Ms. Mitzi Uy Chan, owner of Mori Notes, in a beautiful candid portrait.

Some people get business ideas from attending trade fairs and observing market trends. Others find it in the most unexpected ways. For Mitzi Uy Chan, it was more of the latter; specifically, at home and in the middle of her soul-searching.

At age 23, Mitzi left her corporate job as a marketer in a leading quick-service restaurant–a bold decision for a young professional where the usual route for success includes climbing the corporate ladder and making a name for oneself. Mitzi knew that and figured that her own route looks different, one that involves walking with the Lord and making His name more known than hers.

With her days committed to reading the Bible and writing in her journal, it didn’t take long before Mitzi realized life’s meaning and purpose: to use God-given talents and interests to love and serve others. In 2011, she started Mori Notes, a business that gives livelihood to women, mostly housewives in Quezon City, and crafts recycled papers and jeans into purse book journals, pouch organizers, and insulated bags to name a few.

“What inspired me to start a work-from-home livelihood was when I saw Ting, our househelp, crying one morning while sweeping the floor. It was because she couldn’t be there for her five-year-old daughter who was sick at that time. I thought to myself, mothers need not be separated from their children just to earn income,” Mitzi shares.

A group photo of Mori Notes staff with the owner, Ms. Mitzi Uy Chan

What started out as few orders on Facebook turned into a thriving business that employs 15 women as of this writing. These women represent mothers with additional sources of income all while caring for their children at home, a win-win setup that empowers women entrepreneurs and breaks the stereotype that they have to choose between family and career. Mitzi believes women can have both. Like any other business, Mori Notes also experienced challenges. Not because of its ‘mori mother crafters,’ but simply for being in the manufacturing cottage industry. Mitzi shares how product quality, production, and logistics were especially difficult at first.

“We experienced getting a 50% rejection rate on our first corporate order. This became a useful lesson for us, such that we became stricter with quality control which is essential in exporting and being able to distribute to retail channels,” she recalls.

Despite learning these lessons the hard way, Mitzi gratefully acknowledges how the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other nonprofit organizations have been very supportive of women entrepreneurs like her, citing DTI programs like Go Lokal!, Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME), and Mentor Me on Wheels (MMOW) which helped improve her business’ marketing efforts.

She also takes pride in seeing more women entrepreneurs rise up to the challenge and find their success in business, whether it’s through a sari-sari store or an online business.

Just like how Mitzi found the right career path in Mori Notes, she shares this truth that guided her along the way: “If you would like to reach your utmost potential and experience success, you need to ‘seek God first, and all these things will be given unto you’ (Matthew 6:33). God will equip you with all that you need to fulfill the work He has prepared for you to do. He will also do immeasurably more than what you can possibly imagine through you if you let Him.”♦

Date of Release: 1 September 2020