Mompreneur Michelle of Bella Pelle tells her Story

Recently, I introduced you to a site called BellaPellePh.com. I mentioned that it’s a website where you can buy premium and hard-to-find dermatological beauty products in the Philippines.

I learned about the site, because I actually know the owner. The founder was my previous yoga instructor. This super momma is someone that I look up to, and admire. I wanted to share her story with you, so I’m reviving the “mompreneur” interview series in my blog. I think we all need our weekly dose of inspiration!

About Michelle Reyes-Navarro, Founder of BellaPelle.Ph

Michelle, Co-Founder of Yoga Manila and Founder of BellaPelle.ph

Michelle is a housewife and a mother of two. She mentions that two of her passions are travelling and Ashtanga yoga. Michelle is the co-founder of Yoga Manila, the longest existing Ashtanga studio in the country.  “Of course, the reason why I also do these two things is I want to age gracefully. I want to enjoy living a quality life of being able to spend time with loved ones and seeing the world,” Michelle excitedly tells us.

Interview with Michelle 🙂

Ginger: How did you come up with the concept of BellaPellePh.com?  

Michelle: My husband is a dermatologist and I love being the guinea pig for beauty products and machines.  My friends and acquaintances always compliment me for my skin and ask for recommendations. I realized that I could effectively recommend products as much as or even more than my husband and people trust me. 

So I thought, ” why not do a small business out of it?”  

I started with posting in IG (@bellapelleph) and it became quite a successful small business — the type that  suited my personality. I can still work while I travel and do my other duties. It’s not a 9-5 job, which I can never do.  I retired from corporate work at the age of 24, simply because I do not want anyone holding my time, and I want to travel whenever I want.  And I love helping people out. So even when I expanded to having a website, I still make sure that almost all my transactions are very personal. Customers can message us for recommendations or about their concerns and questions.  

Ginger: Who is your market for this site? 

Michelle: Mostly women, 35 and above, who want to age gracefully and beautifully (although I also have a few products specifically for men). Since the products are branded and premium, recommended by dermatologists and clinically researched, most of them tend to be mid to high end in price.  So the site attracts women who do not settle for less and are discriminating when it comes to personal care and skincare, women who value good quality and know what they want.   

But I am also in the process of testing products that cost less so that some will be more affordable for many.  I just need to personally test them and seek for feedback and research. I do not like selling for the sake of selling. I always want to be sure I am recommending effective products. Of course, like anything, beauty products require trial and error.  What works well for most might not work for some. But I want to be able to suggest what is mostly effective for most people.  

Ginger: I love it, Michelle. We, entrepreneurs, go through a lot of challenges. What were the challenges that you encountered in building this business, and how long has this business been in existence? 

Michelle: It has been a challenge growing followers since I am not tech-y and social media savvy.  I also wanted to grow it organically, really attracting “my tribe” — people who truly understand my brand essence and who are really interested in what I have to offer. So it’s not about the quantity (but of course that helps) but the quality of followers. The Instagram page started June 2018.  The website went live August 2019.

Ginger: Given how competitive the beauty landscape is in the Philippines, why should people buy products from Bella Pelle and not from other online stores?

Michelle: The comprehensive line of products we offer are not usually sold over-the-counter in the Philippines.  You would have to go to a clinic to get these products.  As a person who used to buy tons of commercial brands before I met my husband, I really got to compare them with those that are accessible only through dermatologists here. My skin really transformed for the better! I don’t have to worry about breakouts, not even during PMS.  

We earn people’s trust because we are not about how much you shop.  We sincerely care about recommending only what you need to address your concerns. A fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society and board certified dermatologist is consulted when recommendations are asked for.  

Ginger: I love it! What I like about is that you really get to know your customers and genuinely care for them! I’m curious to know but this is for those checking out your site, what are three products that you really really love and recommend?  

Michelle: This is tough to answer because there are so many products I love recommending depending on the customer’s concern.  There’s always a great product for every skin condition. 

But if I have to choose, in general, I would have to say…

  • Viviscal Hair Growth Supplement as it is the most effective supplement I know for healthy hair growth.
  • All Heliocare products!  But if I only need to mention one – Heliocare Purewhite Radiance Max 240 Oral Capsules
  • Lumiderm Underarm Whitening Serum 

*Check the images above!

Ginger: Thank you so much, Michelle, for sharing your journey and story with us. I wish you more luck with you business!

For those who are interested to check out Bella Pelle, these are their details:

Website: https://bellapelleph.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bellapelleph/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bella-Pelle-Skin-Solutions-445768045846884/?ref=br_rs

How to Squeeze in Exercise While Driving

If you think about it, it’s amazing how man continues to make discoveries that would make everyday things faster, easier, or more efficient. Before the birth of the automobile (now that we say car, this word sounds so “old” haha!), people mostly walked from Point A to Point B or relied on horses. What used to take months of travel by going on foot, can now be done in a few hours. However, modern conveniences like these have also made it difficult for some to find the time to establish a fitness routine. We tend to pack our schedules to fulfil all our obligations, that it becomes tricky to find that balance when everything in life seems to be happening at the same time.

This is especially true for moms, and for some who have already established a bond with their cars from driving the kids to and from school or running errands. Some moms have even partnered up with Uber to augment to the household income. They already drive around most of the day, so why not make money while on the road, right?

So how do you find the time to work out when you’re busy with…, well, life? Luckily, experts have proven that you don’t have to spend a straight hour at the gym just to get your fitness requirement done for the day. You can exercise while driving! Yup! You can break down that hour into more manageable chunks so you can squeeze in a couple of fitness moves while you go about your day. Yes, some of them can even be done while in your car! A word of caution: be sure not to be distracted while doing these moves. It would be best to do this routine while waiting for the stop light or while sitting in traffic (which tends to happen a lot in Metro Manila). Allow me to share some quick exercise hacks that you can do in your daily commute.

Deep breathing. I kid you not, breathing exercises are one of the easiest things you include in your commuting fitness regimen. Sitting in traffic can be stressful, so breathing can alleviate that restlessness. Take a slow, deep breath in and feel your diaphragm expand. Hold your breath for 3 seconds, then start to exhale slowly through your nose until you feel that all the air has been expelled from your chest. You can repeat the steps until you finish 1 song from your playlist. The purpose of this exercise is to make you more relaxed and calm. It is important to note that you should limit this routine for the duration of 1 song, or roughly 2 minutes. Prolonged deep breathing may make you too relaxed and sleepy. Remember that a sleepy driver is a dangerous driver!

Seated cat. You will quickly find that the car is a fun place to try all these modified yoga poses. This is a great way to work out your core, as we don’t get to work out that area while sitting down. Sit in the standard driving position and extend your arms to the steering wheel, putting your hands in the 10 o’ clock and 2 o’ clock positions. Slowly start to tighten your core and abdominal muscles as you inhale, curling inwards until your upper body is curved to a letter ‘C’. Slowly exhale and come back to the standard seating position but keep your abdominal muscles tight as you push your back into the seat. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds, and repeat. You can perform this move for the duration of 2 songs, resting for a few seconds in between songs.

Stretching. I love this move as it feels wonderful on my back when I have to drive for long hours. Simply reach your arms as high as you can toward the roof of your car while engaging your abs and back muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and come back to the standard seating position. You can do this move while the car is stopped in traffic. Do not attempt this move while in motion! It is important to keep your eyes on the road and keep your full focus on your surroundings while driving.

So simply put! There shouldn’t be any excuse for not staying in shape — driving around is definitely not an excuse anymore! haha! You can exercise while driving. Do you have other tips that you can share?

Speak Up with K! Speak Up with Kamillosan!

Over the weekend, we had an event called Boss Bellas: Mompreneurship 101. This was the first event that we (Frances of TopazHorizon.com and yours truly) ran to make our dream of connecting women entrepreneurs and aspiring women entrepreneurs with each other. In the Philippines, gender inequality is not really an issue, but nevertheless, in an emerging market like the Philippines, the desire to pursue one’s dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and having a business is strong. Both men and women feel the urge, but we believe that the challenges by women is quite different.

Boss Bellas: Building a collective voice for women entrepreneurs, both current and aspiring entrepreneurs!

Women are obviously expected to be the “light of the home” and the one who takes charge of the kids and everything related to running the home. So when a woman wants to pursue her own dreams, she may struggle in expressing that desire to go for things that she wants in her life. I, too, have felt that need to be more than what was expected from me, and to be honest, it was hard in the beginning. A lot of people were telling me to just stick to the job that I had and not to start a business. They would say that going into business is hard, and I may not be able to handle it. So, see? Women have to face and speak up. Speak up with K (*K for karapatan since it’s our right).

Kamillosan encourages you to Speak Up with K!

Speaking of speaking up, I love the new campaign of Kamillosan. It’s called the Speak Up with K! campaign and it encourages all of us to let our voices be heard. If we know that it’s the right thing to do, if it’s for the greater good, if we can help other people, support them and serve as inspiration, or if we can make a difference, we need to speak up!

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Kamillosan M Spray is a clinically proven all-natural sore throat spray solution. It has eight active ingredients that effectively soothe and relieve sore throat: Chamomile extract, Methyl salicylate, Peppermint oil, Sage oil, Anise oil, dwarf pine needle oil, Bergamot oil, Cineol.

Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce pain, swelling, and redness. Combined with the anti-bacterial effects of essential oils such as Peppermint, Sage, and Bergamot, Kamillosan M is highly suited for sore throat relief. I also love that it leaves a minty fresh sweet aftertaste (feels like you just brushed your teeth). It is so different from the other medicinal throat sprays available in the market today.

Kamillosan M Spray is available in all leading drugstores in the Philippines at Php 428 only. Each 15mL bottle is good for 104 sprays. Kamillosan M Spray is from A. Menarini Philippines, which belongs to one of the largest Italian biopharmaecutical groups, Menarini.

So, women, let’s unite and speak up with K!

Even if we feel unsure.
And even if we feel insecure.
Speak up with K!

You are not alone. We, women, are all in this together. If you need someone to talk to, or someone to bounce of ideas with, we will be here. We will have more Boss Bellas workshops and events, so we hope to see you there!

Last Night Captured in Stills: Life of a Mompreneur

We bought this recently…

Zeeka: Ooooh, what is this? Fancy! A remote control! Let me press it!

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Zeeka: Daaaang, did it just take my picture?

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Zeeka: This is pretty cool!

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Zeeka: I’ll take another…

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Zeeka: and another (with my top model pout)

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Zeeka: and another (with my PJ Masks pose!)

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Zeeka: Let me take a video…too! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpg9oQ0mGBo&t=48s – Please subscribe to my Youtube Channel)

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Zeeka: I love these black and white pictures!

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Zeeka: But this is getting to be a little bit boring. I need a new subject.

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Zeeka: *Oh, Mommy!* Mommy, can I take your picture? I want to press the remote!

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Ginger: Okay, but only for a few minute. I need to finish work.

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Zeeka: Smile Mommy!

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Zeeka: Again Mommy!

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Zeeka: Funny face, mommy!

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Ginger: Zeeka, I really need to work. haha!

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Zeeka: Moooommmy! Smile!

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Zeeka: *Mommy is not listening. I’ll just sit beside her* Mommy, smile!!!

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Zeeka: Mommmyyy! *Pretends to cry*

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Zeeka: Looks at Mommy. “Awww man, it didn’t work!”

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Zeeka: Mommy, you need to smile.

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Zeeka: Oh well… hmmm… what to do… what to doooo?

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Zeeka: Oh… hehe! I’ll take this to daddy!

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S&R Membership Perks: Christmas Gift Ideas for the Mompreneur

As a mompreneur, Christmas is the busiest time of the year for me. My to-do list doubles and I usually lag behind in the things that I have to do. I think that throughout the three years that I have been a full time mom and entrepreneur, I have picked up “hacks” and a rhythm that I can repeat and work with every year during the holiday season. One of the things that a mompreneur needs to accomplish to is get Christmas shopping done for both family, friends and for work. I realized that my hack is really just to go to S&R and do most of my Christmas shopping.

Speaking of making thing more efficient for busy moms like me, this year, I am making it even easier for you. I have listed down all of my Christmas gift ideas that I will share with you. It will save you the time and the effort. All you will need to do is to is grab your S&R Member Shopping card, drive to S&R and grab pieces of each item.

Love S&R Everyday: Christmas Gift Ideas

Love S&R Everyday!

So here are my top 8 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Mompreneur. These items are perfect for corporate giveaways and exchange gifts (with a lot of savings involved mind you!).

Delichef Personal Coffee Maker (Php 1699.95 – Buy 1 Take 1)

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American Home Microwave Oven (Php 2449.95)

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Delichef Food Steamer (Php 2289.95)

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UltraHD Cushioned Pneumatic Stool (Php 2699.95)

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American Home Water Dispenser (Php 5298.95)

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Sky Viper Nano Drone M500 (Php 2999.95)

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Sky Viper Stunt Drone  S1700 (Php 3199.95)

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Luggage Scooter Adult Bag (Php 5799.95)

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There are a lot of other things that you can buy for the busy mompreneur at S&R. It’s one of our favorite places to shop! Hope you can come up with your won list of Christmas Gift Ideas for the Mompreneur and share with me using #LoveSnR and #SnReveryday

Comment below with a link to your blog post and one of you will receive a special Christmas gift from Mommy Ginger!