Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We're back!

We're back from a 3-day bazaar at the World Trade Center. It was OK but very tiring! I had fun eating lots of crispy siomai, prawn balls & lobster balls!!! Ha?!! No, we did not sell food. Haha! :) That's something I look forward in a bazaar aside from selling our stuff and meeting new contacts.

The bazaar gave us the first-hand experience on how our target market respond to our new products. We learned a lot and at the same time we were inspired by the way people react to our products. One old man told me "You know, you have good products. Very unique & personalized." It lifted my spirits!!! I simply thanked him and said "...and its proudly Pinoy!"

You know, when I started making handmade
invitations, not a lot of people were keen to the idea. I had funny and not-so-funny experiences when people see my invitations. Some were expecting the usual traditional invitation only to find out what I do is different! Sometimes, I'll have comments like "what is this???". But that did not hamper my passion. Not a single thread.... because it IS my passion - i love doing it plus the fact that I'm sure there will always be a few key people that would like what I do. And that family!!! hahaha! :)

Don't get me wrong. But based on my experience, friends come and go, but family will always be there and they are your strength. Ok, I'm getting out of topic here.....

What am I driving at??? Do not be afraid to be different, to think of something new, to change something that needs to, to be YOU. Expect that some people may not readily like your idea, some may even think you're nuts but don't give up. Master your craft. Your time to shine will come sooner than you think.

And now, I think my time has come..... :)

"Live life creatively."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You're Invited!

We are all having sleepless nights working on our products for the Noel Bazaar. Though we cannot promise that we will have everything as planned but we will be featuring all of our products - some may be available on a per order basis. As much as we would like to have everything ready, being a "newcomer" in the bazaar arena, we have so much to learn. Nevertheless, we hope you will enjoy (and buy!) our products because we all worked so hard to come up with unique, personalized and proudly-Flipino items for you to share with your loved ones.

Hope to see you there!!! :)

Live life creatively.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Designs Uploaded

Whoa! Busy busy week ahead! I can hardly breathe! For now, I'm just posting our 2007 calendar designs. These are mini calendars and we will be selling this at the Noel Bazaar this coming Nov.24-26 at the World Trade Center, (Buendia Ave. Ext.) Manila for Php50@ or Php200 for 5 pcs. Each design has an inspirational quote. A unique gift!

More designs soon!!!! Better yet, come and see us at the bazaar! :)

Live life creatively!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I'm attaching one of our products we will offer at the Noel Bazaar next week. A friend of mine asked me to do these medium calendars (size: 4"x6") for the birthday of her twin nephews. I'm glad she liked it. The blue one is a hanging calendar while the green is desktop.

We also have mini calendars (size: 3"x5") available in different designs which I will upload hopefully within the day. We also have a limited number of handmade desktop calendars (size: 6"x7").

Will upload more...patience... :)

What Matters Most...

Yesterday was such a BUSY day for all of us. We can all feel the tension and excitement on the upcoming bazaar. It was a good feeling. Everyone is "hyper" and all the more exciting! :) But when friction is developing among some of my staff, it banishes away the exciting part :(

I was quick to notice it and I just had to remind them, including myself, that we all have to ENJOY THE PROCESS. I don't even want to give them quotas to produce more but to simply enjoy the company of each one while making our handmade products. Profit matters but its not our ultimate goal. Its the spirit of making handmade gifts for people to appreciate and enjoying the process. Money will come next. As I told them, "its NOT WORTH IT if we come up with great products in large quantities but the trade-off is broken relationships." Im glad everything is back to "normal" - the tension is there but we all learned to work together to achieve a common goal while enjoying the process. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


We are extremely busy as the Noel Bazaar approaches. So many things to do, new products to work on and to post on my website, haaay!!!!

Anyway, today, I'll be working on uploading some of our calendar designs. That's all for today. Will have delivery in Manila and pick-up more new products from my supplier.

And yesterday, He answered one of my prayers - for a Meeting Place for me to meet my clients in Manila. This has been an issue for me since we moved May 2005. I wanted to have a more formal meeting place for me and my clients other than malls. But don't get me wrong - IT IS OK to meet in the malls (coffee shop or resto), but when you are brainstorming, it is quite distracting.

You will soon see my invitations (and meet me there by appointment) at The Meeting Place at the Ground Floor, Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, 1 Garden Way, Mandaluyong City. Its a one-stop bridal shop open from
Mondays to Saturdays 9am to9pm. Will post here as soon as my album of samples is on display.

Hopefully, we get to see you all at the Noel Bazaar. I'm sure you will like our products as they are UNIQUE, HANDMADE, and truly FILIPINO. :)

Back to work....

"Live life creatively."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Journey to a Passion

(1st part of a series)

A lot of people who watched at ABS-CBN's Kabuhayang Swak na Swak texted that they also want to have a business like mine and if I could teach them. Some were even asking me if I hold seminars. Oh no! I am not yet an authority on that! I can only inspire but I don't spoonfeed. There's a big difference.

I actually didn't plan to put up this business. It was born out of passion in creating. I've always wanted to do something with my hands. With 6 years prior experience in desktop publishing (I used to have a desktop publishing shop in Laguna) and graphic design, I thought maybe I could self-study website designing while staying at home waiting to give birth to my first baby.

While surfing, I came across Filipino wedding websites with free classified ads. I thought maybe I can post my services such as making handmade invites, designing bridal cds, calling cards. I then made a 1-page website through Yahoo Geocities to practice my website design skills. Soon came inquiries through email and one of them was a bride-to-be asking me to design a butterfly-inspired invite. I came up with an original design and she liked it. Little did I know that this would be the start of something wonderful. But her wedding is not until next year....

An invitation to join a bridal fair at the Hyatt Hotel came. What??! What is a bridal fair? I didn't know then that I could join a bridal fair because I thought its for "big" businesses only. Knowing that I would never know unless I try, so I signed up for a half booth. Armed with some guts and a supportive husband, I braved showing of my designs during those 3 days. Well, I never got an order from the fair but I met the niece of one of the most important people in my business - my supplier. Not only that, wedding suppliers noticed my designs and one of them invited me to display my invitations in his wedding shop a couple of blocks from our house.

The first order I ever got was a 20-piece order of CD souvenirs. The ink I bought was around Php1500 which came from my husband. I was paid Php800 for the CDs. Soon after, a wedding coordinator contacted me and asked me to make 100pcs. handmade wedding invites. The Php800 I had (my husband told me to keep the money) I used to order a few sample sheets of handmade paper for me to make my new samples. The client liked the design and made a 50% downpayment. I used the money she paid for the papers and other materials like ribbons and adhesive.

It was just a one-woman show. I made all everything - from the envelopes to invitations to assembly and ribbons. That was my first big project. The balance paid me well and so I thought this is a gooooood idea. :)

Lessons learned:

- The internet is a powerful tool to market your products or service. It is your 24-hour, 7-Eleven store, anywhere in the world. It never sleeps.

- You don't need to spend a penny to put up a website. There are a lot of web hosting sites that are free and comes with templates that you can use to create professional--enough-looking website. A little HTML would be helpful but not required at this time.

- If you don't have an email address, go get one for yourself so people can easily get in touch with you. And CHECK them often - you'll never know whenluck strikes you.

- In this kind of business, PASSION is the key. You have to have it - it reflects on the quality of your work and your design. Money was never the motivating factor for me. I just love creating.

- Know more about the industry you are in. Get to know other suppliers as well, not just competitors but other people involved in the industry. Networking is also beneficial.

- Start small but dream big. But you don't stop at WORK on it wide awake! :)

More next time....

"Live life creatively."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Slowly but surely....

Been on a roll on a Saturday afternoon - printing 2 invitations on 2 printers and working on my new website at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking! :) I guess I really work at my best when time-pressured (not "peer-pressured" - its a different thing!) - keeps the adrenalin rush pumping! Haha!

Here's a peek to my main invitation page:

Im working on uploading the about & contact us pages today and taking pictures of our new products. Hopefully, by midnight, I'll upload my new website. Haaayyyy!!!!

Meanwhile...I still owe the people inquiring about how did I got about my business. I actually posted 2 days ago the 1st part of the series but when I clicked on the "publish" button, goodness! my pc hanged! Oh I have to retype it all over again. Just waiting for my writing mode to kick in....just need some "upper".....COKE!!!! (the soda huh!)

"Live life creatively."

Friday, November 10, 2006

New look!

Here's a peek to my new website. FINALLY, I have decided on what color scheme to use. Been wanting to change the look of my website since 2004 but haven't had the guts to start all over again!
I'm on a roll to upload this before the week ends even though some pages are not yet complete. I have to do this or else, it will take me forever!

So many things to do yet so little time....but with God's grace I know it will be done!

"Live life creatively."

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Yeah right! I'm still here. Been sooooooooo busy for the past months that I've been a very bad blogger! :( A LOT of things happened...been crazy @ work, @ home, everything! And now, its almost Christmastime and we are extremely busy preparing for our first Bazaar on November 24-26 at the Noel Bazaar, World Trade Center Manila.

But first of all, for all those who watched me at Kabuhayang Swak na Swak at ABS-CBN and are asking me if I can conduct a sort of seminar - for now, I cannot fit it in my schedule because of my tight schedule till the end of the year. I really wanted to but I don't think I am prepared to conduct a "seminar" - I'm not yet an authority on that! But do check our website and this blog often for I will post tips on how to start up a similar business or any kind of home-based business so I can at least answer your queries.

I'm working my b*tt off in uploading our new website the soonest (for the loooooongest time!). Hopefully, I'll upload it within the week even if some pages are still in progress at least you'll see more of our designs and new products.

And speaking of our new products - we are very excited to tell you that beginning this Christmas season we are launching other cool and unique handmade products for sale as gifts for your loved ones and yourself. We have mini calendars, desktop calendars, cool journals (monogram design) and 3 more which I will announce soon. You'll love them as much as we do!

Note: Our Manila landline phone is still down, thanks to Groove, which is taking them for the looongest time (which I bet it will take up to next year or so!!! haha!) to fix our switch box. HELLO?! Its been 6 weeks since typhoon Milenyo, noh?! So to all those who are trying to contact us on a ringing phone at their end (but totally dead on us), please bear with us and just SMS or email us instead. We will try to get back to you the soonest.

Have to go for now, but will surely be back for the tips.

"Live life creatively."