2 Sep 2021, 10:30 — 6 min read
Enterprise: RK Trading and Services
Founder: Rosella K. Tan
Industry: Food & Beverages
Year Founded it was founded: 2017
Location: Zamboanga City
Being a stay-at-home mom of three did not stop Rosella K. Tan of Zamboanga City to pursue her lifelong dream: to have a self-made business with her own brand and products.
Her entrepreneurial journey started when she was still single, managing her own novelty store. When she got married, she decided to become a homemaker and devote her time raising her three children.
Nevertheless, she maintained her entrepreneurial spirit as she ventured into baking, supplying baked goods to local coffee shops, and making ham for the holidays.
Juggling the demands of motherhood and business gave her a great sense of accomplishment, which later on, helped her in building her own brand, Doña Christina by RK Trading and Services.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Rosella K Tan (RT) fondly shares how she juggled motherhood and business, and how she provides livelihood to her fellow working mothers.
GL: Tell us a little bit about yourself — about your life growing up, how you started out in your career, etc.
RT: I was born and raised in Zamboanga City. Growing up, I observed the work ethics of my late father, a self-made man and a devoted family man. My mother was a housewife who was very hardworking and had excellent entrepreneurial skills. They are my role models. When my eldest child started college, I felt the pangs of a foreboding empty nest and thought of doing something productive. I thought of making use of my Teacher’s License and start teaching. I was on the lookout for employment opportunities. At the same time, I was contemplating on pursuing a persistent dream: of having my own brands, my own products, my self-made business.
GL: What inspired you to set up your business?
RT: I have always enjoyed cooking for friends and family. But I didn’t have enough confidence to start my own business. I felt I was left behind and didn’t know how to start. One day, I thought of attending a DTI–sponsored activity with a friend. It was the launching of the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program. I wanted to be part of the first batch. Unfortunately, the slots were filled. I thought that was it, it wasn’t meant for me. Thankfully, I got listed for the second batch. It was both exciting and terrifying for me. It felt like I was diving into another realm, challenging my capabilities. I was intimidated by the business jargons which were all unfamiliar to me. In the last and final session we were to submit a business plan and present our products. I chose three of my favorite products: Spanish Style Sardines, Peanut Brittle and Pickled Cucumber. To my delight, I received good reviews for them. Needless to say, it gave me the confidence and encouragement to make my dream a reality.
GL: Tell us about the unique challenges that you have faced working on this enterprise.
RT: I would say the greatest financial challenge is getting the license to run a food processing business. While it is relatively inexpensive to apply for licenses, fulfilling the requirements can entail big expenses. On a personal level, balancing work and home commitments can be quite challenging, especially during the initial phase when I did most of the work: from conceptualizing the business, to organizing my team, to selling my products in trade fairs to delivering goods.
GL: As a woman, was it harder or easier to face these challenges?
RT: The challenges I encountered in the beginning were not because of my gender, but by my own self-limiting beliefs. Once I started feeling empowered, I gained more confidence. As a woman, I feel more competent because I am able to multi-task and have a natural talent in managing people and situations.
GL: What is the unique advantage of being a woman in business?
RT: Women have the natural ability to multi-task and view things on a broader scale. We are more passionate, and have the nurturing characteristic needed in relating with co-workers.
GL: Are there specific DTI programs, training, or assistance that helped you overcome business challenges?
RT: The Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program not only taught me how to start and develop my business, but also developed in me the entrepreneurial skills and mindset.
GL: How has your enterprise helped and empowered other women?
RT: By providing employment to housewives, they are able to contribute to the household income. They have a sense of fulfilment being able to produce quality products and earn money for themselves.
GL: What message can you share with others, especially other women, who are looking to achieve their own dreams?
RT: Believe that you can, and you will. It is never too late to dream, to learn, to start. Set your goals and don’t be afraid to make mistakes; they are part of your journey. When things get tough, think of why you started, focus on your goals.
Get to know more about Rosella’s products, you can visit her online store at https://rktradingandservices.linker.store/
To explore business opportunities, link with Rosella Tan by clicking on the 'Connect' button on her profile.
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