The Mom Enablers of Mommy Republic

October 05, 2016
Kate (left) and Edie (right) with their families

Kate Yu and Edie Acedera are moms who are passionate about enabling moms to pursue entrepreneurial passions while having enough time to care for their families in the comforts of their homes. Having both experienced the challenge of balancing corporate work and family life, they are empowering moms through the prime mompreneur business hub, Mommy Republic.

Learn from snippets of their journey and tips for budding mompreneurs.

What inspired you to start your own business?

KATE: I wanted to be a mompreneur, long before I became a mom I think (haha!) I was grateful for my marketing career (in P&G, UL) but I always longed to be an entrepreneur and create my own brands. When I became a mother 3 years ago, my son was my ultimate motivation. I started choosing roles with little travel, even if it meant holding back my career. I also longed to spend more time with him, create products for him, and one day inspire him to take risks and follow his own dreams- the same way "mama did". It was my mom who encouraged me to take the 'leap' as she knew I was torn between being 'responsible/practical' and following my own dreams.

Reconnecting with Edie in Singapore was a blessed turning point. We were asking ourselves the same questions about career/family, and our collective answer was to join forces and create Mommy Republic for ourselves and for all the moms out there who are choosing between meaningful careers and spending time with their kids. We believe women can pursue their passions and raise kids and we want to help.

EDIE: I had been in the corporate world for more than 15 years, and when I had Matthew I really had this strong desire to be able to spend time with him especially during his formative years. My corporate job required me to frequently travel, so I made that brave leap in 2015 to leave my comfort zone and explore other things. I was based in Singapore for 7 years, and my husband and I decided to come back to the Philippines and raise our family here. Kate and I were in the same space, same place at the same time -- and over many of our coffee sessions in Singapore brainstorming about our futures, Mommy Republic came to be... So happy to see the fruit of our labor and what once was just a dream come to life, finally...

In the process, we have also written a book, which is also called Mommy Republic (subtitled : Understanding the millennial moms of the Philippines), which is a research based study on the habits and attitudes of this millennial generation of mothers. This will be published by Anvil, and will be released by end of October.

What’s the best part of being a mompreneur?

KATE: Daily front row seats to what I call  "The Max" (my son's) Show! Spending time with my son is an incredible gift and luxury. The creative freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur is fulfilling. If you spot an opportunity you go for it. You meet like-minded entrepreneurial personalities and make things happen. No endless debates and you move fast. Every day is a learning experience and every day is a step closer to the goal. When you see the fruits of your labor there is no feeling quite like it! The people Edie and I have met have also been incredibly inspiring and enabling.

EDIE: You think of something, you do it. The creative freedom is very refreshing. I have learned so many things about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, which I have never yet discovered despite my long years of work. I get a high from being able to do things I have never done before. The adventure is exhilarating.

I also of course enjoy the flexibility in terms of time, so that I can schedule things around my family's schedule. I get to spend 24 hours of the day with my son.

What is the biggest challenge you faced as a mompreneur?

KATE: The painful combination of boot-strapping and uncertainty. There are days when I really miss my income (haha!), but then I focus on the big picture, my purpose, and things are not so bad. An entrepreneur friend once told me- if you are not ready for failure, uncertainty, and financial insecurity- don't do it at all! I can see what he means now. There were days when I threw myself a 'pity- party', but it's all part of the journey- and I remind myself that I chose to be on this journey.

EDIE: There are many uncertainties and unknowns, especially on the financial side given that it is a start up. No one can predict the success of the ventures. This is a big adjustment, given the steady income that I used to receive. But I accept this as the price of pursuing one's dream.

How do you balance work and family time?

KATE: With a young child at home- I ensured I spend quality time with him first every morning, and once he has had his fill of "mommy time" I can then retreat to my home office and do a bit of uninterrupted work.

Having been on this journey, I realized my biggest enablers are:

Be Present.
I have worked more weekends now than I did while I was in the corporate world. Key is to put down your phone, focus, and be present with your family and make that time count. I used to constantly communicate with the team (via viber) in Manila while playing with my son, or while with my family and it just wasn't healthy for anyone.

Be Efficient and Learn to Let Go.
Being a work at home mom is so overwhelming sometimes, between running a business, writing a book, managing a household, and caring for a young toddler at home. My to-do lists are overflowing every day! So I decided, each day I will have my Top 3 Priorities that need to be done and then some things which will just have to wait "one day" even if that "one day" won't come for months!

Be Healthy.
I realized if I exercise I have more energy for all the things I want to do. Before I used to just work till crazy hours in the morning to keep up. I would work even if I was unwell and it wasn't sustainable. Now, I try to sleep on time and squeeze in a short walk or some small exercise and It has worked wonders. My best ideas I now get when I walk outside.

EDIE: I work from home most of the time, whenever possible. Google Hangouts, Viber, WhatsApp have been our biggest enablers to be able to work from wherever. If I need to leave the house, I take my son whenever possible. I "try" to not multi task when my husband is around, and try to have uninterrupted conversations over meals. It is tempting always to check your phone while with other people, but I realized this is not helping me with my objective of being able to spend time with my family. Gadgets are our most important work tools, but we also need to know when to put them away and set them aside.

How do you see yourself in the future?

KATE: I would love to see Mommy Republic grow exponentially. I would like to collaborate with other moms and create picture books/educational toys/videos for young children like my son. To do all these- I am working on making myself more healthy and energetic!

EDIE: I would love to continue meeting other mompreneurs and sourcing new hacks and products that are relevant to moms . Maybe write more books and continue to collaborate with other moms.

Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?

KATE: First of all I would say more power to you mom, because it's the best thing!  My top three tips would be in the order below:

Choose the intersection between your passion and what will reward you.
Early wins are critical to keep you motivated. Your passion will help you ride out the tough times, and the rewards will give you a longer "financial runway" as we all need a bit of time to see our ideas grow and blossom.

Focus on solving a genuine problem.
I believe products and services that truly address a "pain" point in a person's life have a higher chance of success. Talk to your potential clients/customers and really find out how they define their problem (i.e. pain point) and how you can help them.

Focus on growing your business.
It's tempting to do so many things at once and we can get overwhelmed. Focus first on the critical things that will have an impact on your business, the rest can wait. This is why we designed mommyrepublic's service- to allow mompreneurs to focus more on growing their business- we will take care of fulfillment, admin, customer service, payment collection! I wish I had mommyrepublic years ago! haha :-)

EDIE: Choose a space that you are very passionate about. If you are to be doing this for a long time, it has to be something you love to do. If you love what you do, you will never have to "work" a single day in your life, everything is fun.

Be sure to get the support of your husband and family. They will have to understand the ups and downs of business, and also the erratic schedules, plus the financial uncertainties. It takes a village to grow a business too.

What's your advise/message to new moms?

KATE: First of all congratulations- being a new mom is an incredible gift and experience! You will feel overwhelmed (as I have, as we all have in fact!) during the first few years but don't worry mom it will get better! Savor each moment because they do tend to go by so fast! You will read a lot of "parenting tips" and will be bombarded by so much info on how to be a 'good mother' and there are days you will feel you are not enough. All I can say is- when you feel overwhelmed- remember that you have EVERYTHING you need to be a good mother within you! Be yourself, do your best and make your child feel loved every day that is what is going to make a huge difference!

EDIE: Motherhood is the best thing that can ever happen, so enjoy it and savor every moment. It can also be challenging.

Try to simplify or 'hack' certain tasks so that you are more efficient, as every moment counts. If you can outsource some non-value adding tasks, do so.

Save money, always have an emergency fund.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Social media has a way of molding a certain image of an ideal mother, the moms we follow in IG for example -- let not this give moms unnecessary pressure to conform.

What are your top 3 recommended must haves for moms? Why?

A strong support system.
It really takes a village to raise a child and we all need a good village! Don't hesitate to tap on family, friends, helpers, friendly neighbors- they are all part of your team!

A strong mommy group (online).
I can't count the number of times I have been helped by the incredible network of moms in my daily parenting journey. Living in Singapore, I am away from my family and have benefited so much from the collective wisdom of moms from the various Facebook mommy groups I join in Singapore and Manila. From school reviews to doctor recommendation, to tips for party planning to how to handle a fussy child. We all need our mommy groups! Join one if you haven't done yet, please! :-)

This is a tricky one because it's tough to get enough sleep when you have a little one (especially when they are unwell or teething!) but try to get as much as you can. Life is a bit rosier with a bit more sleep.

A strong support system.
Whether this be your household staff, your extended family or your friends ... It takes a village to raise a child, as they always say;

Good Internet Connection on Mobile.
You are always on the go, and you have to make sure people can easily contact you;

A good camera.
You would never want to miss an important moment as your child (and your business) is growing.

Should you wish to know more about Mommy Republic, check out the following:


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