This year I have gotten to know a lot of amazing moms who are rocking their creative businesses while also caring for their homes. As mothers, we know exactly what we want for our young children, and some of us are quick to address these needs and meet this specific demand in the market. In fact, many of these passionate family-centric brands came about because of the desire to do work that matters within the confines of home.
One of these passionate mompreneurs I happened to have met this year is Liza Esteban of Saab & Meelo. I met her as one of our sellers at the Pursuit Manila Fair, and have gotten to know her a little bit through our gathering last month.
Saab & Meelo has been in business for 4 years now, with Liza creating unique head pieces and accessories for little girls. I asked her a few questions about how she established and continuous to manage her business, alongside being a house wife and raising kids. Read on and start taking notes! ;)
Share a little bit about how your business started or why you started it.
Back in 2012, I had a difficult pregnancy with my firstborn. I also had gestational diabetes so I was stuck at home with nothing much to do. I spent most of my time reading, browsing and online window shopping. Since we’re expecting a baby girl, I was excited to buy stuff for her like little dresses, baby shoes and hair accessories. I ordered most of these things online. Looking at some of the hair accessories I bought, I thought to myself that maybe I can make these on my own. I started gathering materials from my mom’s sewing stash and made use of old buttons from my grandma.
At first I tried making flowers out of fabric and even zippers and soon added some other materials. Even in high school, I thought I was on the crafty side because I liked making scrapbooks. I made some pieces for Saab. Some friends told me that I should try selling because my designs were unique and so I did. The rest is history!
Which part of the creative / business process that you enjoy?
Up until now, I’m a one man team and I can say that I enjoy every step in creating the headpieces. From designing to gluing the pieces together to packing it. It takes a lot of time to pack but I do it myself because I want it personalized and I’m giving a piece of me with every piece anyway so I should package it nicely.
What else is in store for your customers and supporters moving forward?
I just want to be able to continue making limited designs for clients. I want to give each baby/little girl a feeling of importance and uniqueness with each piece that she wears because it’s especially made just for her.
I also really dream of coming up with workshops/pop up shop but I haven’t really planned of anything just yet.
What advise can you give to those who are struggling and desiring to establish creative businesses?
Even when I was a member of the workforce, I always say to myself that I have to love what I do. I have to look forward to waking up everyday doing the things that I love. The same goes with anyone who wants to pursue his or her creative dreams/passion. First of all, you have to love what you are doing. I can’t emphasize that enough. A lot of heart and a brave one at that because pursuing a creative passion requires leaps of faith and a lot of prayers. Enjoying what you do and earning from it sometimes doesn’t happen at the same time. Just fill your heart with hopes, a lot of patience, happy thoughts and wonderful inspirations and for sure you’ll get by feeling accomplished and blissful.
Our takeaways into building a passionate and meaningful business—
- When thinking about a business idea, sometimes, you are your own market. Meaning, pursue business ideas that stem from your own need. As with Liza, who simply started creating head pieces for her own daughter, eventually creating custom-made pieces for other moms.
- Enjoy the process. There are many aspects of doing business that can become monotonous, like packaging and shipping and counting costs. They’re all part of the process, enjoy every step.
- Love what you’re doing. As Liza mentioned, pursuing a creative passion requires a lot of prayers and leaps of faith. It will come with challenges and repetitive tasks along the way. Loving what you do (and doing what you love!) is the secret to creating a business that matters.
Check out Saab & Meelo!
Dream Chasers Blog Series
This post is part of a special blog series where I feature passionate creatives, travelers and dreamers who have made a choice to chase their dreams and pursue what makes their hearts soar.
I believe in learning and finding inspiration from other people’s stories, which is what this series is all about. I hope that as we get to know these dream chasers’ lives and visions and challenges, we find valuable lessons and inspiration that will help us in our own journey. Read more from this series HERE.