“Support small businesses” is one of the most used phrases today especially in social media. Being forced to isolate in their own homes, many people found new hobbies and interests to keep them occupied while under quarantine.
One thing that’s kept me busy has been MixCha Manila, the online business my mom and I started.
Her own twist
It all began when my mom started experimenting with different drinks. She added her own twist to two beverages—Thai milk tea and matcha latte. She enjoyed the process of creating these drinks. She found it very soothing as it became her mental escape from her routine. It improved her focus as she had to accurately measure the needed ingredients.
As she perfected her recipe and became satisfied with her work, she started contemplating selling her drinks and turning it into a business. She began by giving samples of her drinks to close friends and family who immediately fell in love with her brews. They then encouraged my mom who was still half-convinced and half-reluctant to sell it to the public.
I had never done anything like it before so the idea of being part of a business excited me. I supported her by being fully onboard with her goal as she took the next step to sell her drinks on our village’s online community page. Then, we created MixCha Manila’s social media pages on Instagram and Facebook.
My mom and I learned from each other throughout the process. From her, I learned more about the math behind formulating the prices of our products, purchasing and allocating budgets for ingredients, and paying for promotions in order to boost our business. She also taught me the basics of advertising and copywriting, effective communication with customers and relationship-building. It definitely helps that my mom used to work as a brand manager prior to her early retirement.
And of course, she taught me how to create the tasty beverages that we sell.
But MixCha Manila isn’t all about making money.
Currently, we are in the middle of our first collaboration with youth organization Tahanan Philippines and Project Parol of Assumption College. Being able to have the opportunity to spread our business and donate to charity at the same time has been a humbling and fulfilling experience.
In the last couple of months, I have taught my mom a few things as well. As a teenager, I am more in touch with what people are currently interested in. Knowing my fellow peers’ needs and wants and at the same time having sufficient knowledge about social media has allowed me to enlighten my mom a little more.
Through my work ethic, I have also encouraged my mom to become more organized and punctual. Whether it be a deadline for a requirement that an organization requests of us, or just a simple Instagram post for the week, I like to remind my mom to do things promptly. I also educate my mom on being innovative with photography and editing so that our photos are appealing to our audience.
Quarantine has limited our opportunities to take pictures of our products in various locations but so far we have managed to be creative in our Instagram and Facebook posts with the help of our friends.
Creating MixCha Manila also became a form of bonding for my whole family. Back in July, we all gathered for a family meeting to brainstorm names for the business. Once we settled on MixCha Manila, my 14-year-old brother then designed the logo that is proudly displayed as our Instagram and Facebook page’s profile pictures. Later on, my uncle who is quite the expert on digital arts refined my brother’s initial logo to go with the bottle labels that I designed.
We launched MixCha Manila just five months ago. My mom and I were already close but because of this business that we manage together, we have become inseparable. We formed a stronger bond as we constantly toss ideas back and forth and we stand united in business decisions.
Not only do we enjoy being a mother-daughter duo, we also love interacting with our customers as they give us heartwarming reviews after trying out our drinks. We’d celebrate even the littlest of things, ecstatic at every like and follow on our social media pages. Simple joys can surely go a long way when you’re managing a business. —CONTRIBUTED
The author is a 17-year-old student of Assumption College San Lorenzo. Follow @mixchamanilaofficial on Facebook, @mixchamanila on Instagram