Creating your own opportunities

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By Adrian Bobe


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

MOTHERS Carmela Aligada and Lisa Danay are both striving to make ends meet for their families. Apart from making their clients beautiful by non-surgical dermatological operations, they are making good money through an old-fashioned hobby.

Both are experts in pricking and cleaning off warts, on the side, they are experts in crochet as well.

Carmela first learned what most considers as "the art for the patient" people at a very young age. She recalled that in school she would stitch and crochet personalized pouches and coin purse for close friends.


Learning side by side with her mother, she has engaged in this profitable hobby for more than three decades now.

Lisa, on the other hand, is Carmela's ever-reliable sidekick. Finding crocheting's intricacies to be patience-draining and time-consuming, she finds it both hard and harsh to the hands. An Agriculture graduate, she would rather plow dry lands than sit for hours crocheting. But during lull moments in the facial center, she started learning the art, inch by inch.

This is where Carmela's patience signaled a little short though, "Lisa wanted to learn a lot in a short time, but that should not be the case in this kind of hobby," pointing out on years of experience and the love in crafting beautiful stuff as requirements in making women's must-haves.

In between hours of pampering clients, they find themselves looking down, both hands glued in asymmetrical composition of yarns, tying colorful threads and stitching intricate patterns.

The owner of the facial spa is more than happy to find them engrossed in old-fashioned crafty sessions rather than sleeping in the middle of long hours without clients. For both of them, their love for crafting has proved very profitable, earning good bucks to send children to good schools.

Notably, Carmela's eldest son is currently taking up Education course at USLS, while Lisa's daughter is a scholar in a community school. During semestral breaks and holidays, they are constantly fuelled to earn big amount. "Of course, relying on one job alone is impractical, we strive to provide and really work hard," Lisa shares.

A set of handbag with attachable sling, pouch and coin purse is sold for P1,000. Small pouches for little girls sell like hotcakes for P15 to P20. Customized sling bags usually "run out of stocks," as it is sold for P200-P300 only. For handmade bags like these, I believe they should sell it for higher prices.

But as they firmly argue, "We prefer to get bulk orders than make bigger earning from one to two orders." Carmela's children serve as her marketing and sales arm. They bring samples in school and conduct sales blitz inside their classrooms. I admire these children for not being ashamed of selling the crochets to classmates and some teachers.

Carmela and Lisa are hard-working mothers, courageous and good providers.

In the midst of all things rising and peso power becoming less and less, I am for part-time business and small to medium entrepreneurship.

I, for one, retain a handful of earning opportunities. I write regularly, sell insurance, run a tutorial business and work for an LGU. But at the end of the month, at times, I still end up lacking. And during these times, I find another job or create opportunities to meet the demands.

Like Carmela and Lisa, you, too, should find another extra source of income. No matter how stable your job is, you should not limit your capability to earn good money apart from your regular job.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 08, 2014.


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