By Paulyne L. Fermin
As a mom, I’d rather go to the mall than order anything online. Previous purchases left me with clothes that don’t fit, damaged goods, and worse, overpriced products that don’t look anything at all like the photos posted by spurious sellers. Return or exchange policies are nonexistent and since most online sellers are unregistered (read illegitimate) enterprises that don’t issue receipts, it’s really a losing battle for consumers. One website, however, has made a convert out of this cynical virtual shopper.
A Market for Mompreneurs
The good news is that there is now a legitimate platform for women entrepreneurs. Mommy Republic (MR) is the brainchild of ingenious moms Edie Acedera and Kate Yu. “We wanted to create a unique space where we can enable business-minded moms to sell their wares by providing them with all the necessary resources. As long as their businesses are registered and they have the products we are looking for, they can easily join,” says Edie. According to her, the first challenge was the creation of a multi-user website that provided an excellent experience for both sellers and buyers. The next hurdle was to populate the site with the pioneer batch of brands that carry quality products that would cater to their target market, moms with young children.
Is it easy to join? After the screening process and acceptance of their applications, moms can go in the site and create their own stores within half an hour. MR sellers are allowed to customize, post photos, and update their e-stores. For those who are not tech savvy, assistance is provided. Currently, there are 30 mompreneurs with more registrants in the offing. Warehousing, payment collection, delivery, customer service, as well as marketing and promotion are all handled by MR. Need to exchange an item? Consumer experience is highly valued so you won’t have any trouble getting the product that’s just right for you.
Made and Curated by Moms
Edie and Kate admit to finding the Philippine market quite fragmented in terms of sellers, most of which are housed on Facebook and Instagram. By starting MR, moms can now go to a singular website to find a wide variety of items. All the products are meticulously selected and tested. Included in MR’s inventory are non-electronic, non-toxic, and award winning toys that encourage creativity in children (baby and toddlers), cute and functional school bags (kids), beautiful beddings and linens (home and living).
My favorites are among the site’s bestsellers. White and olive pillowcases and linens are of fine export quality and lovingly handmade by skilled artisans. I’m told that it’s a hit with US and European buyers. MR also boasts of a wide assortment of wooden toys. My daughter has so far spent many hours playing with the wooden kitchen and fruit set I ordered for her. Both are from the brand Magic Forest whose creators are Singaporean parents who understand the value of learning through play. It’s amusing to watch my five-year-old prepare all kind of food while pretending that she’s a chef, server, and fruit vendor. Goki, Heimess, and Holztiger are 60-year-old toy brands imported by a German mom while Little Playtime is another wooden toy label that encourages active pretend play, which is an important milestone for kids. All toys are made from redwood, fun, and safe, and stimulate the curiosity, cognitive, and psycho motor skills of children.
Ever find yourself frowning while reading the grocery list prepared by yaya? Now you never have to guess what that gobbledygook means. MR’s foolproof grocery list will make things so much easier. Just check the items you need and you’re ready to go.
The site also has a directory which has extensive listings of almost every mommy need you can think of like party planners and supplies, kids’ enrichment activities, food, hair and makeup, photography, grooming for kids, and even home cleaners!
So if you’re looking for another channel for your business or have the products but need help in selling them, MR is the perfect avenue for you. As for savvy but practical mommy shoppers, you’ll certainly discover many extraordinary finds in Mommy Republic.