To celebrate Women’s Month, Ballet Philippines sits down with two inspiring entrepreneurs whose courage and indomitable spirit has allowed them to soar over even the roughest of seas.
The past two years saw female-founded brands and businesses thrive amidst challenges. Ability to adapt, pivot, and innovate helped to keep their enterprises afloat despite the countless curveballs of the pandemic. Girl bosses had foresight and intuition that allowed them to navigate unprecedented times. Coupled by an innate predisposition to lead and nurture in equal measure, female chiefs have shown the world just what it truly means to be a woman on top.
Fitness studios were among the first to feel the effects of the lockdowns. Their doors were closed longer than any other industry. Even as restrictions eased, in-person workouts and sessions were put on hold indefinitely. Spaces dedicated to wellness and fitness remained empty for months on end.
For One Life Studio founder Tanya Aguila, challenges of the pandemic only reinforced a mission for empowering women and self-love. She immediately pivoted by migrating her community online. Everyone—from the coaches to regular clients and even occasional visitors of the studio—was engaged by Aguila to take part in the brand’s mission of championing self-care and “progress over perfection.”
“To lead in today’s unprecedented business environment is to be an indomitable source of clarity, courage, and creativity,” Aguila says. “Every day presents countless new challenges and it is absolutely important to face these head on with an even sharper focus than ever before, and with energy enough to inspire others as well as yourself.”
The dining scene in Manila was once vibrant and thriving. Before 2020, food concepts sprouted left and right, and diners were more than happy to spend their hard-earned money on new flavors.
But as malls and commercial spaces once bustling with activity began to resemble ghost towns during COVID, Wildflour outlets in the metro continued to draw in crowds. It seamlessly and swiftly innovated its core offerings to address a customer base living and dining in the new normal.
An expanded bread and pastry menu addressed consumer’s cravings for comforting midday treats, as many turned to pastries and bread as a means for appeasing their uneasiness of the uncertain times. The company also began to offer to-go meals.
If anything, the quick pivot and innovation led by Wildflour founder Ana Lorenzana de Ocampo set new benchmarks in the dining business. As a female founder and captain, she has brought her distinct brand of leadership to the task of navigating the crisis for her business.
De Ocampo says, “It’s business as usual, really. I can’t speak for other women, but I can speak to my own experience as a woman who’s observed the amount of perseverance necessary for a woman in a male-dominated industry. Perseverance is what I’ve done with Wildflour in this pandemic, as well as raise my sensitivity in regards to the needs and health of my staff.”