Inspiring Career Stories From 5 Womenpreneurs
This Women's Month, we celebrate the achievements of these womenpreneurs who take charge of their businesses while inspiring others to do the same too
Women entrepreneurs in the Philippines are gaining much-deserved recognition now more than ever. Their contributions to society have become too significant to miss. Apart from being the epitome of goal-getting girlbosses, there's also no denying their being instrumental in the country's economic recovery.
And Women's Month is one of the best opportunities to highlight and celebrate them and their inspiring achievements as career women or一as the term SM Supermalls uses to dub them一womenpreneurs. Consider this witty and seamless combination of words an indication and reflection then of how women are meant to thrive in the field of entrepreneurship.
That with the right mindset, a whole lot of passion and dedication, and proper support groups like SM Supermalls that creates a conducive environment for womenpreneurs to flourish, business successes and milestones can be achieved.
Here are five women-led MSMEs and the inspiring stories behind them:
1. Baked Puff PH by Juana Gabrielle Dumpit
Baked Puff PH was among the pioneer members of the SM StartUp Program. Juana's first pop-up store was established in SM Aura in 2022 where her products were sold out for four days straight. Her pastry store incorporates international and local flavors into puff pastries and egg tarts.
As a womanpreneur herself, Juana maximizes her business to empower others by enabling them and helping them refine their skills. She shared, “Our goodies are baked with love by our female bakers who joined us with no prior baking knowledge. But through time and training, they were able to learn our recipes and techniques. We also give them the chance to work on new flavors they want to launch for Baked Puff.”
Juana now looks forward to opening her pilot store at one of the SM Malls soon.
2. BinibiniCo by Diannel Go
Banking on her love for handicrafts and bayong, Diannel established BinibiniCo. By joining the SM Startup Program, she found a way to achieve her goal of putting up a business while championing her advocacy to “honor the declining culture of weaving in Laguna.” With her hard work and patience, Diannel was then offered an opportunity to be part of SM Santa Rosa as a short-term tenant.
“Our business tagline is ‘Gawang Pinay Para sa Pinoy.’ It is important to recognize that behind all our products are hardworking binibini staff, artisans, and weavers. They are mostly elderly women struggling to find other work opportunities due to their age and gender, young moms hoping to make ends meet as they take on the role of being mothers and wives, and young Filipina working students looking for opportunities to earn and grow as young women,” Diannel explained, adding that her brand aims to celebrate women with every bayong and handicraft they make. “The store is pink to represent the strong and soft feminine energy of a woman.”
With an endeavor featuring products crafted by women for women, it is also the goal of the BinibiniCo owner to re-introduce the bayong to shoppers and help them discover and appreciate its beauty and many uses.
3. ISLA Kapsule by Cherry Lim
From being her usual go-to mall, SM Supermalls has become the home of Cherry Lim’s start-up business, ISLA Kapsule. She worked for an SM e-plus project years ago, and now, she finds her way back to the company for a different purpose.
Coming from her humble beginnings to now that she has been in the business long enough to know the ins and outs of the industry, the ISLA Kapsule owner and founder serves as an inspiration for aspiring womenpreneurs. She hopes to motivate more women to take control of their future by owning a business. “ISLA stands as an inspiration to never quit, #JustDoIt, even if no one supported you at a point in your life. We want to be known as a woman-led business that possesses strong courage, passion, and character that inspires fellow Pinays to do the same,” Cherry said.
Her business, ISLA Kapsule, innovates the Philippine coffee experience through local coffee products. Being the first and only capsule and espresso bar in the Philippines, ISLA serves the best of the Philippines—coffee and beyond—and promotes agriculture and tourism in one brand. Being partners with SM Supermalls reminded Cherry that dreams do come true as long as there are people who will support you and share the same advocacy as you, for the country and its people.
4. Out of Nowhere Kitchen by Razel Ann Suy Tan
Mompreneur Razel Ann Suy Tan, owner of Out of Nowhere Kitchen in SM Lanang Premier, strongly believes that women can always be what they want to be. “We are all equal, regardless of our gender. As womenpreneurs, we must always challenge ourselves beyond our limits. We can always achieve our dreams with innovation, passion, love, and hard work,” she remarked.
As a mother, wife, chef, and entrepreneur, Razel does her best to take care of her business so she can support her family and her employees through her passion and dream.
Sharing stories of her challenges, Razel said that SM helped her learn and grow as an entrepreneur: “I was confronted with challenges to go beyond what I dreamed of. But this also showed me that while these instances can happen, success is sweeter when we’re able to overcome these difficulties.”
Out of Nowhere Kitchen serves a diverse lineup of comfort food, with menu items offering options for appetizer, main course, pasta, and baked goods.
5. Carlins Flowershop by Macky Demafeliz and Bea Rosete
In a place where flowers were deemed an unnecessary luxury, flower shop owners Macky Demafeliz and Bea Rosete have become more inspired to offer more products that would cater to various projects. Now, more people are able to afford good quality flowers that would not burn a hole in one’s pocket.
For them, women are best represented by flowers. “It is delicate yet strong, breathtaking in its beauty and resilient season after season. A flower arrangement is the best gesture to show appreciation for every woman this Women’s Month,” said the mother-and-daughter tandem of Davao-based Carlins Flowershop.
Believing in the beauty and power of flowers, Macky and Bea joined SM City Davao as one of their MSME tenants in 2018. During the pandemic, they went online but realized that the business of flowers is such that they’re gifted for everyday occasions as well as special days. The mall, with customers who see the flower arrangements and decide on the spot to purchase these—even if it’s a simple-stem rose, to tabletop blooms—is the perfect place to restart after the pandemic.
These five women-led MSMEs at SM Supermalls prove that nothing is stronger than the heart of a woman. The challenges brought by the pandemic and their circumstances are nothing compared to their will to grow, thrive, and succeed in the business arena.