Here's a copy of my interview with mom-blogger, Mommy Tina Santiago-Rodriguez of Truly Rich & Blessed: This article appeared on The Philippine Star, December 13, 2016.
Nice to meet you. :)
HELP YOUR SKIN AND LOCAL FARMERS: AN INTERVIEW WITH A SOCIALLY-MINDED MOMPRENEUR
We moms are responsible for so many things, and often juggle so many tasks. This is why mompreneurs are a special group of mothers in my book, because I can just imagine how challenging it must be to manage a business while managing a household. Talk about wearing many different “hats”!
I especially admire mompreneurs who not only focus on making an income from their businesses but also think of ways to “give back” to others. They know that they have the ability to make a difference in the lives of those in need.
One such mompreneur is Melanie Magno-Ramos, the self-proclaimed startup “#girlboss” behind A Jarful of Goodness.
Melanie is also the mom of a vivacious toddler and considers herself a “clean skincare advocate.”
I recently got the chance to ask Melanie some questions via e-mail and I’d like to share her answers with you here. If you’re a business owner – especially a mompreneur – reading this, maybe you’ll be inspired to give back via your own business, too.
Or if you’re just an “ordinary” parent/person reading this, maybe you can think of ways to help those in need even indirectly via the products you buy.
TSR: What was your job before you opened Jarful of Goodness? Why did you decide to start it? What are your objectives for opening a business like it?
Melanie: I was a development worker. I worked with NGOs and development agencies, creating information, education and communication materials on community-based health financing, TB, family planning and responsible parenthood.
I provided communication and counseling training for public nurses, midwives and barangay health workers. I am currently finishing my process documentation consulting project with the UNFPA (UN Population Fund).
I love creating things. I am more productive when I write with my trusted pen and notebook. Given my penchant for DIY and beauty and skincare, I decided to create my own bath and body products.
I'd been reading up on clean, all-natural and organic skin care, and I realized that I was bombarding my skin and my body with chemicals every day.
So when my daughter was born five years ago, I started buying local and organic products for some of her bath and skin care needs.
Then I started researching and creating my own products.
I created and tested several bath products, but I decided to start selling my scrubs first after getting praises from friends about it. Hence, Jarful of Goodness was born in 2014.
The brand's primary objective is to advocate back-to-basics and clean bath and body products.
On a side note (but important as well), this brand is my commitment to changing my own and my family's way of life.
My husband is in the wellness industry, as a country director of a diagnostic tests distribution company, and we want to influence and raise our daughter with less chemicals involved by eating clean as well.
That also applies to what we use on our skin.
Melanie says she makes all her products with “a dollop of goodness and love.”
TSR: How do you make your products? How do you come up with the varieties? Where do you source your ingredients?
Melanie: I create my scrubs and lotion bar in my kitchen. I found good recipes online, but I had to tweak everything to make it mine.
I buy my products from local suppliers. The oils I used were imported by my suppliers, except for the virgin coconut oil or VCO. The sugar I use is from a local brand. And of course, the coffee beans I use in my scrubs come from Batangas and Cavite.
TSR: Why do you think it is important to use all natural ingredients?
Melanie: Based on my research, up to 60 percent of skin care products ends up being absorbed in the body. So, if we are using bath and body products with hard-to-pronounce chemical ingredients, we are harming our bodies, too.
If we can't totally eliminate chemicals in our system, we should at least minimize it. And by switching to green, all-natural products, we are doing ourselves a huge favor. We reap the inherent benefits of nature's fine ingredients, and we see natural results (no impossible claims at all).
"We help our skin – and our families, of course – when we choose all-natural products."
TSR: Can your business be considered a social enterprise? If yes, how it is so?
Melanie: I'd like to think that my startup would be a full-fledged social enterprise in the near future.
I do support our Batangas farmers by getting our coffee beans from them. Also, I am brewing up a partnership with a VCO exporter. This partnership will also help me support our coconut farmers.