Andi Manzano - mom, actress, TV host, MTV VJ, radio jockey, and Cetaphil Baby ambassador shared her experience about “Embracing Motherhood with Confidence.”
Edamama celebrates Mamas at the Family Expo 2022
INQUIRER.net BrandRoom / 04:34 PM September 20, 2022
Moms were at the heart of “Family Expo 2022,” a parenting convention by Edamama, the biggest digital platform for mom and kids brands and services founded by Bela Gupta D’ Souza and Nish D’Souza.
Held on August 26 to August 28 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, the successful event was a combination of shopping deals, parenting expert-led talks, kids’ activities, and other exciting mini-events for the whole family.
“What makes the Family Expo relevant at this particular time is the vision of edamama, which is to be the leading parenting brand, starting with the Philippines, maybe potentially one day even regionally. So, we want to be where the customers are, right? And online is certainly one aspect of that and the pandemic accelerated online transactions in the Philippines so much so that the Philippines today is the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market,” Bela explains.
But the vision to serve the customers where they are means that edamama has to also go offline. “We have to think like an omni-channel business. And so the expo is our way to really connect with our customers offline. And you know, it’s really exciting to see that a lot of the people who came are already existing edamama customers. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with members of our community more broadly,” elaborates Bela.
The Family Expo infused educational-informing components to it as well. The edamama base of influencers are experts that Bela thinks mothers and dads should hear from. So they conceptualized an action-packed agenda of great talks that they hope that parents will benefit from.
On Day 1, the theme was “Reimagine Play.” Blogger and work-at-home mama Erika Jane, mama vlogger Berlene Vallangca,and Mama, COO and Early Child Development Educator Maye Yao Co Say talked about “Play-Based Learning at Home.” Teacher Katleen Traballo, a Scholastic Master Storyteller, enchanted kids with much-loved stories, fables, and legends from around the world, brought to life by a book collection with bright and creative illustrations!
“The Power of Comfort in Learning Through Playtime” was discussed by mama influencer Nikki Viola and clinical psychologist Dr. Ma. Alodia Cueno-Mercado. Dr. Camille Tuazon, a pediatric dermatologist, talked about “#SOOTHing Skincare Guide for Babies: When Less is More” while Maye Yao Co Say spoke on “Ogalala 21st Century Learning,”
Karla Suguitan, director of brand and community at edamama, introduced “Connect: A New Community for Every Mama,” about the newest feature in the edamama app where mamas can ask, share, and discuss their parenting journey in an online forum designed to be a safe space for mamas.. She was joined by Ciara Magallanes of Mommy Diaries PH and Gracie Maulion of Tipid Mommy. Lorina Tan, president of Tiny Buds, closed a day of insightful discussions with her “Tiny Buds Mommy Talk Show.”
“Recreate Routines” was Day 2’s theme. Author, online content creator, and inspirational speaker Joy Mendoza and her family shared “The Importance of Family Time.” Preschool teacher and founder of Mama & Mini Hannah Malate tackled “Sensory Play Made Easy.” Preschool teacher, host, and mama Iam Serrano and mama influencer, Modern Nanay content creator Connh Cruz shared tips on how to “Level Up Your Homemaking Habits.
“Baby Care Rituals for Healthy Baby Development” was discussed by Aileen Ongleo (nurse and president of Mother and Child Nurses Association of the Philippines) and Beverly Castillo (Momfluencer). “Pampers Real Talks: The Struggle to be the Perfect Parent” was explored by beauty queen/momfluencer Katarina Rodriguez, and Dr. Gia Sison, head of Makati Medical Wellness Center.
“Smarter Finances for the Family with Fintech” was discussed by Frances Marie Kagahastian (mom and senior developer relations specialist at Maya). Watercolor designer and founder of Life After Breakfast PH Alessa Lanot taught a watercolor painting class, inspired by her collaboration with bean for a collection about instilling healthy eating habits for kids. Dr. Pablito Planta Jr. from The Medical City talked about “Pathways to Child Development: Benchmarks and Red Flags.
The theme on the third and final day was “Reinvent Traditions.” Mom, actress, TV host, MTV VJ, radio jockey, and Cetaphil Baby ambassador Andi Manzano shared her experience about “Embracing Motherhood with Confidence.” Pediatrician Dr. Kristine Lapus discussed “Back To Work: Breastfeeding In The New Normal.” General pediatrician and child health specialist Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao covered “Parenthood Talk: The Importance of Open-Ended Play.” Julie Ann Septimo (art enthusiast, entrepreneur, and mama vlogger) and Bloss Villafuerte (school director and child development coach) dealt with “Your Guide To Gentle Parenting.”
“There are a lot of moms behind edamama. We envisioned an event where it’s not just about shopping, but also exploring and having fun, and really promoting family experiences. Through this pandemic, we felt that a lot of children have been stuck indoors for a very long time. And now alert levels have lowered down, thankfully, this was a way for us to bring families to spend time together,” Bela explains.
The Family Expo is a celebration of the edamama brand and its traction so far in the market while offering a one-of-a-kind offline experience for its customers. And, moving forward, Bela and Nish also took this value proposition through a future rolling-out of physical stores. The expo, indeed, is a great way for them to test the waters in some ways for the viability of realizing this vision.
Building brick-and-mortar stores is all the more possible because, recently, edamama secured a US20-million dollars Series A funding round led by Alpha JWC Ventures, one of Southeast Asia’s most prominent venture capital firms.
“Today, edamama is backed by the families that control the three biggest mall operators in the country. So our significant investors in this business include Gentree Fund, which is owned by the Sy family of SM; Robinsons Retail owned by the Golongweis, and Kickstart Ventures, which is controlled by the Ayalas and that’s opened up the Ayala ecosystem to us, including Ayala Malls. We’ve been very privileged to work with such leading players in the Filipino retail industry. And we look forward to rolling out our own [physical] stores with our partners,” Nish shares.
Mounting an expo of this scale can be quite challenging, but the couple were well equipped to handle the task.
“Bela’s team, including the marketing, brand, community, and commercial teams, have put in massive amounts of effort, sleepless days and nights for months to make this happen. It’s a huge team effort,” Nish shares. “And at the end of the day, it was a great opportunity also for all of us to band together on the ground, you know, after working mostly in a remote and hybrid way for so long and come together as one company, as one team to pull off a very successful event.”
“And how do we really make the Family Expo stand out as something more than just about shopping as really something truly fun for everyone to experience? We want to live up to that expectation. And just walking around and seeing the buzz of that area, I feel like the team really took that vision and executed it incredibly well.”