Strength breeds from one’s inner fire. Get to know these Filipino entrepreneurs who grew from the pandemic and chose to move stronger forward.
First Batch: Indulge in the Sweet Taste of Passion
First Batch was born during the infancy of the coronavirus lockdown back in April 2020 – A period when everything was on a halt and the owner, being a branding designer and marketing practitioner, had to seek ways to find balance in the anxiety-inducing situation.
Gliza Jacinto, a self-taught home baker who wished to go above and beyond the current cookie landscape, and to produce pastries that sought to deliver golden experiences in every bite.
The entire brand building process was hit with trial and error. From difficulties in sourcing raw ingredients during lockdown, to perfecting various recipes and flavors, to ensuring delivery and quality. Nearly everyone was baking something at home and to stand out from the other home baking brands was a thrilling endeavor she wanted to venture into. She knew what she wanted to prioritize – the satisfaction in the tastebuds and overall experience of her customers. From the flavor, to marketing, to packaging, and top customer service. That was the driving force that inspired her to keep going.
Within just a year of business, First Batch has gained 8000 organic followers on social media. She shipped all over the Metro and have even reached Japan. From the possibility of shipping nationwide, to opening an actual storefront in the near future. In a way Jacinto finds peace and fulfillment in actually finding purpose in making customers smile and feel utmost comfort, one bite at a time.
Aglow: Light up The Fire From Within
Aglow started in 2017 as a side hustle born out of Jasmine Santander’s love for candles and her desire for making things that allow for creative expression. She saw a market opportunity with hand poured scented soy candles, with the sudden demand and need for relaxation and self care. Candles bring light, scent, and personality to living spaces. They are true interior staples.
But scented candles were not considered as an “essential item” and the lockdown restrictions also made it difficult to sell so the Aglow suffered a major drop in sales that greatly affected the business. However, with the prolonged lockdown and people forced to stay at home for a longer time, they saw an opportunity to promote candles as a way to combat stress and anxiety, as a new decor piece so one can utilize to elevate their favorite space at home, or as a thoughtful gift to someone they have been socially distant with.
Aglow is positioning itself as a home fragrance brand that customers can rely on for simple and timeless home scent gifting. with sights focused on expanding their product line to include a range of locally made items that go well with their candles, they have been partnering with other other local makers to pursue a positive, collaborative and thriving community.
S.E. Coffee | Awake, Inspired, Energized
S.E. Coffee started in June 2021 inspired by Stephen and Eunice Gelacio’s love for coffee and travel. During the pandemic, experimenting on coffee recipes, reminiscing about past adventures and dreaming about future travel destinations inspired its creation. Their visit to Hanoi, Vietnam in 2019 made their coffee dreams come true. They wanted people to experience authentic coffee options from countries in Southeast Asia by bringing them to the Philippines.
They had hesitations at first. Procurement of products, logistics and even channeling creativity were just some of the challenges they had to face. What urged them to move forward , apart from their passion, was the thought of being able to share their adventures and experiences to other people. When you take a sip of S.E. Coffee, their vision is to remind their customers of their past travels and look forward to the next one.
Their dream is to be able to put up a small coffee shop but they’re taking it one day at a time.
Brilla Roca | Energy To Forge Stronger
Brilla Roca creates fine pieces of jewelry from semi precious stones, at affordable prices and a brainchild of commercial flight first officer Bernardo Avengoza III. With the absence of flight hours, the pilot had to remain positive and gain the energy to remain strong for his family.
With the continuous struggles brought about by the pandemic, they were jolted out of their comfort zones. They saw an opportunity with gems and fine jewelries, because of a friend that enlightened their senses. What seemed to be a non-essential good, became a bright and gleaming source of strength. A lot of their customers saw jewelries and gems as a means of positivity. Partaking in various milestone events drew light to their purpose – to be sources of positive energy amidst darkness and uncertainty.
Brilla Roca promises to ensure that quality fine jewelry pieces continue to accompany your journey and to be a brand that grows with you through all your special moments in life.
You know those times when life feels really tough? You feel overwhelmed, and you wonder if you’re strong enough to handle all of it. Yet, every single time, you’re reminded that yes, you are strong. You are strong enough. You are stronger than you think, actually – in ways so mundane, so effortless it’s easy to forget that life was any hard at all.
And that’s the heart of the FWD Insurance #SrongerYouWithFWD campaign: To remind us that no matter how tough the world is, we’re tougher. No matter how strong the challenges are, we’re stronger. We can overcome anything and the stories of these five individuals are just some of the proof that anything is possible when you’re ready to face life head on. So be strong. Keep on. Forge on.
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