4 Oct 2019, 15:07 — 8 min read
With only P3,000 pesos in her pocket and her interest in soap making, Angelica Chongco, a mompreneur and owner of Mayumi Organics, built a successful business despite the challenges she had to face – from managing her ventures while having a little business background, dealing with her insecurities, to raising her family.
Established in 2013, it took her four years of trial and error before she got her biggest break in business - closing a P1.3 million deal from a single client within a month. Mayumi Organics is an advocate of zero waste and promotes package-free bath and body goods.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Angelica Chongco (AC) shares her business journey.
GL: Tell us a bit of your business journey
AC: I left my corporate job to take care of my child with special needs. That time, I told myself that I need to earn while I’m at home so I can have the best of both worlds. I have an interest in soap making so I rekindled my interest and started reselling (soaps). But it did not work out because I didn’t really believe in the products and I didn’t know how to sell it.
So I started making my own products which gave me the confidence to market it. When you’re the one who makes the products, you definitely know how to sell it without actually selling it. It all came very naturally to me. I had a decent formulation and had constant sales, but it wasn’t enough to scale the business at that time.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
AC: Right now, we’re into zero waste advocacy and sustainable activities. My challenge is marketing (our message). When you market about zero waste, you market the reason; you have to do it in a personal way that convinces people why they need to use the products. It’s about changing people’s lifestyle and mindset. It’s difficult because we’re still small and the idea of zero waste is not that well-accepted yet.
But we keep on showing up at trade fairs and most especially at all zero waste activities. We just keep on showing up and telling them about our products. Our marketing is always personal; it has emotion because we have to resonate with our cause.
There were a lot of sacrifices on my part to the point that I’m not going out anymore. I missed a lot of special occasions. But everything is worth it.
GL: What are the milestones of your business?
AC: I started Mayumi Organics in 2013, but my biggest break was in 2017 when I had a P1.3 million deal with a client in just a month. Because of that deal, we were able to open a physical shop. In 2018, I started producing shampoo bars and joined pop-ups or bazaars. During the early stage of my business, I also joined pop-ups or bazaars but it failed. It’s by the year 2017 to 2018 when my business really took off.
Also read: Couple achieves 1 million sales in less than a year of business
GL: Take me back to the early stage of your business.
AC: I studied a lot in terms of product development. It was difficult because I don’t have a business and a college degree. I’m not that confident and I had a lot of insecurities.
I only started with P3, 000 as my capital. I was working on other side jobs while structuring my business. It was difficult because I didn’t have that much business experience. It was basically based on my instinct when I started. It’s more like trying something and failing, but then trying again
Time is the equalizer of all people. Even the richest person of the world has only 24 hours in a day. How you spend your time defines what you really want to do in your life.
GL: It took you a few years before you got your big break. What kept you going during the early stage of your business?
AC: This is what I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. This is where I saw my purpose. It’s something that I’m not willing to give up even if I undergo difficulties. That’s why even though I’ve experienced hardship, I didn’t change my path. I continued.
There were also people telling me that my business has potential, so that encouraged me and pushed me to keep going. I kept educating myself and joined associations like the Philippines Society of Cosmetics Science.
Also read: What's the bravest thing you've done in your business journey?
GL: What’s on your mind when you got that big break?
AC: That was the time when I really wanted to quit. I felt like my business was not going anywhere. At that time, I enrolled my child with special needs in a progressive school so I had to be with my child all the time. I could no longer respond to queries on social media. I didn’t have any drive to continue. But then, I got this project. It was as if the universe was telling me not to quit.
GL: How do you manage your business and family?
AC: I was pacing myself that’s why I manage to balance it. There were a lot of sacrifices on my part to the point that I’m not going out anymore. I’m not seeing my friends. I missed a lot of special occasions. But everything is worth it. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m not aggressive when it comes to the growth of my business because I know I will get there soon.
GL: How has UnionBank GlobalLinker helped you?
AC: It helps me to network with other entrepreneurs and helps me to scale up my business. This is where I see myself getting big clients and dealing with bulk orders.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
AC: Time is the equalizer of all people. Even the richest person of the world has only 24 hours in a day. How you spend your time defines what you really want to do in your life. What are you doing with your time? Especially now that there are so many distractions. I have had a lot of distractions back then too. I could have had a lot of opportunities during my 20s but I really got distracted with so many things because I didn’t really know myself and I didn’t know what I wanted. I got married at an early age. I don’t have a college degree. I was like going with the flow with no direction in life.
It’s also important that (you have the right) mindset and to find something that you will not give up easily despite how difficult it seems.
Also read: 7 tips to manage your time effectively
To explore business opportunities, link with Angelica Chongco by clicking on the 'Connect' button on her profile
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