People & Inspiration

In Focus: 6 Fresh Online Businesses Run by Female Entrepreneurs

In Focus: 6 Fresh Online Businesses Run by Female Entrepreneurs

 

Women's Month is celebrated every March, recognizing every woman in all her glory should be done everyday! And in the spirit of support each other when it comes to conquering the world, check out these 6 fresh online businesses run by female entrepreneurs and get inspired!

1.    Pana: Paaabutin

 
 
 
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Pana: Paaabutin is the country’s first mental health subscription box, which aims to help its recipients cope and provide comfort through a little yet meaningful something inside a box. Steph Andin is the woman behind Pana and is currently a medical student at Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation Institute of Medicine.

What is Pana all about? 

"This mental health subscription box, the first in the Philippines, contains stuff that will help its subscribers cope with whatever they’re feeling for a month. Just to be clear, they are not home remedies or any form of medication for mental health, but they are nice things which were personally gathered and arranged to cater whichever their preferences are. Through an online survey, they were asked about their current condition, the possible trigger/s and what makes them calm down."

Each subscription box costs Php 1,500 for a month, Php 2,800 for 2 months and Php 4,200 for 3 months. Pana also e-mails weekly articles to its past and present subscribers which shares various coping mechanisms and more information about mental health.

The story behind Pana

Despite experiencing the most emotionally stressful moments of her life about a year ago, Steph Andin, the owner of Pana, overcame this struggle, through professional help and her love for unboxing the packages she received, and realized how she could share this new chance of living her life with others.

“I wanted to give those who are struggling something to look forward to. I want to give them a reason to live another day. That is the reason for the subtitle 'Paaabutin.'”

What makes Pana stand out

Aside from being the first in the Philippines, Pana: Paaabutin is a small business run by three people with the biggest hearts and passion to help those who are struggling from mental health conditions.

Find Pana on facebook.com/paaabutin, instagram.com/paaabutinnatin. 

2.    Andin Organics 

 
 
 
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Aside from Pana: Paaabutin, Steph also owns Andin Organics, a small online shop for luxurious bath products containing local and eco-friendly ingredients.

Andin Organics started out to raise funds for Pana which eventually became a standalone product when the number of buyers began to increase. Steph’s love for soap encouraged her to start this business, although no formal training was involved, her efforts on doing comprehensive research and self-taught methods on soap making really worked.

The products of Andin

“The first product ever launched by Andin Organics is our Don’t Skip Skincare activated charcoal facial soap. The formulation was serendipitously discovered and it has been our best seller ever since. We also have a line of shampoo bars which sell almost immediately because of its effectivity. Specifically, our Sleepover antidandruff bar is always on demand, even by our consignment partners.”

Steph shares how they keep their products exciting–their best sellers, Shower Steamers and Bath Coffee, are like bath bombs that don’t just give off relaxing scents but they also become cleaning agents for the bathroom floors after use.

Aside from this, what makes Andin Organics unique is that it is a product of one family’s collaborative efforts – from the creation of the soaps and testing them before selling to the marketing and promotions of the products.

Tips from Steph

“Use your strengths to your advantage. Go with what you think you will never get tired of doing over and over again. Starting a business means committing to a lifestyle so make sure you’re at clear view of what you really want in life.”

She also added the importance of listening to your parents’ advice. Being a medical student while running two businesses is never easy. Good thing, she’s blessed with parents who are there to support her all the way.

“They also have valuable input on my products regarding the composition and its sellability. I don’t think I’ll ever be “old enough” that I won’t need their advice anymore. Remember that it’s the comments from those who matter to you are the ones that matter. It’s their advice that will actually help you become better.”

3.    Borealis Crystals PH 

 
 
 
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Borealis Crystals is an online jewelry store run by Czarielle Guerra, who is a full-time mom and a writer on the side, whose clientele is composed of both the young and the old who like stones other than the classic diamond. This online shop specializes in unique, colored gemstones whose meanings are intriguing and certainly interesting.

“It resonates well with my husband Jared and I, who run the store together. We are chronically and mentally ill, respectively, and we want to find perfection in the imperfect,” Czarielle says.

The birth of Borealis

“It all started 2 years ago, in a conversation between Jared's brother and his mom. Both of us have always found crystal beads to be intriguing but the meanings associated with them piqued our interest. From then, we started collecting gemstones of our own.”

This fun hobby eventually became a small Instagram shop where they started sharing their interests with others–from offering simple stones reflecting positive vibes to Czarielle having her own pink sapphire ring as a surprise gift from her husband.

What makes Borealis stand out

Aside from solely selling products, Borealis Crystals PH has also become a platform in spreading awareness about both chronic and mental illnesses, which aims to promote how people experiencing this are more than their conditions–PWDs can do business too.

“Products-wise, we are unique because we like to shatter stereotypes of what jewelry ought to be. For instance, the belief that all engagement rings are supposed to be diamond–we've actually made a few non-diamond engagement rings from other stones like tourmalines, morganites, and moonstones.”

By having friendly conversations with clients, Borealis Crystals PH provides a personalized service by making sure each piece of jewelry is molded into a meaningful one and by being a support system in any way needed.

Tips from Czarielle

“Your clients are the lifeblood of your business, so get to know them as people and offer them service beyond mere transactions.”

Czarielle also shared how harsh criticism can be an opportunity and help improve your business. She also added how important it is to build friendship with clients because they can be a great support system, too–which in her case, helped her get through motherhood.

Find Borealis Crystals PH at facebook.com/borealiscrystals, instagram.com/borealiscrystals.

4.    Heleyna Bridal 

 
 
 
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Heleyna Bridal customizes wedding gowns that resonates an ethereal and quirky feel. Owned by Janina Saspa, this bridal label represents the beauty and art behind every woman wearing them

The concept of Heleyna

“The ethereal element is present in each style for a romantic mood in the delicate moments of a woman. The company’s collections are tied with the feelings of traditional foundations of marriage to the uniqueness of the bride.”

Janina's love for art encouraged her to start her own bridal line–more than the design process of each dress, shemakes sure how each piece of clothing is a clear reflection of the bride-to-be’s personal experiences and unforgettable moments as she goes through this monumental point in her life.

“I’ve always had an appreciation for ceremonies and what they stand for and what a person can become after. I came up with the idea of creating bridal and custom dresses with a lot of experimenting with the use of new materials or techniques because I wanted to stay away from the conventional and traditional look.”

The Heart Behind Heleyna

"We are very conscious that femininity is not fully about how a woman dresses but is defined on how a woman carries herself. We want to be part of that experience and make her still feel empowered even after taking off a dress. What we are selling and promoting is the experience and that special feeling before, during and that can even transcend after every special occasion.” 

Janina's Tips

It’s true how loving what you do won’t feel like work at all–but for Janina, loving what she does also pushes her to work harder and despite the unavoidable negative vibes in the industry sometimes, she remains to be positive and calm. This also helped her to become a better leader and entrepreneur–taking care of your people will let them take care of the business.

“So, be kind in everything you do, money may make you powerful but kindness makes you empowered and that will translate with the people around you. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun in everything that you do and remember that being young has nothing to do with your capability as a woman and entrepreneur.”

Find Heleyna Bridal at facebook.com/heyheleyna, instagram.com/heyheleynawww.heyheleyna.com.

5.    Berde 

 
 
 
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Berde believes that going green should not be expensive. This online store, owned by Aliyah Ong, who is a Speech Comm graduate and a full-time businesswoman, encourages everyone to start making a difference without hurting your pockets at all.

Berde as a passion project

“Berde is my passion project. I wanted make eco-friendly alternatives accessible and affordable. The idea is to create a one-stop shop for the many items we can substitute in our everyday lives. Our items are still very limited, and we have a lot of room to grow into still, but that is what I am trying to do with Berde.”

Initially, Berde was supposed to be just an initiative to shift to greener alternatives. However, as Jaye realized how expensive the products were when she was just starting, it became her jump off point to launch Berde and help everyone else switch to a greener lifestyle without costing them a fortune.

The uniqueness of Berde

Although the concept is not new, what makes Berde unique is its selling prices. Aside from that, they also re-decorate used containers into beautiful holders. All their products are delivered plastic-free and scheduled only once a week to help lessen carbon footprint.

“I'm also constantly trying to study how else my business impacts the lives of the people we work with--whether its through our suppliers, workers, delivery guys. I'm just trying to make sure Berde is more than just selling eco-friendly items, but making sure that it's sustainable for everyone involved.”

Aliyah's tips

“Invest in yourself. It's not going to come from anyone else but you. It's scary and it's a whole lot intimidating, but I think that's the only way to get anything started. Invest in yourself, in your ideals, in your vision. I think that's also how Berde is different from other eco-friendly stores.”

Find Berde at facebook.com/Berde4Mama, instagram.com/berde4mama.

6.    Kookies and Kim PH 

 
 
 
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Run by Kim Morales, Kookies and Kim PH may be new to the cookie business but they’re up to their game as all flavors are definitely worth each calorie!

Kookies & Kim's simple concept

Kookies & Kim is a home-based online baking business specializing in different kinds of cookies - from your classic chocolate chip to up-and-coming flavors like matcha.

“The concept is simple enough: we bake, you eat.”

The story behind Kookies & Kim

“To be honest, it started out as an experiment in the kitchen. I’ve never baked before and read up on different recipes and techniques, asking help from my friends who had their own experiences. The cookies turned out surprisingly edible and delicious, I’d bring batches to gatherings - one thing led to another, until finally friends and family convinced me to brand it and set up a business.”

Cookies made with love

All their cookies are hand-baked and made with choice ingredients supporting local business. Each batch undergoes a meticulous preparation process to ensure consistent quality.

“We also make sure to hit the right spots: the perfect balance between bitter and sweet, crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside. Kookies & Kim is all about baking our customer’s craving.”

Kim's tips

“Hustle. Of all the things I’ve learned from handling a business, it’s all about the hustle. Things won’t move forward unless you do. Being your own boss definitely has it perks but when the going gets tough, you’ve got to always make the conscious choice to keep going. Have fun but keep your priorities in check.” 

Kim also shares how she’s not afraid to ask for help–having her own business doesn’t mean she does everything alone 24/7. Nobody can fly solo–who knows, a great idea or collaboration might be waiting up your alley.

Find Kookies and Kim at instagram.com/kookiesandkimph.

ALSO READ: In Focus: This 22-Year-Old Entrepreneur Shares Tips On Starting A Business

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