This lady is really one of kind. I got to notice her online since she frequently answered questions regarding entrepreneurship in the WAHMderful Life Community. I am so blessed to have been given the chance to interview her and to get to know about her new venture. Let’s get to know mompreneur Blessie Adlaon.
I’ve been married for 12 years now and have been blessed with four kids. I’ve been a WAHM since 2010. Before that, I was senior editor at goFluent, an English-training company headquartered in France. I currently work from home as a freelance writer and editor under the trade name Escrive Writing and Editing. My website Wish Philippines is my hobby and my advocacy. My deepest desire is to retire from full-time work and be able to focus more on homeschooling my children.
Interview with Mompreneur Blessie Adlaon of Wish Philippines
Ginger: Hi Blessie! Can you tell our readers on what your brand is about?
Blessie: My primary business is freelance writing, and my primary company is Escrive Writing and Editing, which has been a government-registered business since 2011.
Escrive Writing and Editing owns and manages Wish Philippines, or WishPH.com, which was launched in June 2014. The goal of WishPH.com is to publish people’s wishlists so that their gift givers can know more easily what gifts their loved ones would truly love to get.
Ginger: Oh wow! That concept is amazing! That’s the first time that I have heard of such a service. Who is your market for this?
Blessie: Wish Philippines is targeted towards Filipino mothers with young children and mid-range incomes. We are proud to say we are the first localized wishlist publisher in the country.
Now why do we offer our service primarily to mothers? Because as gift givers, it is usually the moms who are in charge of buying gifts for their children and godchildren (and even her husband’s godchildren), her parents and siblings, and also her in-laws.
As receivers, well, it may not be Mom who receives all the gifts – certainly, the bulk of it goes to her kids – but Mom is the one in charge of finding room to store them all! So Mom would be the one most interested in publishing her kids’ wishlists, so that grandparents and godparents can get the stuff the kids really need (and which Mom will be buying anyway) rather than just add to the pile of not-so-necessary stuff filling up all storage spaces in the house!
Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Blessie: The idea came first. How to make it a business came afterwards.
This website was inspired by my own gift giving challenges. You see, I’m a terrible gift guesser. It’s torture for me to try to figure out what to give my loved ones every Christmas – and Christmas comes around every twelve months!
So every March, when I start trying to figure out what to Christmas gifts to give my family and in-laws, I get this aching wish that people would just TELL me what they want. But of course, nobody would ever tell you directly, face-to-face, what they want. So I thought, what if there was a way for them to tell me indirectly?
And that’s how I came up with this idea of wishlists that people could publish on the Internet, directed to nobody specific at all, but Google-searchable and Facebook-shareable, so that they can be accessed by the people who really care enough to want to find out what gifts their giftees would truly love to get!
Ginger: Oh my! I’m also terrible at guessing what gift my loved ones would appreciate. I’m so glad that you came up with this site. Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a Mompreneur? What are these?
Blessie: Wish Philippines is a Web-based and socially powered venture. So first, it needs a website, and second, it needs to be promoted on social media. And third, it all needs to be done by yours truly because I don’t have the funding to hire somebody else to do it all for me.
The thing is, I have no formal training in Web and graphics design. Worse, I am a reclusive introvert with less than a handful of close friends outside my family. (Seriously, I can count them on one hand with fingers to spare.) I didn’t have a Twitter account, no Pinterest, no Instagram, and I had a hundred people in my Facebook friends list.
My solution for the first obstacle was to leverage the power of Google and learn how to put up a website by myself. As for the second, well, I’ve received huge help from our Facebook WAHM group. My very first users came from there, and those who actually went on to submit wishlists to the site have been incredibly supportive. Then, there is also my husband, my total social opposite, who has thousands of Facebook friends. He promoted the site to HIS network and helped us reach our first 100 likes.
Why just 100? Oh, did I say three obstacles? There is a fourth, which is the biggest obstacle I’m facing and expect to be facing for a time longer: The concept of wishlisting is foreign to Filipinos. A survey we’ve made showed that many Filipinos have never used wishlists or gift registries, while those who have already used it to get gifts for others still felt uneasy using it for themselves. So our challenge now is to orient people on what a wishlist is, what it is for, and why it’s actually a very thoughtful and considerate gesture for them to publish one.
Ginger: I’m sure that you’ll do a good job in spreading the word about the concept of “wish lists”. With all of these obstacles, what are three traits that you think a Mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Blessie: Resourcefulness has been the trait most helpful to me.
Energy is next, but that comes naturally when you’re following what your heart calls you to do. Even when you want to stop because you’re tired, sleepy, and hungry, you keep moving forward because something inside you forces you to keep going.
Third is naivete. You have to be a little ignorant about how hard it’s going to be, how many difficulties you’re going to face, and how impossible your task really is. Everything is impossible! – but only if you stop to think about it. So once in a while, stop thinking and just go for it.
Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Blessie: One thing I’ve learned while promoting Wish Philippines is that rejection won’t kill you. In fact, after a few noes, rejection doesn’t hurt so much anymore.
Yesses, on the other hand, are always delicious. Sometimes, somebody’s yes can even include an amazing amount of support you never even hoped for or dreamed of.
People can be surprisingly kind. I now have more faith in human kindness.
Ginger: Yes, we just have to have a little faith in people. What advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Blessie: Start by preparing your product. Forget the business plan and feasibility study. So many people come up with a cool business idea and then get inextricably stuck on the business plan. Such a shame.
When Mark Zuckerberg wrote the first line of Facebook, or even when he started promoting it, I doubt he had a business plan, or that he knew how to make one, or that he had the money to hire somebody to do it for him. And if those things stopped Mark Zuckerberg from making Facebook, imagine where we would all be today! Introverts like me would have no social life at all.
So again, start with your product and hang the business plan. If you’ve got a product that you yourself would buy, you’ll be in a better position to sell it to others. And when others are already buying, then you can write your business plan, not to start your business but to grow it.
Incidentally, Escrive Writing and Editing has been helping support our family in a major way since 2011, and I still have to write a business plan for it. Admittedly, a business plan might make my business more successful, but you see, unlike Wish Philippines, writing a business plan is just not something I’m passionate about.
Ginger: Or, I can help you create one! haha! 🙂 For the final question, do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Blessie: Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur – it can be a terribly scary, tiring, and lonely place to be in – but if something inside you calls you to do it, you should at least give it a try because the rewards are likewise great.
Ginger: Thank you, Blessie for that inspiring interview. From this interview, I hope a lot of moms with unique ideas just jump at it and go into creating their own businesses! BTW, I already sent my wishes in Wishph.com!
If you haven’t sent in your wishes, I suggest that you try out the service now!
Wishph Contact Details:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile Number: 0917-5351201
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/wishphilippines
Twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/wishph