Yes, Mommy Can: Staging the Spectacular


By Jing Lejano Spectrum Fair Manila is undoubtedly one of the most exciting retail spaces in town. A quarterly bazaar of all things hip, fun, and beautiful, it has quickly become the launch pad of many a creative artist and aspiring entrepreneur. And it is inspiring to note that a mother-and-daughter team, Pia and Alyssa Arellano, is the brainchild behind the spectacular Spectrum Fair Manila.

It was the love for shopping that initially sparked Pia and Alyssa's interest in the retail business.

"We love discovering new things and we are each other's favorite shopping partner. Apart from the usual malls, we love going to different markets and bazaars here and abroad."

Alyssa, who then baked and supplied premium cookies to shops and cafes, says, "I always found it hard joining bazaars that filter in the type of premium base I wanted. We thought of putting Spectrum up to support other local brands that don’t have a storefront like me."

Pia's mom Alyssa says, "We were also inspired by the numerous online merchants we have in the country today with such wonderful products. We thought, why not stage a quarterly fair for them to showcase their wares?"

The first indoor-outdoor fair of its kind, Spectrum Fair Manila features a diverse range of curated finds, from gourmet food and fashion picks to artisanal arts and crafts. Its venue is also exquisitely styled, providing shoppers with many opportunities to take Instagram-worthy shots.

Of course, a different kind of fair calls for a different way of marketing. Instead of putting out announcements and reposting photos, which is how most organizers promoted retail events, they thought of enlisting the help of brand ambassadors.

Pia says, "Our brand ambassadors for Spectrum are carefully chosen and they all epitomize the Spectrum spirit - fun, colorful, whimsical and hip."

"We wanted to start with a bang, and did just that. It’s been pretty great so far because not only do we introduce new ambassadors each time, we build stronger relationships with others as well. Some of my closest friends now I’ve met because of Spectrum," says Alyssa.

The response was overwhelming.

"We did not anticipate the public to embrace and love Spectrum as much as they have and feel so grateful and blessed! We feel privileged to have opened doors for new entrepreneurs and feel that Spectrum has become the platform for enterprising Philippine millennials."

They add: "We get such a thrill every time we meet new people and they say they have either been to or heard about Spectrum Fair Manila."

Spectrum celebrates its first birthday anniversary this month. Check out some of the finds at their September 17 to 18 event.





Working with family

There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to working with family. But for these two, there seem to be only pluses.

Pia says, "She is the best partner in the world as she can take my different mood swings. It’s a wonderful chance for me to embrace my creative passion with the person I love most. The fact that I am able to mentor and pass on management and marketing practices I have gained through the years with my daughter is also most fulfilling."

Alyssa agrees, "I love it!"

"We sometimes get on each other's nerves but let it pass after a few minutes and say sorry real quick. There’s no bad blood, ever! It can get a bit tiring at times though because she always gives me these long to-do lists. But I wouldn’t be as productive as I am usually if it weren’t for her. I would definitely recommend working with your mum! No one else has your best interest at heart more than they do."

As Spectrum celebrates its first year, Pia and Alyssa are truly grateful to all their merchants, customers, and sponsors. "We hope and pray for their continued support as we collaborate on more Spectrum fairs. We also hope to tie up and collaborate with entities and organizations who also champion and advocate entrepreneurship."

As for aspiring entrepreneurs, they've got one resounding: "Just do it!"

"There's no better day to start than today! All it takes is drive, determination, passion, and love for whatever it is you want to do."

Spectrum Fair Manila celebrates its first birthday on September 17 and 18 in White Space, Pasong Tamo, Makati City.