Creatively Conquering Her World: A Mompreneur Story
By Jing Lejano A couple of years ago, Minnie Ocampo Jumaquio experienced sleeping issues. Not only did the stay-at-home mom wake up feeling tired, she also had a stiff back and neck to match. Going online in search of a solution for her problems, she came across a pillow which she thought could address her issues. Unfortunately, it came with a hefty price tag and sizable shipping fees.
She recalls, “As a single income household, I wouldn’t spend such an amount! Frustrated, I decided to make one for myself from scratch. The good thing is I know basic sewing skills and I was able to implement the design that I had in mind. That's how I came up with Snug-A-Hug.”
That was four years ago.
Today, Snug-A-Hug is a popular maternity pillow among many Filipino mothers, including celebrity moms and dads. Blogger Paula Peralejo-Fernandez welcomed the Snug-A-Hug with open arms as she has always had back problems. Singer/songwriter Ogie Alcasid, husband of Regine Velasquez, even called it the best thing man invented.
Of course, it wasn't always this way.
Because she was selling a unique product, only a handful of people actually knew what a maternity pillow was. She recalls, “The challenge for me was to make the people aware of the product. To overcome this challenge, I started my campaign in social media and joined targeted market bazaars, one of which is Expo Mom by Mommy Mundo. During events, I get to be more direct in answering customer questions. Best of all, I get to demonstrate my product on the spot.”
It didn't take long for the market to be convinced. Because Snug-A-Hug addressed sleeping issues and provided comfort and support specially to pregnant woman, the relief to customers was instantaneous. They also gladly shared their experience to others, making them instant brand ambassadors.
Minnie says, “They promote Snug-A-Hug through word of mouth and their social media accounts. That I think is the best feedback any product can get.”
Minnie loves her new role as a mompreneur. Not only has it given her extra income to help provide the best for her growing family, it has also allowed her to pursue her passion.
"What makes my mompreneur status special for me is that my business isn’t just a business. My business was able to incorporate everything that I was before and everything that I am today,” she says.
For starters, being an advertising graduate from the University of Santo Tomas gave Minnie the foundation to evolve into a designer and manufacturer. And because she previously worked as an advertising executive, she knew how to deal with people and was familiar with the business side of advertising products. And as a mom, she knew exactly what her market needed and wanted.
Her mompreneur instincts steered her towards another product: Wallaby Mommy.
Immersed in the mommy industry for a couple of years, she was a keen observer of new trends and products. About two years ago, fellow mompreneur Helen See of Hatch and Latch casually talked about the lack of a bag for breastfeeding working moms.
From this simple observation was borne Wallaby Mommy.
"Wallaby Mommy is a transitional bag because it grows with your needs! You can use it as your hospital bag or baby/diaper bag. As you transition and go back to work, you can still use your Wallaby Mommy as your back-to-work bag because it doubles as your breast pump bag too!”
She adds, “As a breastfeeding mama, you'll be bringing three bags: one work bag, one pump bag, and one cooler. But with Wallaby Mommy, you'll just bring one, and the matching cooler that comes with the set fits in nicely inside the fully insulated Wallaby Mommy bag.”
Not surprisingly, the Wallaby Mommy has been met with great enthusiasm among mommies, praising its simple, classic and functional design which is perfect for working moms. Some moms even thought it was an imported brand because of the craftsmanship and materials used.
Suffice it to say that Minnie likes being a mompreneur as it allows her to align everything with work, down time with the family, and me time. She says, "It may be chaotic at times but that's what moms are good at. We're good at working under pressure. "
Minnie advises aspiring mompreneurs to be original, creative, passionate, and resourceful. As for her, it is Minnie's fervent desire to "conquer the world one Snug-A-Hug pillow and one Wallaby Mommy bag at a time and to feed my creative soul as I plan to design more innovative products."