An Interview with Momtrepreneur Cai Sio, the owner of Paper Chic Studio

Cai is a wife to her BOS (Beacon of Strength) and a mom to two beautiful kids, Yukie (28 months) and Raizo (7 months). She’s a full-time working, breastfeeding/pumping momma and a mompreneur. She’s a programmer by profession but her ultimate dream is to become WAHM someday. She also blogs about her adventures and mishaps as a mom on Apples & Dumplings. She’s also one of the founding moms of Mommy Mundo SoMoms!

Momtrepreneur Cai for Paper Chic Studio

Momtrepreneur Cai for Paper Chic Studio

Momtrepreneur Cai's Daughter Yukie

Momtrepreneur Cai’s Daughter Yukie

Momtrepreneur Cai's Son Raizo

Momtrepreneur Cai’s Son Raizo

EJ, my husband actually shot the products of Cai in our condo unit. We got to bond there and I got to learn more about Cai’s business.

Ginger: Cai, so how long have you been in business?

Cai: We just launched Paper Chic Studio just last December 2012. Paper Chic Studio basically is a one-stop shop for eco-friendly and chic party supplies.

Paper Chic Studio
Ginger: So Paper Chic Studio is relatively new! Amazing. It seems that you already have numerous clients. Who do you normally get to sell to (your target market)?

Cai: Our target markets are moms and party enthusiasts who love chic party supplies and who like to DIY and who are very attentive to every little party detail.

Baby Boy Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Baby Boy Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

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

Cai: It all started with my daughter Yukie’s 1st birthday. I was looking for a theme for her birthday and I stumbled upon all these party planning and DIY blogs that inspired me to semi-DIY some of the party details. While I had fun planning Yukie’s party and doing the DIYs, I wished the pretty party supplies I saw were available locally and online. A year later, I was yet again planning Yukie’s birthday and with the advent of the being green, I tried looking for environment friendly supplies but to no avail. This is how Paper Chic Studio is born.

Baby Girl Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Baby Girl Party! (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

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

Cai: Balancing my day job and Paper Chic Studio is one of them and still is. Since I’m a working mom, there are days when I had to take a leave for meetings for Paper Chic Studio. I’m lucky to have a husband who helps me handle some of the things I couldn’t tend to. Another obstacle was coming up with the capital. I had to think and decide for a very long time on how much I was willing to shell out and risk for the business.

Black and White Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Black and White Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: You mentioned that you thought long and hard on how much capital to place into your business. What do you think momtrepreneurs should consider when thinking of how much capital to place into a business idea? How did you decide on yours?

Cai: Business is a risk. Shell out money that you can risk without you going broke or without you feeling guilty when the business goes down. With Paper Chic Studio, I computed everything (expenses, investments, etc.) and from there I decided on how much I’m willing to spend as my initial capital.

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

Cai: A momtrepreneur must be driven, always educating themselves, and most of all, a momtrepreneur has to be passionate about her business, products and must have trust in her products and also passionate about being successful.

Colorful Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Colorful Themed Party (Photographer: Ej Arboleda; Styling: Ginger Arboleda and Cai Sio)

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?

Cai: You have to be creative and wise on deciding what line of product/s or business you want to sell and start. Find what you are passionate about. I guess that’s one the reason why it took me so long to start my own business because I was looking for THE ONE. When you have found what you want to do or sell, start small and expand as your business flourish.

Ginger: Thanks so much, Momtrepreneur Cai! We are looking forward to seeing more products from Paper Chic Studio in the future.

Paper Chic Studio Contact Information
a. Website:
b. Email address:
c. Mobile Number: +63917-8199229
d. Facebook Page:
e. Twitter account:
f. Pinterest, etc.:

I went to the doctor last January 19. I forgot to tell you about it, since I have been busy with all the preparations for the It’s a WAHMderful Life workshop. BTW, thank you to all those who went to the WAHMderful Life Workshop! I’ll be posting about it soon. My obstetrician advised me to monitor the fetal heart rate of Zeeka everyday.

I forgot to mention that Zeeka is now in a transverse position (lying across my tummy). It seems as if this little girl can’t stay put (hmmm, I wonder if she gets that from me). She keeps on swimming around and around my tummy. Two weeks ago, she was still in ‘footling’ breech. Footling breech is when the legs of the baby are sticking out, instead of having their butt near the cervix. Now, shes is in a transverse position.

The doctor advised me to get a handheld doppler to monitor the fetal heart rate. Monitoring the fetal heart rate (FHR) can be frustrating for a non-medical practitioner like me. It’s so hard to look for the heartbeat of the baby. It’s a good thing that this Sonoline B handheld doppler that I bought is quite efficient. The minute the doctor said that I needed my own handheld doppler, I thought of the review that my friend Rona made for This is what she wrote:

Sonoline B Hand-held Doppler

Sonoline B Hand-held Doppler

Sonoline B Hand-held doppler parts: comes with 1 tube of gel

Sonoline B Hand-held doppler parts: comes with 1 tube of gel


The doctor advised me to monitor the fetal heart rate. In monitoring, the heart rate should be at around 120 – 160 beats per minute. It should not go lower nor should it go higher. This is just to be sure that the baby does not encounter any cord coil, since Baby Zeeka loves to move around.

Also, monitoring fetal heart rate is best done 3o minutes after a meal. This is when the baby is active. I monitor Zeeka thrice a day.

For those looking for a hand-held doppler, check out Sonoline Hand-held Fetal Doppler. I got  it for Php 4,695.00 plus Php 300.00 delivery charge through Entropy Marketing. The number is +63930-4061066.


I recently wrote about the Kasambahay Bill. It was already passed and signed into law last Jan. 18, 2013, so the Kasambahay Law is or Republic Act 10361 will already be implemented 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette.

So from the last post that I had, there were some revisions that was made. Again, here are the pertinent things that I got from reading the provisions of the law:

1. Kasambahay means anyone who renders domestic / household services. So yes, even drivers and houseboys (and even valets for those Downton abbey households) are included. Those that do this sporadically though are not included.

2. They are entitled to humane sleeping arrangements and the employer should provide at least three meals a day.

3. Access to Outside communication. The Kasambahay is entitled to use any form of outside communication granted that this is during their free time. Any costs that are incurred by the Employer shall be paid by the Kasambahay, unless the employer waives the charges.

4. Each Kasambahay will have to sign a contract of domestic service, which shall include the following:
a. Duties and Responsibilities
b. Period of employment (which shall not exceed 2 years);
c. Compensations; (note: don’t forget to indicate salary increases, too!)
d. Deductions
e. Hours of work and proportionate additional payment
f. Rest days and allowable leaves
g. Board, lodging and medical attention
h. Aggreements on deployment expenses (if any);
i. Loan agreement
j. Termination of employment and
k. Any other lawful conditio agreed by each party.

*DOLE shall create a template that we can all use!

5. All kasambahay applicants should have this prior to employment:
a. Medical certificate issued by local government health officer;
b. Barangay Clearance and police clearance;
c. NBI clearance; and
d. Duly authenticated Birth certificate from the National Statistics Office or voter’s ID, or passport.

6. The minimum wage for the Kasambahay are the following:
Php 2500 / month for those working in NCR
Php 2000 / month for those employed in other chartered cities and first class municipalities
Php 1500 / month for those working in other municipalities

7. Pay also should be given at least once a month and should not be made in tokens, chits, promissory notes, etc. It should be paid in cash.

8. Pay slips should be given to the employee. Employers should keep a copy for three years.

9. If a Kasambahay leaves without any reason, the employer has the right to forfeit pay of not exceeding 15 days.

10. For Kasambahays who have rendered 1 year of service, a 5 day vacation leave with pay shall be given (cannot be carried over to the next year nor can it be convertible to cash).

11. A Kasambahay who has rendered 1 month of service should apply and is entitled to privileges under the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and Pag-ibig Membership. The employers shall pay for the whole amount of contributions without deducting it from the employee’s pay if compensation of the Kasambahay is less then Php 5,000. If compensation is Php 5000 or higher, the kasambahay should pay his / her share and the employer will pay his / her share.

12. Any violation of this law shall be punishable with a fine of Php 10,000 to Php 40,000.

These are the things that I took note of. If you want to read the entire thing, you can download a copy here.

What an experience! I can now cross out #30 on my life list, which is to be interviewed on TV. Martine, my friend from, and I were interviewed on ANC’s Shop Talk. We were asked to talk about the
It’s a WAHMderful Life workshop: Real Ways to be a WAHM, which will happen tomorrow!

Martine and I at the make-up room

Martine and I at the make-up room

We had a fabulous time! It was a great experience talking about work-at-home-moms and women empowerment.

ANC Shoptalk interview 1

Here is the copy of the video! Like it please on YouTube!


We really hope that we get to help women achieve their goal of being a work-at-home-mom or a mompreneur. There are a couple of things in my life list that is geared towards helping mompreneurs. I am already conducting mentoring sessions, too, for those moms who want to go into business, and who need sound advice. If you want to meet up with me, just leave a comment below and I will get back to you! I’m still revamping my portfolio site,, but I plan to have it live by end of February 2013.

Anyway, who’s going to the workshop tomorrow? 🙂 We can’t wait to meet all those who signed up for the workshop tomorrow! Feel free to approach me and let’s chika! haha! See you all tomorrow for It’s a WAHMderful Life: Real Ways to be a WAHM.

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

One of the things in my life list that I would want to cross out this year is to start my own Sole Proprietorship business (That’s #37 in my Life List). Aside from just simply crossing it out, I wanted to experience how it really was in opening a business. I had a partnership opened before (a partnership with my friend, Sharon), and most of the paper work was actually outsourced to a messenger. We, of course had to pay for them to process our papers.

I wanted to find out how hard (or how easy it was) to open a business. So what I did was I really went to DTI to go through the process. I went to the DTI Area 2 Office for (Makati, Pasig, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Pateros) which was at the 2/F Atrium of Makati Bldg., Makati Ave. cor. Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. They are open from Monday to Friday from 8am-5pm (tel. No. 501-5135). For those applying with a business address in QC, this is where you should go instead: DTI Area 3 Office(Mandaluyong, Marikina, QC and San Juan) at G/F Highway 54 Plaza, EDSA, (Across SM Megamall) Mandaluyong City which is also open on Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm (Tel. No. 706-1767). Shout out to my sister-in-law, Neva!

When I got there, I didn’t have to get the form from the guard because I already filled up a form that I got online. So to save you time, just download this form, fill it out and create two copies.

BN Application Form (2011-06-13)

The guard got it and stamped a number. This will be your number while you wait in line. I got there at 1:30 pm and some of the DTI officers were still on their lunch break. I think it would be better to go in the morning instead. I think the line would be faster. When I got there, there was only 1 person receiving the application forms. Around 2:00 pm, three people arrived to help out, so the processing time was faster.

DTI in Makati

DTI in Makati

When I was called, I handed over my form. The first thing she said was that I had to change the name. I applied for Manila Workshops or Manila Workshop or Apparently, you cannot use any name of a place in your business name. That’s one tip I have for you. I had to change it to GPA Events Management Services.

Another tip is that you cannot be vague. That is the reason why my business name is long. It has to contain words that really tell of your service. The good thing about processing your own papers is that you can decide quickly. If you have someone else process it for you, that person will have to call you and ask for the name that you would like to use to replace what you wrote. Then he/she will have to ask the DTI processor again and then get back to you. That process would be tedious.

DTI Cashier Window

DTI Cashier Window

After we agreed on the name, the DTI processor asked for my ID. I gave my passport. It took her some time before she could finally type everything into her computer. Finally, she gave the document back and I went to the cashier’s window to pay for my fee. The fee that you have to pay depends on the scope of your business. Fees are:
Barangay: Php 200
City/Municipality: Php 500
Regional: Php 1000
National: Php 2000

You also have to pay Php 15 for the documentary stamp tax. After paying, you give your application form and the receipt to another processor. She will be the one to release your DTI Certificate of Registration.

DTI window for release of Certificate of Registration

DTI window for release of Certificate of Registration


When she calls out your name, be sure to check the spelling of your name, your business name and the address. This is very important! Don’t just leave. I found 3 errors, which I asked them to change.

After they retype it, you are done with the DTI process! 🙂 Congratulations, you have managed to pass through the first step in setting up a Sole Proprietorship Business.

The next step would be the application for Mayor’s Permit in the Municipal Hall of your place of business and then with the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

This is a great guide to follow when setting up your own Sole Proprietorship business:

Hope this article helps!

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger