Tina Lagdameo: Being Flexible and Embracing the Changes

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Tina Lagdameo has been running various businesses while balancing life as a mother, wife, and entrepreneur. She tells Modern Parenting tips that she learned along the way.

Tina Lagdameo knows what it’s like to wear many hats. She’s a mother, wife, and entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, Tina has seen the challenges in putting up a business through brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. Today, she runs Honest Junk and Kiele Naturals, which continue to thrive amidst the changing landscape in entrepreneurship.

Tina spoke with Modern Parenting about what it’s like to establish a business, letting go of some of it, and tips for those who would like to start their own.

Tina Lagdameo on learning and letting go

Before Honest Junk and Kiele Naturals, Tina found herself helping in the family business Go Nuts Donuts and PlanaForma, which she helped established. Although Go Nuts Donuts helped her learn the ropes, it was PlanaForma that she was sad to let go of.

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“PlanaForma was really my baby. My sister-in-law and I started it over 11 years ago. We really tried to hold on. Like most businesses during the pandemic, we diverted to do online classes and all those things. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t feasible for us anymore. So we decided to close operations in November of last year. Of course, that was very painful. It was a part of my life for about a decade,” she said.

“And you know, my kids grew up in that atmosphere. It was a community that we built. The most painful part about it is the people. More than that, it’s the community with the PlanaForma instructors, with the clients that we had to let go of. And that’s the one I miss the most.”

Go Nuts was eventually sold to a different group years ago. Although she had to let go of PlanaForma, Tina would later establish Honest Junk and Kiele Naturals, which has kept her busy.

The experience of running her two previous businesses has prepared her.

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“In terms of a different approach, I definitely learned a lot from Go Nuts Donuts and my PlanaForma days. I was able to put all those learnings into use with Honest Junk and Kiels Naturals,” she said. “Back in the day, e-commerce wasn’t big at all. Everything had to build a brand. It had to have a brick-and-mortar presence in a mall and all those things.”

“With Honest Junk, we still have that risk. But we were able to utilize the capital in a different way, which is the e-commerce platform. So it’s a different approach. I would say it’s more flexible in that sense. And that has helped us survive and grow during the pandemic.”

Photo from Honest Junk

On the health and wellness industry

As the Philippines slowly revives the economy, Tina said she has learned to embrace the changes made by the pandemic.

“We were always looking forward to the day that we would go back to normal. So even the way we would plan things in our calendar was not just about what was going on today. But what’s going to happen for summer or for the holidays. And not with a pandemic in mind. So, we’re embracing it. We’re loving it. Of course, we’re still learning,” she said.

Additionally, she mentions that people have become more conscious of their health.

“People are definitely not taking for granted their health now. There’s really an awareness of what they put in their body. I believe during the pandemic, people invested in their home gyms a lot. Because one way to fight this pandemic is to be healthy. If you’re fit and you’re putting the right nutrients in your body, that will help combat any virus that will come your way,” she encourages.

“People are starting to invest in health much more now as compared to before where it was more of a fad. Or a barkada thing that they would just say, ‘Oh, let’s work out because there’s a new studio. Or there’s a new technique or because everyone’s vegan.'”

“So people are more aware, they’re more conscious and are deliberately trying to learn more. It’s a good thing. In a sense, it’s another silver lining with this pandemic—that people are investing in their health.”

Tina Lagdameo on self-care and family time

Despite a busy schedule, Tina makes sure she tends to her two kids and husband Cary Lagdameo. At the height of the pandemic, she and her family would try to entertain themselves through various activities—from board games to swimming in the rubberized swimming pool they have. When restrictions eased, they were fortunate to go to Davao for a vacation.

With a busy schedule, she also tries to get some me-time.

“I really take the mornings. Pre-pandemic, I would wake up an hour or an hour and a half earlier than everyone else. That was always my me-time. And I kind of lost that during the pandemic because everyone was just home all the time,” Tina shared.

“So now, I’m able to do that again. Have that time for myself—whether it’s a workout or just focusing my thoughts for the day. I like to light a candle, play some music, and then write down what my day is going to be like—my schedule, what I have to do, what the kids’ schedule is, and stuff like that. And I just take that sacred hour for me. That helps me get through the day and juggle everything.”

On her advice to would-be entrepreneurs

With more people willing to take the risk and be their own bosses, we asked Tina for her advice to would-be entrepreneurs.

“I think you’ll need to partner with like-minded people. Being in business is like a marriage. You go into a commitment. There are highs and lows. So the more like-minded you are, and if you have the same goals, it’s easier in that sense. You’re already fighting battles every day. You don’t want to fight each other. You want to fight the battle together.”

“I’m lucky that I have a husband who is so supportive. And it’s very encouraging. He’s the one who really helps me. When things are down, he’s the one who encourages me to define ways around the problem, how to solve it, or how to make things better. So I think that emotional support from your partners in business and your partner in life, it’s very helpful,” she says.

“The other one is—don’t be afraid of failure. Because it will happen. There will be 10 million failures before you get to that first success. It’s a long road and maybe you’ll have that success right away. But then after that, there will be problems and failures. So you have to be ready for that. You have to have a strong gut.”

Tina adds, “You know very well that you’re always the last. It’s always the people first, the clients first, and then, in the end, it’s you. So you have to stick it out and be willing to stick it out. Be prepared for the failures, but be prepared to bounce back as well.”

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