What is better than one mompreneur? Two mompreneurs creating a multitude of ventures for the ever growing demands and needs of moms in the Philippines.
AS TOLD TO Margarita Medrano-Tupaz
PHOTOS Kris Ryan B. Zara of Chubby Cheeks Studio
HAIR AND MAKEUP Hannah Ariete of Maquillage Professionnel
When Audrey Pastelero, founder of Momzilla and Fun Nest, and Kidd Tan Dee, one of the forces behind The Food Hall by Todd English, were casually talking about “what if” scenarios, they had a lightbulb moment and turned it into reality.
Q: YOU ARE BOTH VERY BUSY MOMS RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESSES. TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESPECTIVE BUSINESS VENTURES.
KIDD: I am originally from Malaysia and ended up marrying into one of the foodiest families here in the Philippines. My husband, Eric, brought home the concept of the Food Hall when he met Chef Todd English in Kuala Lumpur. As a wife, I was there to assist in any way possible.
AUDREY: A few years before Fun Nest, I was manufacturing bags for a large department store. But the orders were drying up so I had to find a way to shift my business in order to save my factory and keep my people employed. I read lots of magazines and articles about children’s rooms, decorations, etc. but couldn’t find ways to bring home most of what I wanted so I decided to make these toys myself. As for Momzilla, I was already in the bazaar and event business for many years. It was only natural that, when my partners and I became moms, we would start a fair for moms. So it’s great how my businesses were complementary and supported each other in a way.
Q: WITH YOUR TWO VENTURES JOINING FORCES, WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH THE FOOD HALL AND FUN NEST COLLABORATION?
KIDD and AUDREY: Since the mall has done without an area where kids can play, we felt that there might be an opportunity. As parents, we need time to unwind and have a place where can spend time with other adults while our kids also spend time with other kids. Having the two concepts in one space is a match made in heaven. Imagine having some time to yourselves—good food, good company, perfect ambiance, while your kids have a playdate a few feet away from you. Imagine not having to feel guilty about leaving them at home or feel anxious about them being somewhere unsafe. It’s no longer just imagination now.
Q: WE ALL KNOW THAT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS ALREADY A CHALLENGE IN ITSELF. HOW DOES THAT CHANGE WHEN YOU BECOME A MOMPRENEUR?
KD: Being a mompreneur allows me to control my own time to be able to accommodate work, kids, and, of course, my husband. It also means bigger responsibilities like being available to handle issues 24/7, sometimes sacrificing weekends and vacations with the kids.
AP: The most rewarding part of being an mompreneur is seeing other people appreciate my work. It’s great to know that I make things that spark joy in people’s lives. I love that I get to work from home or anywhere in the world. But on the flip side, the work doesn’t end. I don’t get to go home at 5pm and leave work behind. I’m always on call—even on holidays.
Q: HOW DOES BEING BOSS MOMS HELP YOU AT WORK AND AT HOME?
KD: Because of the businesses I’m in, I feel that we are trying to solve everyday problems, that also apply to motherhood. We learn about negotiation, organization, and crisis management.
AP: I have been running my own little startups since before motherhood so despite having less time and higher stress levels, it’s made me a more patient entrepreneur and parent. I don’t have a nanny so I bring Theo with me almost everywhere and that’s okay because work has taught me how to manage my time well. Aside from scheduling actual days working, I also need to factor in nap times, football classes and playdates. Somehow it all works out if you take it one day at a time.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS AS A MOMPRENEUR?
KD: I started a couple of ventures with some very good friends—Booboo proof, furniture and toys safe for kids, and Milkeasy, focusing on breastfeeding accessories. We are looking to expand our product line this year as well.
AP: I keep telling myself that I want to slow down to have more free time. I also want to have more children. “Enjoy them now” is something I always hear, and it’s something I’m working towards.
The Food Hall X Fun Nest Collaboration launched last May 2019.