meal.

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

Jaycee: Definitely! Time, money and lifestyle

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

Jaycee: Here in PH, the government is really unclear about the laws/rules in start-ups. Being a foodtrucker, there are no governing laws. There is a wide range of market but to be able to serve them the first road block is the government.

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

Jaycee: Value for time, endless patience, respect for MATH and Diskarte.

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

Jaycee: Money changes everything.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Jaycee: Learn when you fail.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Jaycee: YES!!!!

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

Jaycee: Loan and external investments.

Ginger: How do you market your products?

Jaycee: Social media and proper exposure of brand in your location.

Ginger: Growth strategy?

Jaycee: Quality should never be compromised by volume.

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

Jaycee: In marketing we are also Online. POS system in monitoring cash. Hi-end kitchen equipment for streamline production.

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

Jaycee: PASSION is NOTHING WITHOUT ACTION.

Contact information about your business:
Website – www.bagwings.com.ph
Email address – jaycee@bagwings.com.ph
Mobile Number – 09176095335
Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/bagwings
Twitter account- bagwingsPH
Instagram account- BagwingsPH

It takes a certain type of personality to be able to start your own business and make it fly. From the minute I got to know this lady, I knew that she was a go-getter! I felt that she was someone who would make things happen. We met in a coffee shop and immediately and excitedly told me about versatile fashion. I loved the passion and the enthusiasm. Lo and behold, after a month, Katrina Manalo is now launching her own social enterprise business called Aurelia & Amelia.

Aurelia & Amelia is a social enterprise and a social-selling organization based in the Philippines that focuses on promoting versatile fashion while enabling Filipino women earn additional income, do something they love and contribute to social-change.

*Please subscribe to my channel http://bit.ly/gtvchannel and like this video!

This was the first time I hear about versatile fashion. I am one who dresses up simply (a shirt paired with jeans does it for me). It’s very difficult for me to spruce up outfits like these. Seeing the different products of A&A made me believe that I, too, can be a fashionista!

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*Image from Aurelia & Amelia

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*Image from Aurelia & Amelia

What I love about Aurelia & Amelia’s products is that there are a lot of details that Kat really thought about, which is present. And example are the little charms that symbolize these four seals. If the product represents some of these seals, the buyer will see charms representing the seals in the piece that she bought. The four seals are Eco-Friendly, Socially Responsible, Shop with a Heart and Made in the Philippines.

aurelia-and-amelia

Another thing that Aurelia & Amelia stands for, other than just versatile fashion, is versatile fashion with a heart. For every purchase of the product, a portion of it goes to the daily expenses and allowance of  a child under Project Pearl’s care. Project Pearl is a non-profit foundation that cares for abandoned children.

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This is the perfect gift for your mother, sister, tita, etc. These are fashion pieces that they can wear everyday. By giving them a piece from Aurelia & Amelia, you are also helping build a brighter future for a child.

Come and join me attend the launch of Aurelia & Amelia at BGC this coming Saturday. If you have the time, please sign up now www.aureliaamelia.com/invitation-for-launch/ See you there!

Since Christmas is fast approaching, I know that you are all busy looking for gifts to give your loved ones. I shared with you my Christmas gift ideas for your mompreneur friends in this link: http://bit.ly/snrChristmasMompreneur. I will be sharing more Christmas Gift Ideas these coming days. For today, I feel so giddy sharing this product with you, since this brand was co-created and built by one of my good friends and event directors in Manila Workshops, Donna. She and her friend created Katsa Co., which I will tell you more about in this post.

Donna, one of the Co-Founders of Katsa Co. with son, Kib

Donna, one of the Co-Founders of Katsa Co. with son, Kib

I haven’t told Donna this, but I really admire her. She is a superwoman! She is a single mom, homeschooling mom, a work-from-home mom, a supportive mom to her busy 10 year old son who gets a lot of tv/print commercial gigs, a mom blogger, and now a budding entrepmom. She like travelling and shopping. She loves eating, but doesn’t like cooking (haha!).

Donna was a banker and a licensed teacher by profession. She started venturing into this business very recently (October 2106), which was co-founded with a friend. She met her friend and was her best friend during graduate school. “We complement each other,” Donna adds. They always get along and are patient with each other. “When one tends to be in a bad mood, the other one gives way. haha!”

They have always thought of starting a business, but what kept them from starting was because of the distance of their homes. Late last year, they decided to get serious and thought of Katsa Co. as their initial venture, being both kikays and who love bags. Her goal as a mom is to inspire other moms that you can homeschool and be a mompreneur at the same time through her blog and instagram posts.

When asked about other goals, she hilariously uttered, “Gusto ko magkaron pa din ng lovelife, haha! (I want to have a lovelife!).” But her main goal is really to raise her son to be a fine young man and to prepare for their future. This is the reason why she has several jobs. “Some of my friends say that they cannot do the things that I can do, because I juggle work, business, parenting, and home management. I just tell them, “mahirap talagang kumita ng pera.. haha! (Earning money is hard!).

Katsa Co.’s Story

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

Donna: Our business name is Katsa Co. We thought of that name, because we wanted something that is catchy and easy to remember. Our bags and pouches are basically made of katsa, so having it as our business name is something that people can easily recall. We are into selling personalized bags and pouches. We ask our customers how they want their bags to be and what kind of print should be on the bags/pouches. We have our own line of bags, but we are also open to different customizations. As long as it is made of katsa, we can do it. We just started last October 2016.

Katsa Co. Shoulder bag
Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Donna: We would love to tap everyone who is looking for something to use for their own or someone who would love to showcase their kids’ artwork or maybe someone who is looking for gift ideas or Christmas gift ideas (since it’s almost Christmas). We will serve every one who would love personalized bags and pouches! Our bags and pouches can also be used by men, too! My friend and I love ‘owning’ things so we thought of opening this idea to other people, too.

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

Donna: My friend and I have already been thinking of a business that we can both work together despite of our proximity, and opening an online business is the most workable for both of us. We’ve thought of also buying a franchise, but the place to put the business is really a big challenge for both of us. It’ll be very difficult for us to physically manage a traditional business because aside from being business partners, we’re also mothers. We also need to find time for our kids.

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

Donna: Choosing the right business, because we wanted to put up a business that we both like. Another one is the challenge of dividing the task. Proximity is a challenge for us so we need to really plan our strategy for us to make the business work. We need to put more time on this business so that It’ll prosper.

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

Donna: Our business is fairly new, and we are still finding the right ‘formula’ so that we will be able to last in the business. Online business is really a tough industry to be in, because there are thousands of online businesses out there. We need to really market the business double time and deliver in a timely fashion to our customers. We make sure that we answer all their inquiries on time.

Katsa Co. Sample

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

Donna: A start-up entrepreneur must put up a business that they think that they would love, and not just for the sake of earning. A start-up entrepreneur must be flexible to their customer’s needs. Like in our case, even if we have our own line of products, we also do welcome customizations and we really try to meet our customers’ needs. A start-up entrepreneur must be willing to learn. Just like what I’ve learned from the business talks that I’ve attended in the past, innovation is the key to last in the industry. Learning never stops.

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

Donna: My friend and I always have arguments, hahaha. But towards the end of the day, we’re still friends. Respect each other’s opinion and always consult each other for decisions.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Donna: You don’t need to have a big capital to start a business! Start small, and from there, make your business grow ☺ Work on your capacity too, don’t get too excited whenever there are inquiries, just take it lightly. Learn to say no. Pray. Pray to the Lord for the right business opportunity for you, for sure there’s a tailor-fit business for you.

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Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Donna: While being an entrepreneur is one way to achieve financial goals, I guess that being an entrepreneur also needs a lot of preparation and experience. While some can be entrepreneurs at young age, some people need a lot of learning and encouragement to be one. But then, the bottomline is do not be afraid to take risks. The risk that you would take depends on how much failure are you also willing to accept.

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

Donna: Save a portion of your regular pay by tagging it as business fund. Have a small home business like selling ice candy or ice or fishballs. If you are bolder, apply for a bank loan. Borrow money from family members (I say family members because family can be leaner on payment terms, hihi). Cut on luxury expenses.

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

Donna: Since it is an online business, sharing the website to several groups is a good way to make the people aware of the brand. I blogged about my business, haha. Asking friends to spread the love about the business. Keeping the site alive by posting a lot of updates.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?
Donna: Our online shop is on Facebook and Instagram for now. Hopefully, we would evolve in the future by having our own e-commerce site.

Ginger: Thank you, Donna, for your time! For those who are looking for gifts to give out this holiday season, do check out these Christmas gift ideas from Katsa co.

Contact information:
Website: https://www.facebook.com/katsacoph/
Email address: katsacoph@gmail.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/katsacoph/
Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/katsa_co/

P.S. This post is dedicated to Alex, the daughter of Donna’s Co-Founder Rowena, who passed away yesterday 🙁

 

I’m always blown away when I get to meet young entrepreneurs. It reminds me that creating a business and having that passion for solving daily problems that people face may come from anyone of any age! It’s no wonder that these three lovely ladies created their own brand of instant stain remover. Young entrepreneurs Page, Alyssa and Pebbles will teach us more about Product Development and how they came up with Tidy Heidy!

Tidy Heidy Instant Stain Remover is an on-the-go solution for your everyday food, beverage, and condiment stains on fabrics. What these young entrepreneurs did is that they really understood what the market needed and created a product that specifically addresses what their customers needed. Their initial market are moms with kids who stain their clothes with food, drinks, etc. This market needed it to be non-toxic.

Tidy Heidy uses milder chemicals that is safe to use around kids, plus it can be used on most everyday kinds of fabric like cotton, polyester, dry-fit, etc. It’s also color safe (won’t fade the color of the fabric). Tidy Heidy is also vey handy and portable. It’s in a 19 mL bottle so you can bring it in your bag or your pocket

I asked them about product development and they mentioned that they didn’t get it the first time around. Even if they wanted to remove all sorts of stains, they knew that they needed to focus on the kinds of stains that were most common, which were food and beverage stains Tidy Heidy can remove stains such as coffee, red wine, soy sauce, gravy, tomato ketchup and fruit stains.

To use the product, all you need to do is blot the excess stain, drop the product onto the stain and wipe it away with tissue. It works best with a piece of tissue paper underneath the stained area to catch the stain and to absorb the excess moisture. You can repeat the steps stated above if necessary, until no stain is left.

This locally made product has a shelf life is a year from manufacturing date. Tidy Heidy is sold at a selling price of Php 115. If you want a 5% DISCOUNT, please use the CODE: GINGERxTIDYHEIDY. This is nice Christmas Gift for your co-workers, friends and family members.

To purchase the product, just go to their facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TidyHeidy/?fref=ts) and click on shop now or click on this link: http://bit.ly/mgxtidyheidy

For more information on the product, you can email them at tidyheidyinc@gmail.com.

GIVEAWAY:
Mommy Ginger is giving away three Tidy Heidy products. All you need to do is:
1. Subscribe to http://bit.ly/gtvchannel by using your gmail account.
2. Go to the Tidy Heidy  video and leave a comment! https://youtu.be/CO7GADBYtg4
3. Leave your email address in the comment section below so that we will know that you have joined!

*This is open only for Metro Manila participants
*Giveaway will end on December 10. 🙂 Join now!