Two sisters from Parañaque City started a small business in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. To their surprise, they are now much closer as siblings following their business venture.
Kat, 27 years old, and Therese De Guzman, 29 years old, said that the pandemic opened an opportunity for them to work hand on hand for their business.
“[It] helped kasi work from home eh. Kahit papano hawak mo ‘yung oras mo eh. Wala ka ng travel time going home and then going to work. Nakatulong siya for us also to plan kung ano ba ‘yung gusto naming gawin,” Kat told The Philippine STAR.
“Kasi nung normal pa na 2020-2021, hindi naman kami nakakapag-usap ng masyado ng gabi kasi pagod na kami from work eh. So after dinner lang tapos bahala ka nasa kwarto mo magpahinga,” she recalled.
According to Kat and Therese, their tote bag business allowed them to know more about each other in terms of work ethic and teamwork.
“We became closer talaga andwe make it a point to be able to understand each other because hindi kami pwedeng magpatakbo ng business kung palagi kaming nag-aaway. So now na parang we started our business together and we’re also on our journey of self-awareness and healing we’re also understanding of each other,” Therese said.
“Malaking help ‘yun dun sa relationship namin kasi before kung wala kaming business, parang wala naman kami masyadong work together aside from you know, mga home stuff,” Kat echoed.
Kat works at an advertising agency while Therese is a multimedia designer. They juggle their day job and their newly established business.
“In the beginning, it was a little different. Kasi nga diba 9-5 ka so you’re just used to having all your time for that. But then, I found that this thing that I’m doing, it energizes me. So parang, after work, I look forward to be able to do it, and now, parang it also helped me balance my time. So in between, I can insert Good Juju stuff and then my work,” Therese said.
“I had to also juggle kung kailan ko ipa-pack ‘yung orders, ‘yung pag-confirm ng booking. Kasi dalawa lang kami no’n eh so parang ako ‘yung operations side. So I had to figure out kailan ko kaya siya isisingit after all the meetings the whole day,” Kat noted.
The business idea of launching their own tote bag business only started at their living room in November 2021.
“It was natural for us because I’m a designer and then she also wants to sell stuff. So I think it just really went well together na parang both our interests, I think it aligned well,” Therese said.
From a home-based business, Kat and Therese can now sell 100 tote bags and earn six figures per month.
“Find something that you really like and stick to it. I think you won’t regret because you’re doing something that makes you truly happy,” Therese said when asked about her message to young individuals who plan to start their own business.