The spread of coronavirus has posed a threat to entrepreneurs around the world. While many businesses are struggling to stay afloat and make ends meet, we interviewed these Chinoys who managed to start and thrive through their business in the midst of the pandemic. Aside from that, they also shared their challenges during the pandemic as well as advices to fellow Chinoy who are eager to start their own business.
1) Delidrop – Jameson Ong & Nicole Co
Having a common ground and passion for food led Nicole Co and Jameson Ong to start their business last May 2020. Both of them always bonded over same taste in food thus, they decided to create something they both enjoy doing.
Delidrop is an online specialty food store that offers premium quality meats, seafood, deli and pantry items. They collaborated with well known & loved brands such as Tiger Sugar, Turks, Milklab, Torres Chips, & their latest addition, Manila Creamery. Jameson & Nicole shares that they believe in supporting homegrown brands that promote healthy alternatives so as to provide a well-rounded platform in promoting balanced living. Some of the homegrown brands they carry are Take Root, Kinsfolk Coffee, Just Fruit, Farm to Folk, Skinny Carbs, Healthy Choice, Figgs Kombucha, etc. In addition to that, what makes Delidrop unique is their dedication in ensuring the quality and freshness of their products. “We continue to grow our brand and keep up with the demands and desires of the market. With this, we continuously have new and unique items. We also provide same day delivery and try our best to make every drop memorable.”
Challenges such as logistics, customer services and shortage in manpower are inevitable especially with the current situation. However, Jameson & Nicole shares that they continue to make things work by communicating and working with each other 24/7.
Jameson & Nicole shares some advice to their fellow chinoys who wants to start their business to just do what you want to do and make sure to put all effort and passion to what you’re doing. “It may be a little difficult in the beginning but it’s just mind over matter. Take this time to find what you’re good at and start something no matter how big or small.”
2) Kids Interactive – Kristine Lim
Kristine Lim or Teacher Tin, is an Early Childhood Educator, Special Education teacher, Therapist, and Coach who has worked in preschools, big schools, clinics, as well as starting her private practice. Despite the pandemic, Teacher Tin was able to find a way for children to continue learning through online group classes.
Kids Interactive, launched last May 2020, is an online group classes, one-one-one enrichment classes, and developmental intervention. Their programs aim to prepare children for online learning, bridge gaps in early education and to create a community where learners and educators are partners. The vision of Kids Interactive is to build a safe online community to help children cope, meet new friends, and continue the optimal learning process despite the current situation. “This allows a sense of normalcy and encourages daily anticipation as they are able to go online to meet their classmates and teachers” But more than that, Kids Interactive want to assist families adapt to distance learning through an inquiry-based and project-based approach where all kinds of learners are welcome.
Teacher Tin shares that what makes Kids Interactive stands out from the rest is the limited number of students during online group classes. She believes that by implementing this, they are able to communicate, interact, and teach effectively as well as their provision of one-on-one enrichment classes. Furthermore, teachers in Kids Interactive have varied teaching experiences with different types of learners. They emphasize on providing a safe learning space wherein all learners are welcome. She also shares that “our small community itself shows how we can learn from one another and how our skills complement each other.”
Conducting online group classes is not an easy task, Teacher Tin shares that some of the challenges she face are penetrating the market, producing content and making excel sheets. But she is optimistic that if you find people who are willing to help, everything will become so much better.
Lastly, she advices her fellow Chinoys that if you’ve been wanting to start a business, just do it. “Find the confidence to do it, the support from family, friends, and colleagues. And you have to push through no matter how difficult and time consuming it could be. Also, most importantly, work with people who have the same vision as you do.”
Facebook & Instagram: @kidsinteractive
3.) 360 Digital – Kyra Co
Driven by her passion and interest to create content, work with different brands and love for social media, Kyra Co, started 360 Digital back in 2019. Although they have been in the industry for a while now, Kyra mentioned that her business is more aggressive during the pandemic.
360 Digital is a full service Digital Agency that provides services such as Social Media Management, Branding and Design, Content Creation, Website Development, Public Relation and Digital Marketing. Through her business, she is determined to help people win in the online space. They are passionate about changing the world, one business at a time in which they believes that digital integration is the future and has become a critical component for success. According to Kyra, what makes her business stands out from the rest is that “360 Digital’s customers and clients are the core of our business – given this, we adjust and adapt to their needs. We help our clients through the specific situation they’re in. In addition to that, we are a one-stop-shop for all your digital needs.”
No one is exempted from the challenges brought by the pandemic. Kyra shares that the difficulty of having face-to-face meetings with clients in which everything has to be done online. She also mentioned that “Initial learning curve for clients in industries we’ve never worked with however, we see this as a good thing since ideas are fresh and new.”
As for her advice to her fellow Chinoys who also wants to start their own business, Kyra shares that“they should just go for it – because if they never try, then they’ll never know. Being busy is not an excuse because we always have exactly enough time for the things we value and prioritize”
4) Comfy Beans – Pau Go
Just like Kyra, Pau Go was driven by her passion and interest in coffee to launch Comfy Beans last April 2020. She learned to love coffee when she started working in 2014. During the quarantine, she found the perfect opportunity to share this with other people and with just 1.5 weeks of planning, Pau launched Comfy Beans.
As a marketing professional, she greatly believes that knowing your brand’s essence is very important. Before launching her business, she made sure that Comfy Beans was something that is meaningful and comes with a purpose – that’s to sell only locally produced coffee beans. As cliché as it may sound, she wants to #upliftlocal.
Comfy Beans is a start-up business that proudly offers locally sources coffee beans with a cause – 50% of proceeds will be donated to their chosen covid-19 fundraising projects until May 31. Their mission is to provide great tasting and affordable local coffee to everyone while supporting/uplifting local businesses like their suppliers/farmers in Benguet. They aspire to be the go-to for local coffee sourced from different parts of the country. Currently, their best sellers are Arabica Single Origin from Sablan Benguet and Sagada 100% Arabica. Out of hundreds of coffee bean seller, Pau believe that what makes Comfy Beans stand out is the great value for money. “Great tasting, local coffee doesn’t have to be expensive.”
Every business comes with a challenges especially with the current situation but this didn’t hinder Pau. She shares that “selling coffee is a whole different arena, in which you have to find your niche given that different people have different coffee preferences. Finding the right flavors with a good range of profiles is difficult especially during quarantine.” Furthermore, logistics also possess a big challenge now. Since delays are inevitable, managing your customers and setting the right expectations at the onset is very important.
Finally, she shares her advice to her fellow Chinoys that there’s no RIGHT or PERFECT time to start a business. “All you need to do is commit and put time and effort in planning the right product/service to offer by ensuring that you are addressing a demand. Prepare your go-to market strategy carefully to make sure that you are talking to the right people, making them aware and would want to buy your products. That’s why branding is important as it will help set you apart from other sellers. Find the right voice, be consistent, and be genuine. It’s going to take a lot of effort, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. You learn along the way so don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as if this is it’s something that you are passionate about, it’s going to be worth it.”
And there you have it! Hope these 4 Chinoys inspired you to start you own business!