Mayumi artisanal products

“Pikit mata na lang talaga. And then, survival. The spirit of survival.” This is the principle held by Ms. Angelica Chongco of Mayumi Organics as she paves her way to success.

Ms. Angelica Chongco has long been passionate about artisanal products, specifically, shampoo bars and soap. When one of her children suffered from skin allergies, and there were limited products in the market for sensitive skin, she had an idea of starting her own business which she called Mayumi Organics. With a clear vision in mind, the business started to address different concerns of consumers related to skin diseases and sensitivities.

Being employed for many years, Ms. Chongco had to give up her job and be a stay-at-home mom. However, the circumstance did not stop her. She took the opportunity to improve herself by attending various training and seminars. She started her business and at the same time, expanded her network by sharing the knowledge to other aspiring artisans.

In one of her engagements, she was introduced to a client which landed her a breakthrough project. She partnered with Summit Media Magazine, one of the sponsors of ASEAN Summit 2017 wherein she was asked to produce 21,000 pieces of bath soap to be given as souvenirs to the media partners of the event. Ms. Chongco decided to finally register her business after the project.

In year 2018, when shampoo bars became a fad, Mayumi Organics didn’t miss this chance and released its own line of shampoo bars. Currently, the brand offers a wide variety of artisanal cosmetic products including soap bars, shampoo bars, body butter, and body scrubs. It also promotes green and sustainable product packaging as it uses craft papers as main packaging material. The products are also manufactured using locally-sourced raw materials such as Gugo and Virgin Coconut Oil.

To promote her products, Ms. Chongco joined several trade fairs and bazaars where she obtained most of her regular clients and resellers. She also established her website, to cater a wider market.

Unknown to many, Ms. Chongco had to survive several drawbacks which challenged her faith in business. In 2017, her first shop located in Bacoor, Cavite was robbed with major destruction in her store property. She then relocated to Imus City near her residential house. The new location gave an advantage because her production area is now more accessible.

As the business recovers and prepares for take-off, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 happened, immobilizing a number of businesses including Ms. Chongco’s. Despite the disaster, the first few weeks of the community quarantine gave Ms. Chongco time to reflect. She was reminded to slow down, but still be engaged.

During the pandemic, she did not stop producing. Selling online kept her business running. She had this hysterical experience in the month of May when she decided to sell Gugo Shampoo. She did not have any staff so she did the production all by herself – from manufacturing to packaging, labelling and delivery. She literally became a one-man army.

Somehow, the Gugo shampoo was the savior of her business. Their revenues boosted up to P30,000 a day, considering they’re still in the midst of a pandemic. Even though it cost her the pain of delivering the products, it gets paid off by the satisfaction of keeping her business. There were even times when she would bear the shipping fees through Lalamove. ‘Pikit mata na lang talaga.’ And then, survival. The spirit of survival. They have no other priorities in mind, except the need for everyday survival.

Having more free time due to the quarantine, Ms. Chongco finally had the chance to participate in two of the flagship programs of the Department of Trade and Industry – Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) and One Town One Product (OTOP) Next Gen Program. She was invited by Negosyo Center Kawit Business Counselor, Ms. Kathrine Bernadeth P. Lanon. Joining the said programs opened great opportunities for her business. She had easier access to trade fairs and various market opportunities online. Further, the learnings she acquired have been very helpful in managing her business.

Angelica Chongco shows her KMME Certificate of Recognition while carrying her baby

For these reasons, Ms. Chongco was truly grateful. She stated that she will not stop as long as there are customers in need of her products. She also assures to put into practice all DTI’s support and assistance to them.

Ms. Chongco simply felt much support from different individuals and organizations. Inspired by all of them, she is very optimistic and has no plan of giving up the business without a fight. ♦

Date of Release: 13 April 2021