A look back to the past few years – significant changes, dreams pursued, taking chances, learning, re-learning.
2013 – The end of the Software era
For 8 years, my life revolved around work – literally. I was like the extremely studious and good student back in high school whose days revolve around going to school and going back home. It was like that most of the time while I was still in the I.T. industry working for one of the top companies globally. Going to work at 10:00am and heading home by 2:00am (the following day) became my norm. Yes, there were some Friday gimmicks with friends but we’d usually have to pay for it by working on a Saturday. While the salary was extremely well and I did actually find fulfilment and achieved so much while in the corporate world, the interest and my competitiveness to always perform eventually waned and fatigue just overpowered all other emotions. I got married in 2012 and probably that made the decision to leave easier primarily because such working schedule and load would not be helpful if we wanted to start our own family. Also, the world beyond IT always intrigued me – what other opportunities are out there for me. At the back of my mind, I knew I always wanted to put up my own business aligned to my personal interests – and that definitely did not involve software programming and design! So, I decided to end this phase – it was and will always be one of the most liberating decisions I have ever made.
2014 – The birth of our Princess and my new non-negotiables
It is true what others say – Motherhood does change you. Apart from the daily routine, the discovery of love and strength that you never knew you had (and could give), somehow your values and beliefs become firmer. You create this whole new set of non-negotiables.
While I did make myself busy with a retail business after resigning, a re-assessment of the path I wanted to take eventually surfaced a few months before our princess turned 1. It became clear that motherhood has become so much of my being such that returning to the corporate world and leaving my daughter to someone else is a definite no-no. Being more involved and learning more about parenting became my new “digital hobby” reading article upon article on the internet about different aspects of raising and caring for a child. I knew then that engaging in an endeavour that would align to my new role was inevitable and probably the most logical. There was also a yearning to be around moms. I wanted to be surrounded by people who are going and those that have gone the same journey as me. But the non-negotiable is still there – I CAN NOT be out of the house the whole day, every day. Somehow, I’d have to find a way to do something for moms like me and for our precious little ones without sacrificing me being a mom and my precious little one.
2015 – Orange is the color for Creativity
The months before starting Orange Confetti Ph wasn’t easy. Just a few months after our princess was born, we had to relocate abroad because of the husband’s work. It was just the 3 of us, living thousands of miles away from the support system we were supposed to have given that we were a “new family”. To make the long story short, the entire experience although enriching, was a low point for me (possibly PPD too). While I was able to fulfil my non-negotiable of being a hands-on mom, there was a part of me that yearned for something else – probably because I got so used to working, achieving and accomplishing things. When we got back here in the Philippines, I knew I had to start somewhere. Thankfully, my family, especially my husband has always been supportive and understanding.
With minimal start-up capital on hand as well as limited time to be physically away from my daughter, I had to find the most efficient means to make something, and to make that something work for my own fulfilment as well as to be able to help in our growing family expenses.
It took a lot of time to find someone who can help me in producing things as well as in procurement of materials. Meeting my assistant was probably part of the bigger plan as she was patient, kind and creative. Combining my ideas and her skills came out to be a good ‘partnership’ – yes, I treat her as a partner rather than as a worker. I assessed the items that I think were helpful for moms like me in caring for their little ones. We started with accessories while we continuously fine tune the baby essentials that we wanted to make. Inspiration came from several sources but the most personal of which was the drive to pursue something that aligns with my ‘new’ beliefs and priorities with the end goal of hoping to establish a community or group for mothers like me as well as our kids – something that my daughter, would hopefully appreciate in the future.
I decided to focus on small but important mommy and baby items – understanding long-time essentials but adding more value and uses to these items, striking the balance between practicality and efficiency.
The growth is gradual but steady – something that allows me to juggle Orange Confetti Ph and 2 other “businesses”, and my duties as a wife and mom. More than the monetary returns, I have most enjoyed being able to do something that many found to be useful, the meeting of new friends, and the opportunity to learn again after several years of feeling like I know a lot in the field I was previously in.
It will probably take a few more years before the returns match my previous salary BUT I have taken a leap of faith and discovered that it is possible to go on a path wherein your values and priorities are congruent with your chosen “work”. I have rediscovered self-worth without having to forget about spending time with my family and caring for myself. Orange, suddenly isn’t just the color for creativity anymore, but it is also the shade for happiness and triumph.
Check out the cute stuff from our Orange Confetti Collection here