17 Oct 2020, 13:00 — 5 min read
After the unexpected death of her husband, Chona Chua suddenly had to navigate everything all by herself: raising and taking care of three daughters, running a household, and managing a 13-year-old business, Chona’s Recipes.
For weeks and months, she would struggle with accepting the fact that her constant partner who used to be her helper and critic for her business, and a devoted father to her children was no longer with them.
“I was depressed. I lost my focus and even my passion,” she shares.
Dealing with grief, Chona had a hard time concentrating and fulfilling orders for her business.
She was on the verge of shutting down her venture, but not until an opportunity came knocking down to rekindle the fire she had lost.
“I thought I’m going to close my business, but DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) gave me an opportunity to be part of Kapatid Mentor Me Program (DTI-KMME).”
The DTI-KMME program became an open window for her to continue what she and her late husband had started.
“(Through the program) I’ve had a motivation again, courage and confidence to move forward and do my business.”
The DTI-KMME program aims to help micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) scale up their business through coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship.
When she thought that it was all over, the mentorship program became her refuge, learning from the experiences and stories of her fellow entrepreneurs and mentors. “I realized that I’m not alone.”
Her renewed passion helped her to embrace gradually the new challenges and responsibilities she had to face on her own.
Chona’s Recipes was born out of her love for pastries and baking. Established in 2007, it started as a small venture offering pastries as giveaway every December. Her variety of pastries cover banana loaf, carrot loaf, crema de fruta, silvanas, cheesy artisan ensaymada, and her best-selling product since the beginning: revel bar.
In 2015, a great opportunity came in disguised as a request from a friend. She was asked to make a three-tier wedding cake, which she hadn’t done before.
Having no experience to do it, she was reluctant to accept the offer. However, her friend was confident enough that she could make it. “How could I reject my friend if she trusted me with all her heart; even she knew that I haven’t done it before.”
After the occasion, she posted the finished product on her Facebook page that became pivotal for her business to receive several inquiries. This led her to broaden her offerings and she started accepting customized or personalised cake for various occasions.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Thanks to her friend who believed in her, her entrepreneurial journey took off.
It was Chona’s passion for her business that helped her get through difficult and uncertain times.
“If you have the passion, you will understand your business better. It’s not just about earning money, but you will also spend your time learning and understanding even the smallest details of your business.”
When you have the passion, you will eventually have an entrepreneurial mindset.
“For example, if you don’t have passion for making pastries, you won’t mind if you encounter any problems. But if you have passion, you will study the texture and its taste. Your mind will not stop from coming up with ideas on what you need to make it better,” she adds.
With the digital as the new normal, Chona is setting her eyes to improve her online marketing to reach new markets.
“I have to take advantage of all the opportunities online. For example, I’m part of the upcoming online trade fair organized by DTI in partnership with UnionBank GlobalLinker, that’s another (opportunity) for me to market my products.”
Also read: Create your own online store on UnionBank GlobalLinker for free
Now that she has to embark a new journey on her own, she continues to pursue her business with passion and flair, carrying the memories of establishing and growing her venture with her precious loved one.
To explore business opportunities, link with Chona Chua by clicking on the 'Connect' button on her profile.
Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the members
Posted byAiramae Algentera Guerrero
I shine the spotlight on business owners who are doing exciting and innovative work by featuring them as part of our 'SME Inspirations' series. Connect with me and share...
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