Categories
BUSINESS CHRISTIANITY

COMPASSION IN A TIME OF CONFUSION

2020 is almost over but the pandemic is still upon us. The Philippines have suffered a great deal, and most of the marginalized are pushed farther into poverty. News about companies going bankrupt and employees being laid off has numbed our hearts. What can we do? How can we help when we ourselves are in the same sinking boat?

Early this year, my wife and I decided to venture into online business. We planned it out, bought our domain and upgraded our hosting provider. The goal of the business is to stabilize our financial footing, help clear outstanding debts, and venture into other investments. Everything was moving according to plan when Covid-19 came barging in. It was disheartening, frustrating and, at most part, frightening. Our plans were put on hold. Then, around August, my sister asked me to create a specific shirt that would feature her line of work as a Medical Technologist. Ideas came rushing in as she was explaining a bunch of their work processes. After 2 days, I finished 3 shirts. All it took was one post from my sister to a specific group of Med Tech people for inquiries to come pouring in. It was a good week for me and also for one of our outreach kid who I was able to tap for deliveries. He needed the job, and I was able to provide a temporary one for him. That’s when I realized the impact my business can have in the socio-economic standing of my community by providing jobs to these young people. I am not a big time business person, but I am willing to help out.

Now, the goal of our business is more than the profit but the impact we can have. My heart goes to all the people I know who is hurting and suffering because of our current condition. Amidst of the chaos, I know that God has still placed this burden in me to help. I am not a martyr…I am far from one. But I am a Christian that has received the unconditional love of the Father and has found favor in His eyes. I am a recipient of grace and mercy, and with that experience, I am bound to bless others also.

At this moment, we have found another way to be a blessing. We have partnered with a movement called jeepneystop.ph where 10% of our earnings will go to their initiative of providing 80 families of jeepney drivers with noche buena packages. We have registered our business to their online shop (www.thejeepneystop.com) where our shirts will be featured. Some of you might think that 10% is a lot. Well, as a Christian, I was trained to see 10% as the initial base of my giving. What is 10% compared to the joy we can give to these 80 families. They need to know that people still cared.

So, If you have the opportunity to help and be a blessing, do it! It may be as simple as buying someone lunch or giving a glass of water. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Don’t miss out on the joy of helping out. Don’t let the confusion of the moment distract you from showing compassion.

Photo by Thor Alvis on Unsplash

Categories
BUSINESS

THRIFT AND NOVELTY

At the start of the year 2020, we hoped for a good year. A year to start our passion project / business. We upgraded our website and tried to look for products that we want to sell. We also started to flirt with the idea of making stuff on our own. It was a promising plan…but then, the pandemic happened. Everything came to a sudden halt.

Now, we are already in the middle of 2020 and still in quarantine, but we decided to push for it! We had to start somewhere if we want this passion project of ours to lift off. So, come July, I started to draft shirt designs that would attract certain demographics. I was brain storming when my youngest sister told me to create a shirt for medical technologists like herself and try to penetrate their market. It was a long shot since I am not familiar with her field. I prayed hard and started to draft away. To my surprise, I ended up with 3 designs. These designs took me almost 2 weeks. I finalized the design, created a mock up, set it up in my online shop and even created an ad in facebook. I was very excited and very positive about this! Days passed, and not one single sale. It was heart breaking. Then August 14 came.

It was around 11pm when my phone started notifying me of a new email. As I was about to open it, another email came! And another! And another! I was confused. Then, my sister messaged me, saying that she posted my shirt design to a group she was a part of. I was excited and anxious! I jumped out of bed, turned on my computer, and started counting all the orders that were pouring in! That night, I received a total of 34 orders of almost 50 shirts. It continued for 3 days until I surpassed 50 orders. This was the highlight of my week!

Now, why am I telling you this? Well…It’s not to brag, but to testify that business is not easy, but it is doable! Also, if profit is the only motivation you have for business, then you won’t last! My wife and I initially planned this to be our fallback and maybe, in the future, be our main source of income. Nothing is impossible, but we have to do a reality check. It will be a while before we can enjoy the return of our investment. That is why, we will be prepping our online store, Thrift and Novelty, to gear towards creating jobs and opportunities for other people. We want our business to be a source of blessing for others and not just profit for ourselves. Our business and our brand will also be a ministry where Jesus is known.

Looking back, I can say that this pandemic has shown us what is really important. For me, my family has a reasonable spot at the top of my priority list but should not be above what God has purposed for me to do. So I pray that as my wife and I continue to work on Thrift and Novelty, that we do not forget what is important.

So, if you are interested to look at unique shirt designs, head on to our online shop. You might find something worth your while!

Categories
BUSINESS

INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS

You might be asking why I haven’t started selling yet? Or why am I still building my website? Well…I would rather hurt myself during the planning of my business than take a nose dive and waste a lot of my resources in the middle of running my shop.

SO HERE IS AN UPDATE:

Shopify was my first option in opening my online store. Shopify is very user friendly and support from the provider and the online community is a big plus. The only thing is, I don’t want to pay a monthly fee. So, I started looking for open source alternatives and found Opencart. Opencart is easy to use and free, but additional modules would mean additional charges. It was okay at the early stages of setting up the site, but it became so limited in the long run. Opencart will push you to purchase. So, I scratched Opencart and researched some more. That’s when I found WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin that is free of charge but also charges for some of it’s modules or plug-ins. Since I already knew the inner workings of WordPress, WooCommerce was easy to manipulate. It was a matter of setting up the products and categories correctly. I was on a roll when tragedy struck!

WE LOST EVERYTHING

My site started to bog down. it was taking an average of 8 seconds before the landing page would load up, a very unacceptable number! I started to look at the back end of my website and started to fiddle with everything I could understand. The support of my last provider was not very helpful. After a few days of tampering, I lost everything. That’s when I decided to switch providers.

REBUILDING PROCESS

Right now, I am rebuilding my whole site! From my main site – teedj.net, up to my two subdomains (blog.teedj.net & shop.teedj.net) Hopefully, the rebuilding process will be done by the end of January. We are praying to launch the site my next year.

Starting a business is not an easy thing. And if there’s one thing I learned from my years of management experience, that’s the importance of PLANNING! having the end in mind. So, pray for us as we continue this journey and hopefully, grow in the process!