Women entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with. According to Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, women lead 90% of micro and small enterprises in the country! And while many women had already been involved in e-commerce before the pandemic, the new normal has spurred even more of them to go digital.
For many of these women with online home businesses, the internet has made it easier to pin down that elusive balance between the demands of entrepreneurship and their duties as a mother. With a fast and reliable connection, mompreneurs can quickly reach their customers, find new business ideas, and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs. One community that lets moms do it is Madiskarte Moms PH, a safe online space for moms who want to learn, start, and grow their online home businesses while enjoying quality time with their families. The community was created by PLDT Home together with a group of moms.
Here’s a list of successful mompreneurs who are members of Madiskarte Moms PH. They have found great success in spite of life’s curveballs:
1. Joelle Venegas, the eco-conscious mom who encourages her customers to go green
Joelle Venegas started her business Golden Pots Agriculture by selling live plants from her own backyard. Eventually, she branched out into selling pots and fertilizer. Joelle used to rely solely on her physical store, but this meant she was only able to reach people within her community. Since going digital, she’s now on an e-commerce platform that allows her to serve people anywhere in the Philippines.
This wider reach lets her business play a part in the battle against climate change.“It’s hard for people to protect the environment… if there’s nothing in it for them,” she says. “But if you encourage people to guard it, if they find the joys in it, it’s easier to convince them to see the bigger picture.”
2. Rona Himalla, the proactive mom who empowers children with autism
Though her products aren’t exclusively for kids on the autism disorder spectrum, most of Rona Himalla’s clients are moms with special kids. Her business, ASD Learning Materials, offers products that are reusable, erasable, and interactive so they’re extra conducive to learning.
“Ginawa ko to para sa anak ko. Bonus lang na nakilala siya,” she says. Rona’s eldest child, who has autism, goes to a special education school. To help him learn, Rona would review his lessons with him using materials that she made herself.
After posting her materials in an autism support group on Facebook, the inquiries started coming in. Rona’s first buyer was a technical director of a therapy clinic in Bulacan, who found her learning materials effective. Many moms have also said that the materials have helped their children learn life skills. This feedback has helped Rona gain more confidence and hope for her child’s future.
“Ngayon masasabi ko na yung anak ko kahit may kailangan maimprove, malayo na sa dating siya,” she says. “Basta’t may isa na naniniwala, ituloy mo na ang business mo.”
3. Aubrey Lopez, the creative mom who champions Filipino culture through candle-making
Back in 2020, Aubrey Lopez started selling wooden bowls from carvers in Benguet, but during the pandemic, she discovered her passion for candle-making. After noticing that many candles on the market were Western-influenced, she decided to champion Filipino culture with her business, Babaylan Candles.
Her products are customizable – you can specify candles to come in tin cans, glass jars, and wooden bowls. And apart from candles, Aubrey has expanded into fragrances and linen sprays. She has also become a supplier for other local businesses. With Babaylan, Aubrey has shown how moms can find success by pursuing new interests and following their passion.
4. Jiliane Francia, the collaborative mom encouraging women to embrace their breastfeeding journey
When English teacher Jiliane Francia started selling women’s apparel in 2017, it was just a side hustle, and her clients were her friends, family, and churchmates. After she got pregnant, her business Valiannes Trends became a brand for breastfeeding and pregnant moms. “I saw the demand,” she says. “Andami palang breastfeeding moms looking for what I was looking for.”
But during the pandemic, the demand for clothes plummeted, so Jiliane had to shift gears. She started offering lactation drinks, grocery items, and other breastfeeding essentials.
Jiliane gets her business ideas from the online communities she has built on social media. “I always talk to my customers,” Jiliane says. She has started a Facebook group for breastfeeding moms and also holds social events so she can interact with other moms. By using digital tools, she has not only become a better entrepreneur, but also an inspiration to other moms.
5. Catherine Fabello, the prayerful mom advocating for women entrepreneurs
Back in 2017, Catherine Fabello’s youngest son was in and out of the hospital. She tried using essential oils and they worked for her son. After witnessing the positive effect, the Kiddie Momma PH founder wanted to help other mothers by making these products more affordable and accessible to them. She used the internet to get the word out, posting photos of her products on Facebook and maximizing the platform’s targeted ads. Soon, the inquiries started pouring in.
After her business grew, Catherine started a distributor package through a reselling program. At one point, she had over 160 distributors nationwide, and she was earning around P100,000 per week. But after the pandemic hit, everything went downhill.
Business got so bad that Catherine even thought about closing up shop. But after raising her concerns with her distributors (many of whom are moms), she learned that her business was making a real difference in these women’s lives. And so Catherine decided to keep going, believing that God would allow her business to bounce back. Shortly after making that decision, more distributors signed up, and the business started growing again. Catherine’s prayers were answered.
6. Wella Abesamis, the inspiring mom creating jobs for her community
Wella Abesamis’ business Terno Queen Divisoria used to have a small stall in Caloocan. But during the pandemic, she was forced to close the shop. The mom of four then went into online selling. And because most people were working and studying from home, her products (comfy coordinates and PJs) were a hit.
She started out as a reseller, but after gaining confidence, she opened up her own factory. Now, she has two physical stores: one in Marilao, Bulacan and another in 168 Mall in Divisoria, Manila.
Terno Queen Divisoria provides work to people who lost jobs during the pandemic – most of them parents themselves. She has also empowered other stay-at-home moms to start their own businesses by reselling her products. For Wella, her business isn’t just a source of income; it’s also a way to uplift her community.
7. Lara Lynn Dela Torre, the multi-talented mom who went from baking to soapmaking
Before the pandemic, Lara Lynn Dela Torre was a chef who was focused on her baking business. She had been selling products online for 12 years, was joining bazaars and expos, and had 40,000 followers on her baking page. But when the pandemic hit, she had to pivot to a new business, handmade soaps.
Why soaps? Products for sensitive skin tend to be expensive, so she wanted to offer affordable alternatives. A pharmacy graduate, Lara Lynn formulated soaps that would address her own children’s skin issues. And when the products worked, she decided to put up Savon de Manille.
This business also allows her to lessen waste in her community. “We consume around three bottles of shampoo every month, so I was concerned sa waste,” she says. This is why her products’ packaging is minimal – they’re simply wrapped in recycled kraft paper and cardboard. And instead of bubble wrap, she shreds her kids’ used modules and uses that as packaging fillers.
Now that things are going back to normal, Lara Lynn is baking and teaching again, facilitating workshops in her studio. As for Savon de Manille, she’s continuously using the learnings she gained from baking to make her soapmaking business grow. “Being a madiskarte mom, innate to be patient,” she says. “Hindi lagi malaki benta, hindi araw-araw Pasko or V-Day. Pag di malakas benta, that’s my time for R&D.” This desire to constantly improve is what keeps her business competitive.
8. Charmaine Ariola, the resilient mom who used creativity to bounce back
Charmaine “Chai” Ariola had dabbled in many different online businesses before she turned her crocheting hobby into what became ganCHAIyarn and Accessories. It took a while for her products to get people’s attention, but eventually, the orders came trickling in. After the quarantine loosened, she started getting bulk orders for event souvenirs and giveaways.
Then Typhoon Ulysses hit. Her home was flooded and all her materials were ruined. Devastated, Chai and her husband, a delivery driver, had to start from scratch.
But Chai had plenty of friends in the crochet community. This community — along with her family — sent them materials and monetary contributions. Soon, she was able to open up her shop and recover.
Having a steady internet connection was crucial to her business’ recovery, she says. It made transactions easier and she was able to respond faster to inquiries. Chai also created a new line of crocheted pandemic essentials that became instant hits: pouches for alcohol sprays, ear savers, and lanyards. Clearly, her creativity and resilience are what make her a madiskarte mom.
Learn more about these moms by joining Madiskarte Moms PH on Facebook, an online community that helps women start and grow their online home businesses, achieve financial security, and build their dreams for their families.