The Sewing Mompreneur of Oliswle by Orzales

September 16, 2016

Our mompreneur feature is the crafty Joy Kristel Orzales, mom of 2, Aleksandria Jerome "Ria", 5 years old and Juan Jaime Kismet "JJ", 1 year old.

She works as a Research Assistant in the academe at the same time manages her own business, Oliswle by Orzales. She turned her passion for sewing baby and mom stuff such as Dribblies - bibdanas, Droolies - drool pads for baby carriers, Footies - baby shoes, SSPies (Sapin Sa Pwet) - Hybrid Fitted diapers, cloth wipes, fabric face masks, souvenir keychains (diapers) and nursing scarfs into a family-run business in 2013.

She is an advocate of environment-friendly parenting, breastfeeding and babywearing.

What inspired you to start your own business?
I really feel bad whenever I see expensive products and I know that they are overpriced.  I want to give affordable goods to mommies because I know how it feels when you cannot buy something so expensive.  So I researched on raw materials that are available here in the Philippines, created and bought some patterns, and had testing periods per product.  Then researched on the market and made sure that my products are fairly priced.  Since Oliswle means "All is well," the main theme of the bollywood movie "3 Idiots," we want to tell moms and dads that everything will be ok and that they do not have to spend a lot for some of the things that they want or need. :) Plus, this business is really not for profit but part of our advocacy in saving the environment.

What’s the best part of being a mompreneur?
Meeting new friends (I easily consider clients as friends), knowing how me and the clients are connected (relative of a friend, colleague of a relative, etc.), moms appreciating my work, and knowing that I help mommies buy something that they want in a relatively low price.  I still price my products close to the market price because there are mompreneurs that are doing the business full time and I do not want them to lose in this game. So I am in between: giving affordable products to moms but at the same time I also consider other sellers or wahms.  But since I advocate green diapering, I want to make more moms shift to cloth so I regularly hold giveaways, especially to those who are still building their stash.  In this way, I do not affect the market price while helping moms collect cloth diapers.

What is the biggest challenge you faced as a mompreneur?
Being a breastfeeding mom to my toddler, my sewing time is when he is sleeping. So I sleep around 12 midnight to 1 am then I have to wake up early for my day job. Sometimes, I sew when he's still awake so from time to time, he will go to me and sit on my lap while I sew. The problem is, he tends to turn the knobs of my machine! Haha :)

How do you balance work and family time?
I see to it that I spend time with my kids during weekends.  My husband and I work in the same company so we have lunch date every day. I still sew during weekends but that's when my kids are busy, sleeping or playing with their dad.  But most of the time, I still sleep late during weekends to finish orders.  We also have "family trips," as what my daughter calls them, where we go to different places and mostly they are out of town trips.  Sometimes, these trips are unplanned.  One time, we were already on the road and someone cancelled our appointment so I said, "Let's go to Tagaytay." Then we found ourselves enjoying the breeze of Tagaytay. :)

How do you see yourself in the future?
I still see myself with a full time job and a business.  I cannot give up one of them because I want the career that I have right now and at the same time, I want to help other moms by offering affordable goods.  Me and my husband are dreaming of growing the business in the long run so we are doing some studies regarding this.  I also want to influence other parents in helping save the environment.

Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?
Think of what you really want to do.  For me, sewing is my passion so I chose to sell handcrafted sewn products.  Study the market first. Is the demand high for this particular product? What is the market price for the products. Set the price of your products in a fair level both to your customers and competitors.  Ask yourself, is this product worth my money if I am going to buy this?  Also, always think how your clients would react to your products when they receive them.  So for me, the packaging, together with good quality products, is very important because even if they are cheaper compared to other brands, they will still feel that the products are made with love. Our packaging is also based on how I want to receive products so they are well-planned. I do the designing also.

What's your advise/message to new moms?
Enjoy every moment. Babies are babies only for a short time. You will be surprised that your baby is already a toddler, then a preschooler, etc.  For working moms, it is ok to miss some milestones especially if they happened while you are at work.  It is a dilemma for every working mom.  But, reaching a milestone means your baby is developing well and that is more important.

Should you wish to see her sewn creations, check out Oliswle by Orzales.

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