Mompreneurs Rock at the 3rd Mompreneur Summit: Life+Biz!
In the middle of her presentation, expectant mom Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez, co-founder of Happy Skin Cosmetics, one the most exciting makeup brands to come out in the market, takes a deep breath, touches her belly, and says that she just might be having contractions. Her business partner, beauty columnist and model Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, expresses her concern, and so does everybody else the audience, a roomful of seasoned entrepreneurs and CEOs-to-be who knew exactly what Jacqe was going through.
Welcome to the 3rd Mompreneur Summit, where mommy participants know exactly how to roll with the punches and DIY everything that comes their way!
Organized by Mompreneur Manila, the summit brings active mom entrepreneurs together under one roof to learn about current business trends, upgrade their skills and knowledge, network with each other, and get inspired by stories of successful businesswomen.
This is not your traditional summit, however, where structure and formality reign supreme. This is a gathering of moms first and foremost, and as hosted by Shaan Bermudez-Hizon, it became more like a continuing conversation among friends, a safe space where moms can learn how to make themselves better in business while taking care of their toddlers and breastfeeding their babies.
The knowledge gained by the many brave souls who sacrificed their Saturday to attend the 3rd Mompreneur Summit proved to be immeasurable. In the comforting intimacy of one of the function rooms of Aruga by Rockwell, the summit speakers were only too excited to share their expertise and experience to their fellow moms.
Janice Villanueva, founder of Mommy Mundo and Mompreneur Manila, pointed out how natural it is for mothers to transform themselves into entrepreneurs. Without their knowing it, they already have all the skills they need to start a business. Moms are not only good multitaskers and problem solvers, Janice said, they are also experts at market research as they know the price points and product features by heart and natural marketers as they love to share what they know.
Hindy Weber Tantoco, owner of Holy Carabao Farms and The Fun Farm, shared how business ideas can flow from one's life choices. Hindy, whose story was almost heartbreaking in its raw honesty, talked about how her child's being diagnosed with an incurable illness changed her family's lifestyle and consequently, her career path. From being a city-based fashion designer, she became a suburban mom running an organic garden and a recreational farm. Her groundbreaking endeavours, from Holy Carabao Organic Farm and The Fun Farm to the Balik Bukid Fair, share a common theme: re-introducing city folks to the joys and pleasures of the bucolic life.
Seeking to share the secret of her success, Hindy is no-nonsense when she said, “Overplanning kills magic.” Though she believes in making plans, she also knows that there must always be room for openness and flexibility in any endeavour.
Hindy's revelations were followed by more earth-shaking advice from Financial Expert Rose Fres Fausto. An award-winning financial literacy journalist, Fausto runs two websites, RaisingPinoyBoys.com and FQMom.com, and is a columnist at PhilStar.com. She encouraged mompreneurs to maintain a healthy relationship with money by keeping their books in order, setting aside funds for saving and investing, and by making the pursuit of financial security and prosperity a family affair. Pay yourself first, Rose reminded mompreneurs, who often remember everybody else but themselves.
AA Patawaran, Lifestyle Editor of Manila Bulletin, and Mia Fausto Cruz, Editor in Chief of Summit Media's Smart Parenting Magazine, gave mompreneurs an insider's look into the world of public relations from the media's point of view. They shared practical pointers on how small enterprises can fashion professional-looking press kits and photographs. Patawaran encouraged entrepreneurs to come up with compelling stories to spark the interest of the media while Cruz emphasized the importance of making sure that the product is fantastic in the first place.
Eileen Juan, CEO and founder of The Picture Co., revved up the crowd by showing a slew of lovely photographs and charming videos. Eileen founded the pioneering company in the creative portrait business as a result of her own need to capture the growing up years of her sons. Through the years, she has managed to stay on top of the biz by staying true to “why” she started in the first place. She founded The Picture Co., she said, because she wanted to share magic moments, and not to sell portraits. She said, “The why, it comes from your heart. If your heart is speaking to you, then it must be good.”
Eileen left the audience on a high note, which Jacqe managed to elevate even further with her module on distilling consumer insights. Her presentation, which felt like a master class in marketing, gave mompreneurs a front row seat into the thought processes of multinational organizations. Jacqe had worked for many years at Unilever and showed concrete examples of how a specific consumer behavior can be transformed into viable product idea. She also emphasized the value of alignment and consistency in all of the 6Ps of marketing, namely proposition, product, packaging, price, place, and proposition.
For her part, Mananquil-Trillo pointed out the importance of finding the right partner for your business endeavour. She also encouraged mompreneurs to think big! Run your business, she said, as if it were a corporation so that your systems are primed for hypergrowth from the very start.
More than being the founder of Spinkie and country manager of Luxasia Philippines, Mutya Laxa Buensuceso is proud to be the wife of artist Jinggoy Buensuceso and the mom of two adorable kids. She has managed to achieve a state of equilibrium among the many roles she plays by letting go of mommy guilt, setting up a reliable support system, perfecting her everyday work routine, and opting for quality versus quantity when it comes to time spent with her family. But most importantly, she exhorted all moms to be happy right now! By savoring the wonders of each and every moment, Mutya says, we will learn to be grateful for everything we have.
As if aspiring mompreneurs needed any more encouragement, Jill Gerodias-Borja, founder of the Manang’s Chicken chain of restaurants, told everybody in the audience to start a business right now! The best time to start, she said, was now! However, one needs to be prepared for all the challenges that comes with starting and running a business. She warned the audience too: “You will fail! Everyone fails. What matters is how you bounce back!”
The 3rd Mompreneur Summit was supported by Epson, Smart Communications, FERN-C, BPI KaNegosyo, and ARUGA by Rockwell, with Celebrity Mom, Working Mom, Smart Parenting, and Urban Mom as media sponsors. An assortment of prizes and freebies were provided by Praiaz, Cycles, Melissa, Electrolux, Fern-C, Moringa-O, Marie France, Laurin, HyC150, Naima, and Party Souvenirs.
Lovely ladies all: Rose Fres Fausto, Janice Villanueva, Danica Sotto, NJ Torres of Marie France, and Jaymie Pizarro of The Bull Runner
Urban Mom cover girl and lifestyle blogger Cat Juan
Raffle draw winner Nicole Severino receives her gift from Electrolux from Shaan Bermudez Hizon