Business

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s business tips and advice for momtrepreneurs. She shares valuable knowledge on topics like branding, marketing and consumer insight.

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

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

I am in the process of reviewing and ‘re-reading’ some of the books that I have read before. I am not much of a reader, to tell you honestly. The books that I love reading are those that give tips for entrepreneurs, personal finance management books, entrepreneur/start-up guides and branding books.

My collection in my IPAD :)

My collection in my IPAD 🙂

One of the books that I am reading now is Stephen M. Pollan’s Die Broke released in 1997. And in the first few pages of the book, specifically in page 23, he discusses the change of attitude towards work based on socioeconomic patterns. He suggests that we adopt what he calls the Mercantile Ethic.

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Die Broke by Stephen Pollan

Most of us are defined by our work. I remember the time when I was still working for a corporation as an employee. I would obviously be proud that I was a product manager in one of the stable banks in the Philippines. In each seminar or event that I would go to (even if it wasn’t related to work), I would introduce myself as a banker. And in my day-to-day job, I would think of what’s best for the company even if it meant going home really late at night or sacrificing weekends just to finish a presentation or even skipping meals just to meet deadlines.

Now, what Stephen Pollan says is that in this day and age, their is no such thing as corporate loyalty. This is a reality that we all have to face. He suggests that we try ‘quitting in our minds’ today. What does quitting in our minds today mean? We need to start thinking of ourselves, too. This is one of the tips for entrepreneurs that I believe in.

Why did I bring this up? A lot of people ask me, how did you make the jump from the corporate world to become a momtrepreneur. It wasn’t an overnight thing, believe me. You don’t just wake up and resign and then viola! You start your own business. It will take a lot of thinking, self-control, decision making, analysis, reflection, self motivation and will power.

In January 2012, I already probably (in Pollan’s terms) quit in my mind. I knew that I wanted to have a baby already, so I was taking steps to start my own business and create extra income — income that would eventually take the place of my monthly pay. I was ‘intentionally’ steering towards that direction of being a work-at-home-mom. Being a workaholic, it wasn’t easy. I was still working late and working during weekends, but time management was a strength of mine. What I did was I created a schedule that would allow me to work on the things that I wanted to do in the future while still working for my employer. I was still doing a great job at work, mind you, but I was INTENTIONALLY thinking of my own bottom-line, too. Do your job exceptionally well during work hours and then go home and do what you love.

Weekends and evenings should be all about you. No working… stop yourself! And there are no such thing as dues to be paid to your company for providing you pay and benefits. This was one thing I had to learn. I’m a nice gal and at the back of my mind, I always think that I have dues to pay to other people for things that I should actually be expecting and getting. Your pay is the ‘pay’ment for the job that you do well. You don’t owe your employer anything, in fact, for those days that you needed to work more than the required time, they should have paid you more. I know it’s easy to say, but difficult to absorb.

Changing your attitude towards work will definitely be the first step if you are still working and thinking of becoming a work-at-home-mom or a momtrepreneur. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but it can be done.

An Interview with Momtrepreneur Laddale Borreo-Sy, M.D., General Manager of Luli

Momtrepreneur Dra. Laddale has been thinking of setting up an online all-natural baby shop for the longest time. Why this advocacy? This thought started when their first born contacted Skin Asthma/Eczema. She tells us more about her business idea in this interview. It was just last August 2012 when she took the leap and decided to give it a go. Basically, Luli is really just a baby in the industry, according to doctora, but even if the are fairly new, she continues to say that they have “been so blessed to have a roster of loyal clientele already and we are so thankful for that”.

Dra. Laddale and Family

Dra. Laddale and Family

Dra. Laddale and Daughter

At the Babypalooza Bazaar: her first ever bazaar!

At the Babypalooza Bazaar: her first ever bazaar!

 

Here is my interview with Mommy/Doctora Laddale.

Ginger: Hi Doc! Can you tell us more about your business?

Laddale: Luli is a little online shop showcasing all natural, mostly organic, multi-purpose, and locally handmade, reasonably priced products that your family and mother earth will surely love. What we carry are our favorite all-natural brands — BIODEGRADABLE AND SAFER ALTERNATIVES from the usual commercial products lingering everywhere, jam packed with harmful and unnecessary chemicals!

We carry a variety of products from Economical Cloth Diapers, Fabulous Nursing and Baby-wearing gears, Lovingly Handmade Soaps, Messy-no-more Green Cleaning Solutions, Safe and Natural Bath and Body Products, Wonderful Wooden Toys, Amazing Stain Removers (yep, still all-natural) to Marvelous Malunggay Products! And of course, since my husband and I have little princesses, we incorporated well-made “kikay” items to accessorize our babies with to make them look cuter 🙂

Dra. Laddales favorite bath buddies! By Nature Handmade Soap

Dra. Laddales favorite bath buddies! By Nature Handmade Soap

Ginger: Where did the name Luli come from?
Laddale: For our store name, we initially thought of lili&lulu, from our daughters’ nicknames, Lily and Lulu. We found it too long though, so we settled for Luli, which was easier to remember.

Ginger: What makes your store different from other online stores?
Laddale: What is unique is that we try as much as we can to be transparent, honest and generous with product information. If applicable and amenable to our suppliers, we include manufacturing dates, best before dates, expiration dates, prices per given volume/weight, dimensions, product container, etc. of the products we carry. We try our best to give you a visual feel of our product line. In so doing, we believe, that you will get the best of what you are looking for.

We also are strong advocates of REDUCE, REUSE, REUSE, REUSE, and RECYCLE. We try as much as we can to be resourceful and eco-friendly as possible with our packaging. So don’t expect fancy pansy wrappings and colorful, brand new boxes on our shipments. What’s more important is that the product inside and packaging outside are safe for you, and safe for the environment 🙂

Messy-No-More Green Cleaning Solutions from Messy Bessy

Messy-No-More Green Cleaning Solutions from Messy Bessy

Have a warm, aromatic, and healthy cup of all-natural Moringa Tea infused with Pandan

Have a warm, aromatic, and healthy cup of all-natural Moringa Tea infused with Pandan

Ginger: Who is your market?
Laddale: Luli caters to like minded individuals who believe in the benefits of natural, organic and earth-friendly products. Families who share our advocacy of natural parenting would also find our store a one-stop shop for their needs as well.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Laddale: Everything started when Liliane, our first daughter was diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis (Skin Asthma/Eczema). After exhausting commercial medications to provide relief of her itching and dry skin, we started researching for more worry-free and hopefully more effective and economical remedies to soothe her symptoms. Our search for these alternative drived our thirst for everything natural and organic. And because these products delivered their function very well (so far no flare-ups of her itch-scratch cycle since we started her on naturals), we decided why not share this wonderful advocacy that is natural parenting to fellow Filipinos. Hence, Luli.

But the number 1 reason for our pursuance of this venture is our decision to provide the best care and guidance to our precious little girls, especially in the crucial first 3 years of their lives. We believe that this can only be accomplished well if parents will be very hands-on at home. And since I temporarily postponed my hospital training, I still wanted to help provide for our family, so we decided that we open a small online store. To be honest, income isn’t much in this business. But the happiness brought about by being a Work-At-Home Mom is enough to fuel start-up of this business. And income is income, no matter how minimal.

Help increase your milk supply with 500mg of Malunggay capsule with added bonus of Vitamin C!

Help increase your milk supply with 500mg of Malunggay capsule with added bonus of Vitamin C!

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What are these?
Laddale: Being a business nincompoop, probably is the number 1 challenge for me. Those 9 cumulative years I spent in becoming a licensed physician obviously didn’t have any business 101s. But with guidance and support from my family and fellow momtrepreneurs, and of course with God’s blessings, I am, so far, coping with these challenges. Also, we don’t have any help at home and I do most of the cooking, household chores and business operations. We are still in the process of mastering time management, but we’re slowly getting there.

Ginger: What do you think are the three traits that a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?
Laddale: Actually, you only need just 1 — PASSION. Passion drives everything in this business. When you are genuinely passionate in what you do, faith, hardwork, patience, trustworthiness and good client relations, becomes automatic.

 

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Laddale: I’m very honored to be asked of this question. We are still new in the business but being asked for advice to fellow Momtrepreneurs and those planning to venture in this business is very humbling. To my fellow WAHMs, just keep your passion torch burning and continue to innovate, create, inspire and impart knowledge and skills to our fellowmen. To our would be Momtrepreneurs or those thinking on getting into being WAHMs, GO FOR IT! Don’t overthink! Remember we are women, blessed with powerful instincts. If you feel that this is good for you and your family, just do what research you can, and then go for it! We may feel doubtful or timid at times but these are just normal feelings for mothers thinking of leaving work to stay and work at home. But of course none of these will be possible without blessings from our Almighty, so prayers really are very important. We should continue to learn, strive hard and pray to be able to sustain.

Ginger: Thank you, Dr. Laddale, for your time! We are looking forward to interview you again in the future. Wishing you continuous success in your business.

Luli Contact Information:
a. Website/Multiply site: http://www.lulibaby.multiply.com
b. Email address: liliandlulustore@gmail.com
c. Mobile Number: 09176305082
d. Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/lulihappyearthbaby
e. Twitter account: http:www.twitter.com/luli_happybaby

I know of a lot of women who want to start their own businesses, but really don’t know where to start and what to do. At my previous office, I can name at least a dozen women in my circle who would love to escape from the corporate environment and start their own ‘thing’. But how do you start — really start?

It all starts with looking for business ideas. But then again, you might ask, how do I find THE business idea? Well, based on my own experiences and some experiences of other momtrepreneurs, here are ways and tips that you can do or follow to look for business ideas:

1. Know yourself and write down your skills and hobbies.
Prepare a list of the things that you are good at. Write it down. It can be that you have a nice singing voice or you give out outstanding presentations. It can be that you write well or have a knack for writing creative stories. It can be that you love and appreciate food, love shopping or even love creating little trinkets. If you do not know what you are good at, try to listen to what others tell you that your strengths are.

Now, why am I asking you to do this. In starting your own business, it should you be something that you like doing, something that is of interest to you or something that you have the passion for. Now, if you are thinking of starting a business that you don’t really like, but you want to start it just because everyone’s doing it, then there are lesser chances for success. I believe that even if you hire a person to do the ‘dirty work’, for the first few years of the business, the ‘business owner’ will still be the main driver. How can you motivate a team, when you yourself are not motivated enough to get up in the morning and face your newly established business?

2. Read Books & Magazines. Surf the Net.
Ideas come from everywhere. I, personally, do this. I read magazines (hehe… don’t really like books unless these are the motivating one for personal finance. I love those books! They make me feel rich instantly :P) and I surf a lot. With every article that I read, I know that I won’t be able to use them right away, but somehow, at some point in time, I get a bright idea based on that article that I want to turn into a business. If you ask me now, I have tons of these businesses in the list in my mind, which I only get to execute one by one. So read up, people!

3. Break the ‘Cycle’
This, I am serious about. I’ve met a lot of people who are still working and really want to start their own businesses, but give me the reason that they are so busy with work. Their daily schedule is: Wake up at 6:00 am. Feed the baby. Get ready for work. Drive to work. Work. Have lunch break with people from work. Call home to check on the baby. Work. Have an afternoon break with again people at work. Work. Drive home. Feed the baby. Eat. Try to squeeze in work again. Sleep. And the cycle continues.

How about breaking that cycle and try having lunch with other people aside from workmates at least twice a month. Try having lunch with a high school friend or college friend whom you have never seen and catch up. You can also take fitness classes in the evening and meet new friends. How about a cooking class? This will probably just take 1 hour anyway. Why not drop work when you get home and watch the news instead? If you are in that hypnotic cycle, try to break free! It will boost creativity and it will also widen your network. Which leads me to…

4. Widen your contact list.
I love talking to people. You can ask my family and friends and they will tell you that I am a walking directory of people. I love, love, love getting to know people and asking them about what they do and what they are busy with. I love doing that since I also love helping them connect with others, who I think would be helpful to them in the endeavor that they are doing or I, personally, may be able to help them. Talking to people and having them talk to you about what they like, what they want to do, what they are good at, etc. can sometimes trigger that light bulb for an idea of the business that you are looking for.

5. Keep an open mind and think of a solution to a need.
Sometimes, we think that everything has been done before. There is no other business that is left to create and launch. Well, you are wrong. I believe that as long as people want specific solutions to their needs, there will always be new ideas — new businesses that take off and fly. So, keep your ears on the ground. Listen to what people are clamoring for. Write down all of these needs and one day, you will come up with a solution. A solution that will be your own ‘business idea’.

Would you have other tips for business idea creation? Let us know. Please share your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger