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Albay Millennial’s ‘Leap Of Faith’ Yields Sweet Rewards

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Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, are said to be risk-averse.

Studies show that this demographic cohort, sometimes referred to as Generation Y or the “instant gratification generation,” would rather prioritize cash hoarding than investing as a response to economic uncertainty and societal pressures.

This is true even for Filipino millennials, who are touted as being conservative when it comes to risk tolerance, even opting to delay major life decisions as they grapple with juggling personal and familial responsibilities, fulfilling lifestyle aspirations, and saving for the future.

This, however, comes at a costly price, as it often necessitates putting their ambitions on hold.

Against this backdrop, we meet Ma. Theresa Molar, 40, owner of Watch Me Whip Bakery Supplies Trading, located in Anislag in Daraga, Albay.

Molar is proving that breaking free from the mold and jumping into the unknown has sweet rewards.

 

Leap of faith

Molar revealed that her foray into full-time entrepreneurship was a “leap of faith.”

“It’s really scary to start a business. Not all your friends and family members will support you because they often think that what you’re doing is crazy, especially if you are leaving a stable job,” she disclosed.

As a former supply manager for a renowned medical company in Manila, she said her decision to leave her lucrative career to pursue her passion was her way of appeasing the gnawing feeling that she was meant for something more.

After more than 20 years of living in the country’s capital, as an Industrial Engineering student at the University of the Philippines Diliman in the early 2000s and eventually ascending to the corporate ladder in some multinational companies, Molar described her pivotal decision in 2023 as a bittersweet experience.

After all, she wasn’t merely resigning from a secure job. She was exchanging a fast-paced life, which she had grown accustomed to, for the serenity of slow living in her hometown of Daraga, a place that had become unfamiliar during her two-decade absence.

Molar confessed to enduring countless sleepless nights as doubts and fears about the future relentlessly plagued her.

But her resolve won over her uncertainties.

“Entrepreneurship is for the brave. It’s all about taking that leap and getting things done,” she said.

“Nobody has all the answers from the start, but that’s the beauty of it — you learn as you go.”

 

Making a difference

While starting a business requires taking risks, she, however, clarified that it is important for aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue ventures that are aligned with one’s expertise.

“It is important that you know what you are getting yourself into. Learn the industry, study market trends and customer preferences, assess the risk, then develop a solid business plan and strategy,” she said.

Despite her culinary and baking background initially leading her to consider opening a bakeshop, the entrepreneur chose to establish a quaint store specializing in all things bakery-related after conducting a thorough market analysis.

“Watch Me Whip draws inspiration from a well-known upbeat hip-hop dance track. I decided to name the shop after this popular song to boost recall among customers,” she explained cheerfully.

Offering an extensive array of baking essentials, custom cake decorations, and even beverage supplies, such as milk tea and hot drink powders, the store caters to diverse customer needs.

Jefferson Lotivio, owner of a local bakeshop, has nothing but praises for Molar.

“I had such a wonderful experience at Watch Me Whip. The owner is incredibly kind and approachable. They have everything I need for baking, and the prices are so affordable compared to other stores in Daraga. It’s definitely become my go-to spot for all my baking needs,” he said.

For Godwin Liquido, who runs a coffee and milk tea shop in Anislag village, the shop’s strategic location proves convenient as he no longer needs to travel to the town center for his supplies.

Students at the adjacent Daraga Human Resource Center, a technical vocational school that offers courses in bread and pastry production, on the other hand, often raves about her baking knowledge, as she patiently answers all their queries and even offers baking tips when they visit her store.

But perhaps no commendation could be more heartfelt than the words of Molar’s mother, Lourdes.

“I am truly blessed that she chose to establish her own business here. I know that one of her primary reasons for coming home is to take care of me,” the 67-year-old mother proudly said.

 

Sweet reward

As Watch Me Whip celebrates its first anniversary this June, Molar can’t help but feel grateful for surviving the tough journey.

“In my first year, I faced so many challenges, like managing stock, finding reliable suppliers and staff, staying competitive with pricing, and making our shop stand out,” she said.

She credited her corporate background, particularly her knowledge of supply chain management, inventory management, procurement, marketing, and supplier relations, for helping her navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship.

“I won’t claim to be a huge success just yet, but I can say that Watch Me Whip has made significant progress since its launch in June 2023,” she proudly said.

Her advice to fellow millennials hesitant to pursue their lifelong dreams: Just take the leap.

“If you’re passionate about something, go for it. Don’t wait too long, or you’ll miss out on the adventure of a lifetime,” she said. (PNA)