Women and Small Business: Success Interviews

We have showed you business ideas that women can do at home, now we will get to know a few who had success doing business.

We interviewed three lovely ladies who manage a thriving business that they manage at home. We changed some details like names to keep their identities secret, unless they agreed to publish the real information.

These success stories will definitely inspire you!

Shara 30-ish*, Sells Baby Clothes via Facebook

Baby Clothes

Have you seen those accounts that sell (auction) stuff on Facebook? If you are patient enough to take images and then upload those on your Facebook account, you can start a small business if you have a good following. One example is Shara:

* Shara is quite shy at her age, and just gave me a range of her age. 30 is still very young though!

Hey Shara! First things first, what do you do to earn a living while working at home?

I purchase baby clothes in bulk then sell them at a profit via Facebook. I also sell other baby stuff like novelty baby bottles, toys and other stuff, but my main focus is cute baby clothes.

How did you get into this business?

Well, when I was pregnant and am looking for some baby clothes online, I was chatting with a friend who just had a baby too. We were exchanging pictures of the baby clothes we find cute. Then the idea just came to me… “What if I can make an album, invite my friends and they can comment and even buy the clothes they can see in their screens?”

Give us a range: How much do you earn a month?

Oh, that is tough. It varies. I usually get a profit of around 10k on slow months, but peak months like December can earn me around 40K. It is hard work on busy months, though, so I have to prepare by buying my merchandise early.

That is a good sum of money considering you just work at home. How much time do you spend working?

It varies, too. I’d like to say I manage my time, but time manages me. Hahaha. I usually start working around noon, when I just put my toddler to his siesta and I’ve cleaned the house. I work around four or five hours, I think? I have to cook dinner so I have to be done around two hours before hubby arrives. I also will give and take around a total of 30-45 minutes putting comments and answers to those who want to buy my stuff and those happen the entire day, even before I go to sleep.

How do you find your customers?

Now people just add my account as a friend. Most of them are just referrals where the friends of my selling account just recommend my page to another friend. When I started, though, I just added a lot of friends who either have kids or are pregnant, informing them that it is me and if they would like to participate.

Any advise to reader who want to do the same?

You should choose the products you are passionate about. I chose baby clothes because I am very passionate about my child. Example: If you like your iPhone, sell apps, accessories, novelty iPhone stuff. Do not go where you think there is money, go where you think you will last for a long time. Oh, and be friendly to your customers, even to the difficult ones. Also, women, do not be intimidated by our working guys! Selling in Facebook is a great business for women in the Philippines kasi mas ma-PR tayo!

Lovely advice. Thanks, Shara!

Manang Choleng, 60, Sells Rice Meals and Meryenda to Office Workers

Rice Meals

I actually interviewed Manang at her house. She is an elderly woman who cooks like a pro (she delivers to the office where I used to work at) and uses her talent to make money by delivering lunch meals at my former office in Quezon City. She surprisingly leverages email to get her orders. She lives with her retired husband. The original interview is in Tagalog because she cannot speak English. (Translation is in italics.)

Manang! Sarap ng food nyo, namiss ko to. Naalala ko kayo nung nang-oofice pa ako. Kamusta ang business?

Manang! Your food is delicious! I missed this. I remember you from where I used to work. How’s business?

Okay naman. Kumikita pa rin. Hahaha. Buti di pa nagsasawa mga kustomer ko sa luto ko.

It’s OK. Still earning. Hahaha. Luckily, people still love my cooking.

Masarap naman kasi po. Paano po ba yung tipikal na araw nyo pag may delivery ng pagkain?

That’s because it is really good. How does your typical day go when you have orders?

Ah, sa umaga, gigising ako ng mga alas-kuatro para mamili ng mga gulay at karne. Yung dami, depende sa order na natanggap ko kahapon. Hindi ko na kinukuha sa mga office yung order, e-mail na lang. Tinuruan ako ng anak ko gumamit ng Gmail eh.

Pagkatapos mamalengke, lulutuin ko na yung mga ulam at magsasaing na ako. Pagtapos na lahat ng ulam, irerepack ko tapos idedeliver na namin ng asawa ko sa mga office bago magtanghalian. Pagdating sa mga office at nakabayad na ang lahat, bibigyan ko sila ng kopya ng menu ko para bukas. Iniiba-iba ko ang menu para hindi nakakasawa.

Pag-uwi sa bahay, magpapahinga na ako. Minsan pag di naman ako pagod, magluluto ako ng bananacue o kaya turon tapos pababalikin ko ang asawa ko para magbenta sa mga office.

Sa gabi, makukuha ko na yung mga orders sa email ko. Ililista ko na yung dami ng orders tapos tatantyahin ko na kung gaano karami bibilhin kong sangkap para bukas.

Ah, in the morning, I wake up at around 4 in the morning,  to buy vegetables and meat in the market. The volume depends on how much  orders I received yesterterday. I now use my email to receive the orders. My son taught me to use Gmail.

After buying my ingredients, I will cook my dishes and cook rice. Then, I will pack those and then I and my husband will deliver them before noon. After delivering and after collecting the payments, I will hand out copies of the menu for tomorrow. I change the menu everyday so they do not get tired of the same food every day.

When we get home, we rest. If I am still not tired, I will cook bananacue or turon then ask my husband to sell them back to the offices as snacks.

In the evening, the orders arrive at my email.  I check them and determine how much ingredients I will buy in the market tomorrow.

Medyo matrabaho din po pala ano? Ilang office po ba ang binebentahan nyo?

It’s a bit work too, huh. How many offices do you serve?

Apat. Pero diba madaming deratments yung isang office? Kaya minsan umaabot ng mga pang 150 na tao ang niluluto ko.

Four. But an office have many departments, right? Sometimes I need to cook for around 150 people daily.

Ah, di lang po pala sa amin. Eh Manang, magkano po ba kinikita nyo sa isang buwan? Di naman po ba nakakapagod?

Ah, so you weren’t only servicing the office where I worked for. Manang, how much do you earn monthly? Do you get tired sometimes?

Nakakapagod din naman, pero pagkatapos kasi ng delivery, wala na akong gagawin kaya pwede na rin. May asawa na rin naman ang anak ko kaya wala na kaming ginagawa masyado.

Sa kita, minsan sinuswerte at kumikita ako ng 25,000 sa isang buwan minsan 30,000. Araw-araw kasi ang orders kaya malaki rin.

I get tired too. But after the deliveries, I have the whole afternoon for myself, so it is fine. My son already has his own family and we have nothing else to do.

We earn around 25,000 to 30,000 monthly. We have a lot of orders so it is a good amount of money, too.

OK din naman po pala ang kita ano?

Oh, so the income is good, too.

Oo, kaysa naman nakatunganga kami dito sa bahay, Kulang din pambuhay yung pension ng asawa ko kaya mas maganda may bisnes kami.

Yes, and I would rather do this than loaf around the house all day. My husband’s pension is not enough, too, so it is much better that we have a source of income.

Eh, manang paano kaya kung dumating yung panahon na mahirap na mamalengke at magluto?

What will you do when the time comes that it gets too hard to buy ingredients and cook?

Kukunin ko yung pamangkin ko sa probinsya. Tuturuan ko at papasweldohin ko na lang.

I will get my niece from the province, then teach her and hire her.

Ang galing! Haha. Salamat, Manang!

Great answer! Haha. Thanks, Manang!

Paula, 20, Blogs About Nail Art (Part Time)

nail arts

Paula is the blogger at My Wow Nails and I introduced her to blogging about what you like to do. She recently reported that she is earning money from the site, even she manages it only part time. Let’s hear her!

Hey Paula! How did you get into nail arts and blogging?

I actually started as a nail polish collector. I love nail polish and painting my nails became some sort of a hobby to relieve stress. A year after I started collecting nail polish, You introduced me to blogging.

I decided to start a nail blog that features swatches of polishes that I own and I realized that aside from swatches, I also wanted my readers to learn something from me. Since I can also do a little bit of nail arts, I started posting simple nail art tutorials, it also helped me learn more into this hobby.

How long does it take for you to generate a single post?

A single post takes about 2-3 hours of my time, that includes swatching, taking pictures, editing, and writing the actual post.

You recently told me you are earning from your nail arts blog. How do you earn? How much, if you are keen to answering?

I earn when a nail polish brand asks me to feature their products on my blog. I test their products out, and if I love it, create an unbiased review of the samples they gave me. Of course, the freebies and the payment for featuring their product does not affect the quality of the post. If I hate it, I opt to return the products and the money. A featured post nets me around P4,000 to P6,000.

What is your advice for those who want to become bloggers?

If you want to start a blog but you don’t know what to write about, always start with the things that you’re good at or the things that you love doing the most. The key here is passion. Passion will the the fuel that keeps you going, because lets face it, money will not come immediately to any business, whether it is online or not.




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