Encarnacion Borja Lapinig, or Bebie for short, grew up in a sleepy agricultural town in Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental as the seventh of eight siblings. While in her 5th grade she has embarked on selling candies on her own, little did she know that this skill will be used at a later phase in her life.
Bebie eventually went to college and graduated with an Education degree major in Mathematics and a minor in Physics. She also passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) to be able to practice her profession. She spent the next decade teaching Physics to high schoolers. However, when her husband’s job necessitated a relocation to Metro Manila, Bebie transitioned into becoming a full-time housewife and looked after their three children. It was a sudden change of milieu—from provincial life to the hustle and bustle of the big city and until they finally settled in Cainta, Rizal in 1998.
Bebie encountered many challenges in doing her household chores, especially with the use of cleaning supplies. From laundry to dishes, handwashing was always either one of two situations: use an expensive brand that works but also dries your hands or use a cheaper and gentler alternative that does not do much by way of cleaning. Even with washing her husband’s cars, it was hard to find a car shampoo that didn’t leave white watermarks.
These personal experiences reignited Bebie’s entrepreneurial spirit. Together with her daughter, who had a Chemistry degree, they joined Negoskwela’s soap making seminar in 2016.
This started her path to research on product development. After months of trial and many errors, Bebie created household cleaner formulations that would address her own personal needs and potentially those of a larger market.
Bebie started selling her cleaning concentrates to friends and neighbors. Under the brand name Nice Innovative Quality (NiQ), her products range from dishwashing concentrate to laundry detergent, carwash concentrate, pet soap, and all-around cleaner concentrate. The efficacy of her products led to repeat purchases and endorsements from buyers.
Although she always had natural business acumen, she started attending the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) training program in 2017 which enhanced her entrepreneurial capabilities.
In 2018, as a mentee of the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program, she was able to put into writing her business plan and strategy. It was after attending KMME that Bebie started selling NiQ products. She also sells her products under different brand names such as Danielle, Dan, Bee, and Win. It was through the KMME program that she was able to register her NiQ brand with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
Her products were also given the needed exposure through participation in DTI trade fairs. Moving forward, she has signed up for DTI’s One Town, One Product program, to help improve her products’ packaging and design, as well as online marketing and business development. She is also looking forward to avail of DTI’s Shared Service Facilities (SSF) to help her transition to a more sustainable and renewable packaging.
NiQ products’ first exposure was last September 2018 during a Diskwento Caravan at the Cainta Municipal Hall compound and other municipalities in Rizal province. One of their biggest breaks was attending the Philippine Franchise Asia Bazaar in SM Mall of Asisa.
In 2019, she also attended the DTI Reverse Trade Fair in Tanay, Rizal which eventually led her to sell her products in Sta. Lucia Supermarket in Cainta.
In September 2020, Bebie signed a commitment for OTOP Next Generation that will enable her to receive a package of public-private assistance that will help her enterprise to come up with new or better product offerings with significant improvement and innovation.
Today, Bebie’s Daen Enterprises is a family affair. Her husband and daughters help with selling the products online (a necessity especially in a time of pandemic), with the help of minimal staffing, half of whom are women.
Bebie believes that one of the secrets to her success was rooted in real insights on household needs. She felt that her role as a mother and housewife was key. She also believes that a housewife’s traditional role as the family budget keeper also helped her in running her business.
Daen’s physical store and production facility are located in Cainta. Her products are also offered online through different selling platforms such as LAZADA, Shopee, Beam and Go, and Facebook.
Bebie’s business helped women—herself, her employees, as well as countless others who have benefited from using her products. But at the core of her success is her own personal passion. From the little girl excited over her first peso to the rising entrepreneurial leader that she is today, you can tell that she simply loves what she does. That’s why her advice for other aspiring businesswomen is to “listen to and feel your heart.” Because that is where one’s unique success lies.♦
Date of Release: 19 October 2020