Oct 30 2017 0 Comments
By Featured Blogger Tina Santiago-Rodriguez As of this writing, I have been a breastfeeding mom for 10 years and 10 months, stopping only when I was pregnant. It has been a challenging but fulfilling journey, and I know many breastfeeding moms will agree with me when I say that all the challenges have been worth it.
Mompreneur creates clothes for breastfeeding moms
As of this writing, I have been a breastfeeding mom for 10 years and 10 months, stopping only when I was pregnant. It has been a challenging but fulfilling journey, and I know many breastfeeding moms will agree with me when I say that all the challenges have been worth it.
According to the World Health Organization, breastmilk is truly best for babies and young children, and I thank God that I have been able to breastfeed all three of my older kids past toddlerhood, with the fourth still currently breastfeeding at 1.5 years old.
The author breastfeeding her fourth child. Photo courtesy of Sheila Catilo of Jorem and Sheila Catilo Photography
Of course, as I mentioned earlier, breastfeeding has its own set of challenges. One of them, for many breastfeeding moms (especially “newbies”), is breastfeeding in public. Thankfully, there are many ways to address this “challenge” (which, for many nursing moms, is actually not a challenge at all).
Some moms breastfeed boldly and do not hesitate to “whip out” their breasts in public to nurse their babies, no matter what they are wearing. And that is perfectly normal, of course.
Other moms though, myself included, prefer to breastfeed our kids in more discreet ways, with the help of nursing covers or nursingwear. The latter has actually come a long way since I gave birth to our first child almost 11 years ago. These days, moms have so many choices when it comes to breastfeeding-friendly clothes, and there are quite a number of nursingwear brands available now.
One such brand is Kaypee Baby. I came across it on a fellow mommy blogger’s site a few months ago, and I got curious about it because it seemed different from other nursingwear brands that I had previously encountered. Their styles seemed to be patterned according to new fashion “trends,” and the prices were not that bad either.
I eventually got to know Siene Bueno, the mompreneur behind Kaypee Baby, and I found her story inspiring, to say the least. Most, if not all, of the mompreneurs I’ve met actually have inspiring stories to share. I thought I’d share Siene’s story with you all. Who knows? It might be the “push” you need to start your own business!Humble beginnings
Siene actually does not have a business background. She is a graduate of Electronics Engineering from the University of Santo Tomas, and currently works as an office-based engineer at a company in the utility sector.
Siene decided to started the business to augment their family income, so that her husband could stay home with their child. They also wanted to provide jobs to other people.
As fate would have it, Siene met a fellow mom, Joyce, at the Babypalooza Bazaar. She became curious about the world of retail baby products, and Joyce became her “mentor” of sorts. She taught Siene how to sell products in “group pasabuys.” That was the start of Siene’s mompreneur journey.Overcoming challenges
Starting the business proved to be very challenging for Siene. For one thing, very few people would buy their products.
“We first started Kaypee Baby in Facebook groups, specifically ‘Parent's Circle Pasabuy’ and ‘Tipid Nanay.’ There, mompreneurs were given one slot per month, meaning you can only sell products once a month,” Siene shares.
“The groups were not entirely comprised of breastfeeding moms (only a small portion were), and once they had bought items from us, they would usually not purchase anything again.”
The first products were sleepsuit overruns, then bedsheets and eventually, nursingwear. “Back then, we planned to sell many other products but Joyce, my mommy mentor, said that we should focus on a specific product,” Siene recalls. “We selected nursingwear because they are usually very expensive, more expensive than formula milk.”
At first, Siene considered importing ready-to-wear items but decided against it later on. “It is better to source labor locally in order to give jobs to our countrymen,” she says. “I love to support our own.”
Siene Bueno believes in the importance of giving jobs to her fellow Filipinos via their unique line of nursingwear.
Siene laughingly recalls the early days when she would beg moms on Facebook to buy their products. “We overcame our challenges by staying focused and selling our items nationwide,” she adds.Putting processes in place
“Before, when we were selling through Facebook groups, the process was very time-consuming,” Siene shares. “We could not automate any process and had to laboriously copy paste everything.” At that time, she was the only person working on the business.
“I was studying the market and the process. It’s a good thing I was helped by a best friend, who was then still in college. She would pack the orders as I do not have the patience to do routine tasks,” Siene discloses.
“Back then, I could only attend to Kaypee Baby after office hours. We could not expand as I was burdened by tasks such as marketing, order-taking and answering inquiries,” she continues. “I was also busy with its day-to-day operations, which, for me, kills creativity.”
All of these changed when Siene and her team were able to automate the order-taking process by making their own website and delegating tasks to others.It’s all worth it in the end
Despite all the challenges, Siene says that her mompreneur journey has been worthwhile.
“Back then, the problem was that nursingwear did not look as fashionable as it does now, and it was not as affordable either,” she explains. “We offer mommies a solution to this problem by providing affordable but extremely fashionable nursing clothes.
Breastfeeding advocate and mompreneur Siene Bueno wants her fellow moms to “look beautiful” and “feel good and happy.”
“We believe that when mommies know that they look beautiful, they feel good and happy, which translates to more milk for the babies. We want mommies to look gorgeous and sexy kahit may baby na.
“I am a breastfeeding advocate; I was ‘brainwashed’ by The Medical City to breastfeed. I wanted to augment the family income and give jobs to my neighbors, and Kaypee Baby was able to fulfill my vision.”Tips for mompreneur wannabes
If you’re a mom reading this and you’ve been inspired somehow to explore starting your own business like Siene did, here are her tips for you:
“Dream Big. Have a vision, dream about that vision, ask help from God and believe that you will soon be successful.”
“Focus. Find your niche.”
“Develop your product and do some research.”
“Forgive. Clients may bash you and there will be moments in your life where you will feel down. Cry for a brief moment, but be sure to move on, get back up stronger, fiercer and wiser. Trust in God and believe that the bad moment happened for a good reason. I had my fair share of bad moments, and they fueled me to become what I am today.”
I hope all of us – moms and non-moms alike – can learn a thing or two from Siene’s story. In a way, her business journey is similar to breastfeeding – there may be difficulties but with perseverance and faith, you can overcome virtually anything that life throws your way.
Did this article inspire or encourage you in any way? You can read more articles like it on my own site, TrulyRichandBlessed.com, or stay tuned here on philstar.com for more articles coming your way soon. As always, please feel free to leave a comment below.