By Jane Kingsu-Cheng
One can consider herself lucky to have a best friend she can grow old with, and she’s even more blessed if she has a bestie she can put up a dream business with. Such is the story of Beng Feliciano and Maricel Cua, whose friendship was founded in college and bloomed over the years: From working in a multinational company, to getting married and having children, to being the official distributor of breast pump brand from Switzerland, Medela.
For years, their headquarters in New Manila was a hub for new moms to purchase their Medela breast pumps. It was also a support center for the team to help moms out in their breastfeeding journeys. Other moms came by to drop their excess breast milk for donation. It was, and still is, a place filled with love and support for the mommies everywhere who needed it the most.
“There was a clamor in the community that grew around us. They wished for our low profile community to have a louder voice in the industry, and to make the kind of support we have — loving, respectful, and nonjudgmental — more accessible to all,” reveals Feliciano.
This inspired the duo to put up The Parenting Emporium (TPE), which transformed their New Manila hub into a one-stop shop for all the parenting needs. This store isn’t your ordinary shop, it also hosts talks and seminars to further supplement and equip parents.
Now on its fourth year, their network has grown exponentially, giving credit to the people they constantly work with. These include Abbie Yabot (attachment parenting guru), Joy Dejos (energy management coach), Gabrielle Weil (Baby Sleep and Listening Expert), The Learning Basket (Early Childhood Development expert), doctors Kaori Lobendino and Kristen Canlas.
“Because part of the success of TPE is largely due to our partner brands and experts, so we wanted to thank them this year for the very important role they play in the #ParenthoodShared we advocate and believe in,” Cua adds. “We treated our suppliers and experts to a relaxing foot massage and a yummy spread. One of our beneficiaries, Asha, also made simple giveaways for them.”
It was definitely a relaxing afternoon dedicated to these people who have helped many in their parenting journey. As for their regular customers, “We still have our anniversary promo for the different parents in our community which will extend till the Momzilla Fair this weekend.”