Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Anna Ibarreta-Santos with her daughter, Arianna.
Whether it’s creative solutions, event planning or crafting, each one of us has a marketable skill that can serve as foundation for any kind of business. Nowadays, many moms, because of the demands of motherhood, choose to have home-based businesses in order to make the most of their time with family and strike a better balance between business and home life. Mompreneurs, as they are now called, represent the fastest growing segments in our economy. This mompreneur movement has become a very interesting one as it gradually changed attitudes towards stay at home mothers. Not only do modern moms get to nurture and express their creativity and business acumen by having their own business, they have also become their own boss and they get to work on the field they are passionate about.

Freelance businesses are easy to start, low in risk and offer a great combination of flexibility and high income potential with only minimal start-up capital. The rise of the Internet has spawned a new generation of entrepreneurs, particularly among women. Accessible Web tools and techniques have made it possible and easy for anyone to create, launch and sustain new businesses.
Take it from Anna Ibarreta-Santos, the woman behind the successful Fabianne Trends Unlimited (FTU) line of party and utility bags.

Penchant for selling

“Ever since I was little I had a penchant for selling,” explains Anna. “Every weekend back in the 80’s, I would always ask my Mom to buy me pack of candies and I sold them at a restaurant for 50 cents each. When I learned to bake, I also took in orders for the holidays. I also sold pre-loved clothes whenever I felt I had too much in my closet.”


“I finished a Business Management course in Ateneo and took an internship at Palatinit GmBH in Mannheim, Germany for AIESEC’s Exchange Program. I returned to Davao after I completed my internship and worked for 5 years as an Operations Manager for a Manila based Recruitment firm.”


“I was determined to take things more seriously and become a successful entrepreneur. I left the corporate world and began joining bazaars to sell totes and clutch bags with my good friend Karyn Flores. I’ve always loved making bags and I am just fascinated with the versatility of this product. When she left to pursue job opportunities abroad, I decided to continue on my own and started to consign items at Sunlab and Oak & Acorn.  Soon after that, I explored the online marketplace and started taking orders through the Internet. I began selling personalized tote bags, backpacks, sling bags and utility pouches for birthdays, baptisms, showers and weddings and customize kits for seminars, schools and companies. In 2010, I decided to expand my business further and opened a shop so customers can visit, look at actual samples and discuss product designs,” Anna proudly shares.

“We have been very busy ever since the shop opened. There would always be mothers coming in, looking for the unique loot bags to give away at their kids’ party. There are also couples scouting for wedding giveaways for their guests. Even companies come and order customized giveaways for their clients. The busiest time of the year is September as this is when we get the bulk of orders for personalized Christmas gifts and giveaways like luggage organizers, toiletry kits, charger bags, shoe bags, laundry bags and passport holders.”


“Having this kind of business allows me to spend quality time with my husband and my daughter, Arianna. I get a lot of support from them, too. In fact, Arianna is my main product endorser as she also uses all the bags I make for her, starting from diaper bags, lunch pouch, travel purse and kikay kits.”

Follow Fabianne Trends Unlimited on Facebook or visit their shop in Rivera Village #4 apartment (at the back of BPI Bank). You may also email them for inquiries or orders through or call 0908-3641933 / 0932-8710761.
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.


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