For the first time since I became a WAHM, I had a day off!

I mean, an official one.  An I-don’t-have-to-bring-a-laptop-with-me kind of day.  An it’s-okay-to-not-have-internet-connection-where-I’m-going kind of day.  An I-don’t-have-to-check-my-email kind of day.

It was awesome!

So I went to the city to meet up with my friend, Celia, who’s the creative head and the powerhouse behind Brownroots Creatives and is now busy managing her co-working space, Brownroots Coworking.

Uhmmm… I actually checked my work email before leaving the house.  Responded to some messages both from my email and Slack, and had my mobile data and powerbank with me just in case I need to respond to some urgent messages.  How awesome is it that I can actually work using my phone, right?

But I’m digressing.

I’m supposed to be talking about Brownroots and why I had to see Celia.

Who is Celia and what is Brownroots?

I met Celia at one of my workshops.  It was the second and final run of my VA Success Blueprint workshop.

What?  Two runs only? But why?

I’ve turned the workshop module to a one-on-one coaching module, that’s why.  I get to see results better on one-on-one coaching than in classroom workshops, and I really have this need to see my coachees succeed in transitioning from corporate to WAHMing.

Digressing again, sorry.

So my event coordinator got Brownroots Creatives to sponsor the bags that we gave away to the participants.  On top of the bags, she also raffled off some really cool t-shirts.  I loved the bags!  They were of canvas material and had my logo printed on them.  And the shirts were actually their flagship product for Brownroots Creatives’ business-in-a-box.  Their tagline?  “Let your shirt do the talking.”

I had a couple shirt made for me and my husband.

Mine says:  My husband has an awesome wife.

His says:  My wife has an awesome husband.

I wear mine when I go out.

Husband wears his to sleep.

So much for having a couple shirt!

Digressing… again!

As a major sponsor, we gave her two free seats to the workshop.  She brought her son who does graphic design, plays the guitar, sings and sounds awesome, and writes his own songs when he’s not doing covers.

And so we met.  And we hit it off, right from the get-go.

Celia is a former OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker).  She had a really bad experience abroad.  Like going to prison kind of bad.  She was innocent, of course.  And when finally her case was resolved, she came back home to the Philippines and vowed to start another chapter in her life, stronger and better.  I met her at the time that she was just starting out with the business.  Her work abroad was in advertising, and she’s a graphic designer.  It made sense for her to start a business in the creative niche.

Why Brownroots?

She says it’s her statement of being Pinoy.  She’s proud of her brown-skinned race.  As we should all be.

I like her branding.  It delivers a message.  It’s easy to recall.  It draws empathy.

She learned of my story through this blog, before we personally met.  How I succeeded in starting a career from home.  My story resonated with her, and we both have this strong desire to build a community of empowered women.  And while I focus on inspiring women to go after their dreams and be financially independent through this blog and social media, Celia untiringly goes to events and connects with people in person.  And when I say connect, I mean she really connects.  The we-can-be-friends-forever kind of connect.

After taking a break from doing classroom workshops on virtual assistance, I created a new module called Hobbies to Business, teaching people how to earn from doing something that they love.  I did two classroom workshops for this module and then turned it into an online course, as well.  Celia stuck with me, supporting me all the way.  I super love this woman!  And from what I gather, the feeling is definitely mutual.

Sometime last year, we talked about having my girls’ artworks printed on t-shirts and mugs and selling them.  I’m teaching my kids entrepreneurship, which is also what Celia is doing with hers.  The plan was that I would send her the graphics and Brownroots Creatives would print them and ship them.

But my husband and I have also been looking for an income stream that will not be dependent on both our skills as virtual assistants.  What if he or I get sick?  What happens if I can no longer be a VA, or he no longer loves what he’s doing?

We need a fallback, and we need to establish something while there is no need for it yet.  We need something that we can hire other people to do when we can no longer do it personally.  And we need something that our children will also enjoy doing.

So we agreed on making a go for the printing business.   Our daughters will be our in-house designers, and our son will operate the press.

Celia was very supportive when I told her about it.  Aside from her printing business, she also provides starter packages to those who want to get into the printing business.  So she sent me the list of her packages and left me to think about how I want to get started.  But my VA work did not give me much time to pursue getting the business off the ground.

So on my first official day off, I went to meet with Celia as my first step in making our plan become a reality.  We’re ready to invest in the complete package, the whole nine yards, and Brownroots Creatives is my supplier of choice.  I spent the afternoon with her teaching me how to navigate the design software and how to operate the press.  It was fun!  I can imagine the kids having a blast with that weeding thing on the vinyl.

And to top it off, Celia also had two of her friends at the coworking space while I was there, and they are very interested in learning how to become VAs, so we ended up planning a small, intimate workshop for a group of no more than ten people, soon.

I also love her coworking space, by the way.

Here’s a couple of my takeaways…

I am so looking forward to adding this new piece in my WAHMing life, and I’m hoping that I’ll have your support, too!

Oh, and by the way, today is my second day off.  So I found time to write this post.  Yesterday was supposed to be the day that we’re going to put up our Christmas tree.  But I had to prioritize seeing Celia.

I had an early start this morning.  While the kids were preparing to leave for taekwondo training, I changed the curtains.  Ironed them, too!  Like I don’t really mind the fold creases on curtains, but I was feeling pretty domestic so I went ahead and ironed out the fold creases before putting them up.  Then I took down our 16-year old tree from storage and set it up.  It’s still bare at this time.  I left the decorating to the kids.

Okay, my time’s up!  Come and visit again!

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