How This Mompreneur Built Her Own Arts and Crafts Biz At 23
This post is part of a series I introduced last August where I interview ordinary people who has helpful and inspirational stories when it comes to personal finance, investment and making extra income.
You all remember Romer, a young marino who is doing extremely well investing in the Philippine stock market.
Now I have Kathryn, a schoolmate of mine from college who now runs a successful arts and crafts business called, KrafTee.
In this interview Kat will briefly discuss…
1. What’s it like to be a Mompreneur
2. How She Started Her Own Arts and Craft Business with Less than Php5000 capital!
3. The best advice to aspiring Mompreneurs out there
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business, KrafTee
I am a crafty person. I love creating things and fixing stuff.
I also like challenges as for me these are very helpful in improving yourself and I just like the feeling of accomplishment every time I am able to rise above these challenges.
I am a God-fearing person and I have this mindset of letting Him take control of my life because His ways are greater than mine.
KrafTee is an online craft store that sells handmade and personalized polymer clay products. KrafTee is quite known for its best selling Mini Me Chibi Dolls – a personalized keychain or figurine doll closely resembling a person in a cute cartoon-like face and body that serves to remind some significant moments in his/her life.
Is KrafTee a full-time dedication or do you do other work on the side?
Yes I’ve been working on KrafTee full-time ever since I started it.
How did you start your business at home? What are the steps you did in order to craft, KrafTee to what it is today?
Will appreciate a step-by-step procedure. From requirements to how much the initial investment is.
I started the business July 2017.
Before launching, I first had to do some research on what this form of art is since I had no idea on polymer clay that time.
I then searched for a good supplier of polymer clay and luckily they have a starter kit! It was only around Php2000 and then I bought an oven toaster worth Php1,500 since I learned that oven toaster is good for beginners. That was all I needed to start. 🙂
Then I found out that there are already some Filipinos doing this art as business but most of them are on souvenirs and giveaways. So I thought of making something unique that’s more than just giveaways but especially made for a certain person.
That’s how I come up with the mini me chibi dolls. From there I kept on adding up items each time I come up with an idea such as personalized jewelries, character figurines, motherhood necklace, etc.
Each Mini Me Chibi starts at Php350. If may mga add-ons like name tag, stand, object or charms for jewelries price range is Php200-500!
What was your very first official KrafTee creation?
The first Mini Me Chibi I made was for my cousin who recently celebrated her debut.
I loved her gown that night so I made a chibi that resembles her on that special night. Same gown, same hairstyle and all. She was amazed.
In fact her family was amazed that her dad asked me to make a mini me chibi set of their family wearing their outfit during the debut. That’s when I realized that there might be a huge potential in this form of art in business.
Did you have any hesitations in the beginning? How did you share the idea to your husband or your family?
No hesitation at all!
I was actually excited to start the business not because I am confident people will love my creations but, simply because I am excited to start a business on what I am truly passionate about.
I am also lucky to have a husband and family that supports me in whatever I wanna do or wanna be. Which was also a big factor in pursuing this business. I got full support from the people I love.
Thanks to my supportive husband because he took all the financial responsibility for our daughter.
Describe a day in your life as a Mompreneur? How do you handle all the tasks a business owner, wife and of course, mom?
It is pretty challenging. But again, I love challenges.
I have to juggle tasks from preparing my husband’s breakfast and uniform for work to cleaning baby bottles to finishing KrafTee orders. I have irregular sleeping patterns. I am good with 3 hrs of sleep and you’ll see me answering inquiries at 4am.
Good thing my Mom helps me with the chores at home and my daughter is not very “alagain”. I can leave her alone playing her toys all day. 😅 And my Dad helps in packaging too.
One thing I make sure is that I have a proper time management with regards to orders. I won’t sleep until I haven’t finished what has to be done on that day.
What was your goal/motivation when you started your own business at home?
My family is my biggest motivation when I started the business.
I needed a stable source of income for them and be able to support the schooling of my 2 siblings. I also wanted to be a hands-on mom to my daughter while doing the business.
How did your business evolved since it started/launched?
Before, I had to pay and make use of the tools in social media for my posts to reach more audiences and gain clients.
But now most of our clients found out about KrafTee thru word of mouth.
Also, we already have several resellers and they are a really big help in the business. And just three months after we launched KrafTee, we had our first TV feature/interview with ANC Shoptalk!
What are your future plans for KrafTee? Are you hiring? Do you plan on sharing the art of Chibi to others?
Of course I wanted KrafTee to be known. Not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well.
I want to promote Filipino talent and handmade products.
But to do that, yes I have plans to start hiring workers to help me in some tasks so that I can focus on the production only and be able to create more new products to add to our items.
Yes, conducting workshops for aspiring clay artists is also part of my plan.
What advice can you give to other mommies out there when it comes to starting their own business? What are your advice to aspiring Mompreneurs out there? Is it easy to be a Mompreneur?
To mommies out there who would also want to try starting their own business, if they think they have a great idea and they are passionate about it, go make it happen.
You won’t know what you are capable of until you give it a try.
Managing a business is like having another baby. You have to take care of it and nurture it. Challenges are inevitable and it will be pretty tiring too but soon as you see it grow and blooms, you’ll say it was worth it. Just like motherhood. 🙂
Kathryn or Kat for short is born and raised in Quezon City. Her dad is half Chinese and had been into business as well. The very person who opened my eyes in the field of business.
Growing up, she have always been into arts and crafts. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to take up her desired course in college (any course related to the field of arts) I took up Bachelor of Arts in Communication Research instead at Polytechnic University of the Philippines and graduated last 2016.
She became a mom while she was still in college but that didn’t stop her. She was able to graduate on time. She have worked as a Virtual Assistant for 2 years and despite having a baby, was able to make a living and officially stand as the breadwinner of her family.
Final Notes from Izza
A huge thank to Kat for sharing her mompreneur story here at SavingsPinay!
The result of my reader survey suggest that around 90% of the readers of this blog are female and I know most of you would love to find out ways to earn extra money.
Kat’s success story is such an inspiration. She deserve all the success in the world. She found her true passion and hustle on the side!
Here are brief summary of lessons Kat shared:
1. Research is important especially if you are starting a business.
2. Offer something unique! Kat saw that most art-turned-business are doing souvenirs and giveaways so she made something unique, a personalized “mini me chibi doll” instead!
3. You don’t need that much to start your own business at home. Kat started with merely Php3,500 and everything worked out well from then!
4. Starting a business out of your passion is an exciting moment!
5. If you have a great idea and they are passionate about it, go make it happen.
If you like your own personalized polymer clay products, a keychain or figurine doll closely resembling you in a cute cartoon-like face and body to remind you of a significant moment in your life then go follow KrafTee!
Have you ever thought of starting your own arts and crafts business?
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Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org