Good morning, friends! Welcome to the eighth part of our monthly series around “Supporting AAPI Small Businesses!” At Joeydolls, we’re excited to use our platform to showcase and promote the fantastic work of AAPI small businesses and their amazing products and services.
This latest edition of the series features the story of Little Kawaii Hut, a “mommy and me shop.” They specialize in offering a delightful range of “kawaii” products, each meticulously handcrafted in the heart of the Philippines. Their cute accessory offerings capture the spirit of Filipino craftsmanship and creativity.
We believe strongly that supporting small businesses is the key to building a strong and stable economy. Our main aim in showcasing successful AAPI small businesses like Little Kawaii Hut is to assist them in reaching a wider audience and see them flourish. Let’s celebrate their hard work, commitment, and success.
Now, let’s try to know more about Little Kawaii Hut. We asked them some interesting questions, and here’s what they had to tell us.
Tell Us About Yourself & What Does Your Business Do?
I take immense pride in being a Pinay, a term that represents my deep connection to the Philippines and its rich culture. Additionally, I am also a dedicated registered nurse. Beyond my professional life, I am a proud “girl mama” of two wonderful children, cherishing the joys and challenges of motherhood every day.
In my entrepreneurial journey, I have embarked on a meaningful venture known as a “mommy and me shop.” Our shop is not just a business; it’s a labor of love that reflects the essence of family and community. At our store, we specialize in offering a delightful range of “kawaii” products, each meticulously handcrafted in the heart of the Philippines. Our cute accessory offerings capture the spirit of Filipino craftsmanship and creativity.
What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to supporting local artisans and entrepreneurs. Every material we use is sourced exclusively from vendors within the Philippines, ensuring that our business is deeply rooted in the local economy. By doing so, we contribute to the growth and sustainability of our fellow brother and sister entrepreneurs in the motherland, fostering a sense of solidarity and shared success within our community.
How Long Have You Been in Business, and How Did It All Begin?
We embarked on our entrepreneurial journey in the tumultuous year of 2020, precisely when the global pandemic struck. The decision to start our business during such challenging times was driven by a combination of necessity, passion, and a deep-seated commitment to our community.
As the pandemic unfurled, it brought about unprecedented changes in our lives. Many faced uncertainties, including us. It was then that we saw an opportunity to channel our energy and creativity into something positive. The concept of our “mommy and me shop” began to take shape as we recognized the importance of family and the need for uplifting moments during such trying times.
With a shared love for Filipino culture and craftsmanship, we decided to offer products that not only delighted customers but also supported local artisans who were struggling due to the economic impact of the pandemic. This dual purpose, to spread joy and provide livelihoods, fueled our determination to start our venture.
In the midst of the pandemic’s uncertainty, our business emerged as a beacon of hope and resilience. Through our dedication, we’ve not only weathered the challenges but have also grown stronger, connecting with a community of like-minded individuals who appreciate the essence of Filipino creativity. While our journey began in 2020, it continues to evolve, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, meaningful endeavors can flourish.
What Challenges Have You Faced in Running This Company, as well as an Asian-Owned Small Business?
Running our business, particularly as an Asian-owned small business, has presented its share of challenges, especially during the pandemic’s initial phase. When we initially entered the market, we operated solely as an online business. Navigating the intricate landscape of entrepreneurship amidst the pandemic proved to be a demanding endeavor. One of the most significant hurdles was the absence of in-person interactions, pop-up events, and face-to-face selling opportunities that are typically vital for small businesses like ours to thrive.
The pandemic-induced restrictions not only hindered our ability to connect with customers personally but also caused delays in shipping and logistics, which, at times, tested our resilience. The uncertainties of the global situation added an extra layer of complexity, making it challenging to predict market trends and customer behavior accurately.
However, as time progressed and the world gradually adapted to the new normal, we decided to take a leap of faith by participating in pop-up events. This strategic move breathed fresh life into our business, allowing us to engage with customers directly, showcase our products, and create memorable experiences. These pop-up events provided a lifeline, helping us weather the challenges and keep our business afloat.
Moreover, we are deeply grateful to our AAPI community for their unwavering love and support. Their support has been instrumental in our journey, and it reminds us of the strength that comes from unity within our community. It’s a testament to the resilience and power of solidarity within the AAPI community and beyond.
In essence, our entrepreneurial path has been marked by the trials of navigating a pandemic as a small, Asian-owned business. Still, through innovation, determination, and the support of our community, we’ve learned to adapt and thrive, turning adversity into opportunities for growth and connection.
What Are Your Thoughts on the Changing Landscape in the Industry?
As a person of color and a female business owner, I’m heartened by the evolving industry landscape. The emerging sense of community and solidarity among fellow entrepreneurs, particularly mothers, is a positive trend. This support network provides invaluable insights and resources, nurturing our sense of belonging and helping us navigate industry complexities. While the industry’s transformation is an exciting and promising prospect, it requires ongoing time and effort to fully materialize.
We are committed to reciprocating this support by championing and collaborating with fellow small business owners, firmly believing that mutual support and cooperation are essential for industry success. Patronizing and promoting these entrepreneurs contributes to industry growth and fosters innovation and diversity, crucial for its development.
I’m optimistic about the future of our evolving industry. Through collaboration, inclusivity, and shared support, we can create an industry that thrives on diversity, innovation, and resilience, harnessing the power of solidarity to shape a brighter tomorrow.
What Are Your Favorite Things About Your Company?
One of my favorite aspects of our company is the opportunity it affords us to support small business owners in the Philippines. It allows us to make a positive impact on the lives of our fellow entrepreneurs in the Philippines. By sourcing materials locally and collaborating with artisans and vendors in the country, we contribute to their livelihoods and the growth of their businesses. This sense of empowerment and support within the entrepreneurial community is truly gratifying. It helps us to showcase the incredible talent and creativity that exists in the Philippines.
The satisfaction of knowing that our business model promotes sustainability and economic growth within the Philippines is a source of pride. It aligns with our values of fostering local talent and contributing to the country’s economic development.
What Are Your Hopes and Dreams for Your Company?
My aspirations for the shop are rooted in simplicity yet carry profound meaning. At the core, I dream of seeing it flourish and grow steadily. My goal is straightforward: to generate revenue that surpasses our expenditures, covering overhead costs and sustaining the business. This financial stability is essential because it enables us to maintain our mission of supporting businesses in the Philippines. I envision a future where our shop serves as a steadfast pillar of support for the talented individuals and communities we collaborate with, fostering economic growth and showcasing the beauty of Filipino craftsmanship to a wider global audience.
How Can We Best Follow and Support You?
We would greatly appreciate your support in staying connected with us and helping us grow our community. Following us on Instagram is the first step to stay updated with our latest offerings, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and exciting updates. You can find us easily with our Instagram handle, @little.kawaii.hut.
Sharing our products in your own posts and stories is a fantastic way to show your support. It not only introduces our unique “kawaii” items to your followers but also helps us reach a broader audience. This endorsement is invaluable in spreading the word about our handcrafted treasures, each lovingly made in the Philippines.
Your engagement on social media, whether through likes, comments, or shares, plays a significant role in boosting our visibility and inspiring us to continue our mission of promoting Filipino craftsmanship. Such support fuels our passion for creativity, diversity, and the celebration of handcrafted excellence.
So, follow us on:
Anything Else You Wish to Share?
We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the incredible members of the AAPI community for their unwavering and continued support. It is because of your dedication, encouragement, and belief in our mission that we find ourselves here today, still going strong and persevering through the challenges that come our way. Your support has been the cornerstone of our journey, a source of motivation that propels us forward, and a reminder of the strength that comes from unity.
In the spirit of “Mabuhay,” a Filipino expression exuberantly celebrating life, we extend our warmest thanks to you. Your support not only sustains our business but also uplifts the dreams and aspirations of countless entrepreneurs, artisans, and creators in the Philippines. Together, we are writing a story of resilience, collaboration, and shared success, and we are deeply grateful for your part in this incredible journey. Thank you for being the wind beneath our wings as we soar towards a brighter future.
Anything Else You Want to Tell us?
I want to extend my sincere appreciation for featuring us; your recognition means the world to me and our entire team. It goes beyond mere words – it’s a profound acknowledgment of the dedication, hard work, and passion we pour into what we do.
Your support and recognition motivate us to reach even greater heights, share our story with a wider audience, and fulfil our mission of promoting Filipino craftsmanship. Once again, thank you immensely for this honor; it fuels our commitment to pursuing our vision and spreading the love for our craft.