Moms in business truly are deserving of praise and recognition for the hard work they do in balancing their flourishing careers and their lives at home. It truly isn’t an easy feat!
So today, we’re putting the spotlight on these 15 inspiring mom entrepreneurs.
Ava Vitug is the owner of Gourmet Tita, a small food business of gourmet tuyo in jars and other food products operating from her home in Cainta. Thanks to close friends and relatives, she turned her passion for cooking for her family into a flourishing business with the goal of making their customers feel that “Tita care” from every item.
Aside from handling Gourmet Tita, Ava also works as a copywriter and digital marketing manager for brands based in the US and Singapore.
“My advice for mompreneurs is to manage their time in a way that they have ample time for their family and, at the same time, the business won’t suffer. It also helps if their family members can help even in small ways. It makes the chores easier to delegate and also creates a bonding moment for the family,” she shared.
Rachel Arandilla is a writer and entrepreneur who shares that she had always been involved in entrepreneurship, even as a college student when she used to join bazaars all the time. “Every opportunity inspires me to start things,” she said. It was when she opened her first “legit” business of opening one of the first bubble tea shops in Cebu right after graduating college that led her down the path of being the Girl Boss that she is now.
When asked to share tips and advice to moms who are also aspiring to open their own business or who are just starting, Rachel said: “Leverage your strengths and skills and listen to others on what their problems or daily challenges are. The goal is not to sell a product, but a solution to a problem.”
Irish Jane Rodriguez
Irish Jane Rodriguez started her journey way back in 2011 when she used to bring baked goodies to work. Eventually, orders started coming in and she started to bake more often, inspired by the Youtube Channel the Joy of Baking. “I would stay up late at night baking while watching instructional videos,” she told us. “As orders began to pile up and my knowledge about the craft began to grow, baking soon became a part of my daily routine and grew from there.”
She also shared that starting her business was mainly motivated by passion and not the money.
“For mompreneurs like me, pursue what you enjoy doing so you can learn, earn and enjoy the whole process. Learn to promote your business online via social media and avoid the hard-sell approach. Your product will speak for itself and remember, word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising,” she said.
“Always try to see things from a consumer’s perspective and my most important advice to all mompreneurs, never compromise your family over business or work, remember why and for whom you are doing it in the first place.”
Helen Go is the proud owner of Escents Aromatherapy, an all-natural lifestyle brand selling specially formulated and handcrafted products that benefit both the body and the environment. Prior to starting Escents PH, she used to be an interior designer who worked and practiced in Canada. She shares that she had always been good at making things with her hands, from baking and cooking to creating trinkets and jewelry.
As a stay-at-home mom, she found comfort in making perfumes and colognes to give as gifts. One thing led to another and she now makes natural beauty products and home and cleaning essentials—fragrance sprays, laundry creams, shampoo bars, and so much more!
Pamela Donato is one of the people behind the healthcare app AIDE, which is the first Home Health Care Platform in the country that connects patients to medical professionals. It was five years ago when she decided to create this app with her brothers, Pao and Patrick, after not finding anything like it when they needed it.
“We searched for an app to help our grandmother who needed medical attention. We could not find any app that can bring healthcare to her home. This was how AIDE was born,” she said.
Now, AIDE offers an array of home health care services from doctor consult, laboratory tests, covid tests, home vaccinations, PT, nursing care, and E-consult either via chat or video.
“For mompreneurs like myself, coming up with a business idea is easy. Creating a business plan is manageable too. But the most important of all before starting any business is always the validation of those ideas or assumptions,” she shared. “You can save time and money by doing this. No matter how confident you are in a product idea, you need to first figure out whether the problem you are trying to solve is a real one, especially at this time. Talk to potential users directly. Know your competitors (if any). Determine how your product will benefit the people during this pandemic. Keep in mind that the business you are creating must be relevant as well as technology-driven since everything is now done online.”
She also encouraged people to find the right mentors. “They must be someone more experienced and more talented in areas that you do not have a strong skill set. AIDE has a lot of mentors and we owe our success to them. They helped us when we started and continue to help and guide us even to date,” she added.
Erika Rodica is the CEO and founder of EIKA Swimwear, an online swimwear brand in the Philippines that was established in 2014.
Ever since she was a kid, she believes that she had always been business-minded, recalling how she used to rent out her books to classmates at 8 years old. Growing up through the years, she hustled to sell anything she could get her hands on until she decided to take her business more seriously to support her child and finish her studies.
When she isn’t handling EIKA Swimwear, Erika spends her time as a speaker, a women empowerment and entrepreneurship advocate, a content creator, and a single mom to her tween daughter.
For fellow mompreneurs who are just starting out or managing a small business during the pandemic, she shared this useful advice: “Make sure that you accomplish at least three major tasks for the day before you dive into the minor tasks. As a mom, we all know the tasks are never-ending, therefore, it’s important to learn to systemize and prioritize our tasks. But despite all this, don’t be too hard on yourself. The pandemic itself is hard enough so let’s not forget to give ourselves love.”
Ginger Gaddi is a proud mom of three boys and the owner and manager of two flourishing businesses, Ginger Events Styling and Flowers By Ginger. She started her path to entrepreneurship back in college reselling cosmetics. But what truly inspired her to pursue her business was when she accidentally gate-crashed a wedding in Batanes. From there, she hustled to put up her own event styling brand and, eventually, her first flagship flower shop.
“There is no formula on how to be a great mom and successful entrepreneur but I know that having good support from family makes a lot of difference,” she shared. “Your greatest resource is your team, so value them and always remember that every little step is progress.”
Kitkat Narciso-Galvey is a full-time mom to and Girl Boss of “More, Mama!” Homemade Goodies selling baked sweets and lactation desserts that the whole family can enjoy.
Prior to becoming a full-time mother, Kitkat had a stable and developing career in Marketing for a pharmaceutical giant. But when it came down to choosing between that and her life as a new mom, she didn’t think twice about what she chose.
The pandemic gave her more time in her hands to rediscover her passion for baking and soon opened her online shop, the name of which was inspired by her little boy who always said “Mooooore, Mamaaaaa!” whenever she baked something he really loved.
“It’s important to know your WHY. What are you passionate about? What motivates you? When you identify the purpose and reason for your actions, both personally and professionally, making daily decisions become easier,” she shared with us.
“Take it one day at a time. On most days, motherhood will take up 99% of your time and attention. You won’t be able to focus on your business as much as you would want to and that’s okay; just be kind to yourselves and celebrate the small wins.”
Che Formilleza truly is an inspiration for being able to balance her successful small business and her life as a single mom despite being partially paralytic. Her hobby of creating crotchet trinkets started in 2017 after watching YouTube tutorials where she was able to learn how to make something as simple as bracelets, keychains, and baby hats to something more complex like phone casings, table runners, and clothes for pets.
Thus, Hand-made By Che was born where she now sells a variety of lovingly handcrafted products and wearable items that anyone can enjoy.
“I think this pandemic helps us to realize the importance of having an income no matter what it is, how small or how we are making it as long as it is not bad,” she said. “Whatever our situation in life, there are so many things that can help us to survive any trials and hardships.”
“We should first believe in ourselves that we can do it through the guidance of Our Creator. There are so many resources/tips that can be found on the internet and on Social Media. We should be resourceful enough and resilient as moms. Just enjoy what we are doing and be happy no matter the outcome. Failures in life are the best teachers that will help us grow, learn and achieve our goals.”
Adavieve Mella Lasam
Adavieve Mella Lasam describes herself to be someone who wears multiple hats. She is a proud mom of a five-year-old, a wife to a loving husband, and a special education teacher by profession. She is also the owner of the small cookie business Sweetrovia, the founder of advocacy group Upcycle Philippines, and an ESL Teacher to Japanese.
She discovered her passion for baking for Sweetrovia way back in 2015 when she wanted to take a break from teaching by doing something new. Naturally, she fell in love with whipping up her baked creations and decided to share them with everyone in the hopes of “baking the world sweeter one cookie at a time.”
She also makes her own beeswax wraps using locally sourced beeswax and recycled fabric, with the assistance of urban beekeepers.
Of course, maintaining her small business amid a pandemic has its challenges especially with growing competition. But rather than fear these hurdles, she sees them as motivation to keep innovating—and this is exactly what she advises fellow mompreneurs to do as well.
“If we are able to identify our crucible if we find ways to be more creative and engaging, and we remain unstoppable, we can keep our business afloat esp during these trying times. Find inspiration in people around you, grab opportunities where you can market your business, and discover the value of what you are doing. I am no big or popular entrep myself, but I guess time will only tell how successful we have become.”
”I’ll always heed what my dad said, ‘cultivate what you love doing no matter how humbling it is,’” she added.
Kristina Lezlie Castro
Kristina Castro is the other half of local start-up social enterprise Tangkilikan by Katheryn X Kristina.
She only started being an entrepreneur last year, July 2020, creating her passion project with her older sister Katheryn to help the weavers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao by selling handwoven facemasks, mask holders, and other handwoven items, unique to their respective province. Currently, they feature materials made in three provinces: Kalinga, Aklan, and Marawi.
“Right now, our focus are on three provinces, Kalinga and their Lagà face masks, headbands, and table runners, bespoke Abaca Silk, Abaca Cotton Silk Polyester, and Piña Silk face masks from Aklan, and Langkit and Balud from Marawi, specifically from the weavers of Tugaya, Lanao del Sur, and sewn by the IDP women after the Marawi Siege,” Kristina told us.
Her advice to fellow mompreneurs is this: “Never, ever neglect your family. Seek help when needed. Being a mompreneur gives one a false notion that we can do it all, but no! This is where a mom really needs her “village”. This will help you focus on other tasks that need attention.”
As the founder of Scarlet Enterprise, the pioneer in sugaring hair removal in the Philippines, and owner of Strip It!, Arlette Alvarado describes herself as someone who has always been an entrepreneur at heart, developing products and services out of a personal need. “Growing up, I had struggled with unwanted hair and skin asthma. Finding an affordable all-natural easy-to-use, but efficacious, hair removal wax was next to impossible; more so, gentle enough for use by people with skin asthma. These motivated me to have my own business,” she shared with us.
“I’m a creative person. I love the creative process involved in product development – from conceptualization to actualization. I proudly claim that her products are an expression of my creativity. I get immense satisfaction from the validation of my creative vision and output by our clients’ continued patronage. I am an advocate of local and products made from nature; It has been a passion that I have shared with many.”
She shared this advice to fellow mompreneurs: “Keep your faith, that all of our hardships will bear fruit. It’s okay to pause from time to time, to reflect and pray. It’s important to prepare and plan by taking lessons or workshops to upgrade our skills. And lastly, keep pushing. We all have our own reasons for wanting to be an entrepreneur and that will fuel us to achieve our goals and dreams.”
As a mom of three with a full-time work-from-home marketing career, Yannie Marcial has always wanted to launch a business where she can express her creativity and passion and, at the same time, help advocate for the preservation of Filipino culture. Particularly, she wanted to connect to fellow moms who need comfort, home living enhancements, and more.
Thus, she created ATIN PH, launched on the cusp of the pandemic last year, selling inabel blankets sourced from the Ilocos Region. ATIN PH is geared towards preserving and protecting age-old Philippine traditions of weaving and enabling artisans to continue doing handmade creations while improving their livelihoods.
“From the word “atin” which means ours, and ours to share, our mission is to empower and support communities of weavers to continue showcasing what’s truly Filipino and create better lives for them and for their families with every purchase of blankets,” Yannie shared.
Though she’s a mom who’s always hustled, thriving both in her career and her home life, Yannie believes in taking one’s time and staying committed to the journey when turning one’s dream into a reality.
“Just do it, but never rush. Starting a business doesn’t happen overnight. Research, check possible competitors, their price points, their advocacies, and set a difference so your customers can see your brand’s difference. There are a lot of players present online, make sure you’ll stand out,” she said.
“Lastly, enjoy but take things seriously. But before that, take the first step. Begin anywhere, and the beginning is always today!”
Ayin Encarnacion is a first-time mom who left the ad agency world to focus on taking care of her child, Alon, and growing her mini passion project, Little Alon PH.
“The concept of Little Alon PH came to mind when I was struggling with my postpartum depression,” Ayin shared with us. “I needed another creative outlet to derive my stress from my agency work and my happy-crazy moments as a first-time mom.”
Motivated by her need for high-quality baby products that are budget-friendly, Ayin launched her business first selling locally-made baby beddings made out of 100% cotton. They come in a variety of adorable designs and the set names are rather unique—“Hele, “Yapos,” “Uyayi,” and “Himbing,” all from a poem that Ayin wrote for her son while she was in labor.
Now with a thriving business, Ayin has the following words of advice for fellow mompreneurs: “Ora et Labora. Prayer and work. Pray for guidance from the Lord to guide you in your decisions, whether big or small, and work hard to achieve your goals. I know it’s hard not to compare yourself with other market players, but “you do you.” Focus on your hustle! And, of course, manifestation is real!”
Marga Cassion is the young Girl Boss of Wren Clothing, a women’s clothing brand that offers a variety of styles from dresses, silk tops, linen rompers, and co-ordinates, all locally made using high-quality materials.
A former flight attendant, Marga launched her brand amid the pandemic after being retrenched by the airline she was working for.
“I started it because I’ve always been into fashion since I was a kid and it was something I’ve always dreamt of doing,” she shared with us. “It was important to me that it was made locally since I wanted to support our talent in the Philippines and I wanted to offer clothing that made women feel their most confident selves and to add pieces to their wardrobe that would stand out.”
But above all, she wanted to help support her family, including her one-year-old daughter Julian.
“Success doesn’t happen overnight,” Marga reflected. “Moms have it harder because aside from running this business, we have to run our household and make sure our kid doesn’t get a scratch or a bump or a bruise and sleeps soundly at night. But pushing out a baby or having to go through labor means we can literally do anything.”
“Moms know that the times when we’ve conquered something difficult is what we remember most and make us feel most proud,” she added. “So believe in your business just like how you should believe that you’re doing a great job as a mom because at the end of the day, we’re all just doing our best and that when we take care of something we love, it thrives.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all super moms everywhere!
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