Nicole Ceballos, a make-up artist, was already selling cookies as a side hustle even before the pandemic. She has a network of customers which includes two establishments. During that time, baking cookies served as a productive break from the rigors of her profession. The money she earns from her Nyala’s Homemade Cookies was set aside for her dogs’ veterinary care.
However, she needed to focus on her cookie business at the time of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since movement outdoors were limited to essential needs.
One of the challenges she had to face was to increase and grow their social media presence.
“We focused more on our expansion as a supplier for coffee shops and co-working spaces, and we were scheduled to sample to multi-branch and popular cafes right when the quarantine started,” Nicole shares.
They had to learn using social media for business, communicate properly with customers, creating content. At the same time, she had to bake from scratch and source ingredients from new suppliers since her regular suppliers also ran out of stocks.
Scheduling and booking deliveries proved to be a handful, as well.
“While we were lucky that the industry we went into is considered essential and able to operate, the logistics of every move we made was an absolute nightmare,” she says.
Because the cookies are freshly-baked, they need to be sent out within the day, no matter what. According to her, a lot of riders also took advantage of the low supply and high demand of delivery that they would charge a lot higher.
“It was extra difficult to find riders who would take it for the price based on the delivery apps since that’s what we charge our customers. We incurred a lot of additional charges just so we could get the order out within the day,” she further added.
The fruits of labor
Nicole has gained a lot from this experience.
“It’s definitely this unique learning experience I wouldn’t have gotten as a make-up artist. I don’t do well with numbers but I had to learn how to do costing, profits, and losses. I’ve adapted a certain tone and manner of speaking. This was a challenge because I’m neither sweet nor bubbly, in real life,” Nicole shares.
Her advice to fellow Filipinos who would like to start a side hustle or a small business?
“Huwag mahiyang rumaket. You should be proud that if you need extra money, you’re willing to work for it,” she says.