What a way to end this month by highlighting and celebrating the woman behind Filoz Children's Bookstore, Jed Gerona.
I have dedicated this month to sharing the amazing work my fellow Filipino Entrepreneurs are doing in my January blog posts as I know you'll be inspired as much as i am. Just seeing what everyone is doing in their business is inspiring and worth sharing.
Since launching our Filipino Australian Business Collaborative Community on Facebook, I've been so blessed to have been able to connect with some of the best business owners all around Australia - one of them being Jed.
Jed is the founder and owner of Filoz Children's Bookstore. Read on to get to know more about her in our interview style blog where we learn how Jed & her husband's passion in raising bilingual children turn into a profitable business + helping other parents who are also wanting the same for their children.
How did you get into selling children's books and most particularly ones that are filipino books?
I was pregnant with my eldest when I asked my sister to buy Filipino children’s books when she visits Australia. When I posted it on Facebook, it gained interest on some of my Filipina mum friends. So I thought that maybe a lot of Filipinos who live in Australia may be interested in it too.
It was during my Parental Leave when I started the ball rolling - learning about building a business in Australia, talking to suppliers, building an online website, etc. In November of 2014, that’s when I launched my online store to the public.
Tell us more about your story, your WHY and your bigger vision for your business.
My husband and I have agreed on raising our kids bilingual even before they were born. We would want them to be confident in speaking and expressing themselves in both languages.
When Filipinos migrate in an English speaking country, we can already recognise the decline of Filipino speakers in their children. I met Filipinos who can “understand but can’t speak” and they wished their parents taught them the Filipino language. I also met people who were very thankful that know how to speak Filipino. It gives them another advantage of knowing another language.
The business was established to help other parents who have the same objective of raising bilingual children in Australia. Through books with stories of Filipino values, we serve as an additional resource for them. It was inspired from this life-long mission of raising bilingual children.
What are the struggles that you're finding as a filipino entrepreneur here in australia and how do you over come them?
The one thing I struggle most is finding time. As a stay at home mum, I can barely send a three sentence email with 2 kids constantly seeking for my attention.
What works for a sole-trader like me is prioritising and creating a check list. There are times with I have to stay up late at night to accomplish certain tasks such as creating social media content and updating the website.
Working with automation is also helpful - things such as an automated update to my customers of fulfilling an order, whilst the system updates the inventory minimises a few tasks for me to do.
How has starting your own business changed your life?
Building this business had made me take up risks. I can be personal with how I provide my service to my customers as most of them relate to me as a migrant parent. I treat each of my customer as if it was me making the purchase.
I have met many parents who have the same objective - some even became good friends of mine. I encourage each of my customers to read up and research on the benefits of raising bilingual children. Learning Filipino while the kids are young boosts their cultural identity and they appreciate their heritage as they grow older.
Lastly, what are the tips you will give a new filipino entrepreneur starting out here in Australia?
Do a lot of research and pencil pushing. It took me a lot of Excel spreadsheets to compute and study the financials. Don’t be afraid to ask for help within your network. Also expand your network so you get to know your customers.
Join our growing Filipino Australian Business Collaborative Community. Created to bring together like minded entrepreneurs for connection, support and collaboration.
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