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  • This Caregiver Mom Became A Fashion Designer At Age 50

    Despite her age, she never gave up on her dream of being a fashion designer.
    by Allison Estrella .
This Caregiver Mom Became A Fashion Designer At Age 50
PHOTO BY COURTESY OF GENETTE MUJAR
  • In Canada, another Filipina is making a name for herself in the fashion world. Mommy Genette Muhar is currently the proud owner and CEO of Gnetz Design, a clothing business she established in Canada at the age of 50.

    Genette, however, had to work as a caretaker before she could pursue her major goal of becoming a fashion designer. Genette's remarkable story is proof that no matter what our age is, perseverance can lead to success.

    PHOTO BY COURTESY GENETTE MUJAR

    From caregiver to fashion designer

    “Maraming nagtataka kung paano ko nagawa ‘yung transition from caregiver to fashion designing. At sabi ko, it's been my passion ever since. Naantala lang kasi syempre, hindi tayo kasing yaman ng iba,” Genette shares in an interview with Summit OG.

    Genette was born in Daraga, Albay, to a large family and parents who couldn't afford to send her to a fashion school.

    “Ang ginagawa ko nalang, since I am the third girl in the family, sa lahat ng pinag-liitan nila, iyon ang sinasalo ko. Nirere-style ko siya. Estudyante pa lang ako sumasali na ako sa mga prestigious fashion shows,” she recounts.

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    Gnetz design
    PHOTO COURTESY OF GENETTE MUJAR

    Her classmates would inquire where she got her unique and stylish outfits, and she would answer them without shame, "It's from Gnetz," and so her brand was born.

    Becoming an OFW

    Partly leaving her dreams on the sidelines, she opted to travel overseas after she had children in order to provide them with a better life, one she wished she had as a child.

    Genette's family
    PHOTO COURTESY OF GENETTE MUJAR
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    She moved to Taiwan, then Hong Kong, where she was thrown out on the streets by her employers. Those were among the most difficult years in her life, bringing her to tears as she recalls them. In 2007, she relocated to Canada and began working as a caregiver. It was then that she was 'blessed' with good employers.

    Despite having little money, she managed to keep her passion for fashion alive. Genette enjoys visiting thrift stores to look for old clothing that she can restyle, “Noong nag caregiver ako, I loved all the kids kasi ginagawa ko silang fashionistas.”

    Attending fashion school while working part-time

    When her kids were about to graduate from college, Genette pursued her passion for fashion design even when she was already in her peak years. She took out a loan to cover the cost of fashion school. "Ako yung pinaka-matanda doon sa klase," she recalls with a laugh. 

    While attending fashion school, Genette began doing side hustles, “Kahit anong trabaho, mga part time, cleaning, cooking, babysitting tinatanggap ko. There were times I worked for nine families. Takbo dito, takbo doon.”

    Despite her difficulties, she insisted that it was all worthwhile, “Magaan ang pananahi, nabago nito ‘yung buhay ko. Wala akong pinagsisisihan," she says.

    The start of the rise to the top

    She ended fashion school with an achievement award and an opportunity to mentor new students. After that, she was hired as a fashion designer in a local clothing company in Vancouver, where she specialized in creating modern Filipinianas. She had her first fashion show in 2018, and has been published in numerous publications since.

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    Genette's modern Filipinianas
    PHOTO COURTESY OF GENETTE MUJAR
    One of Genette's multiple magazine features
    PHOTO COURTESY OF GENETTE MUJAR/ VIGOUR
    Genette in a fashion show
    PHOTO COURTESY OF GENETTE MUJAR
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    Genette also shared that now, her daughter is her art director and the one managing her social media accounts. The family is also helping her manage the Gnetz Design Shop that's set up inside their apartment, for now. She no longer needs to run to several side-jobs as fashion designing is able to support her and her family's needs.

    "Nagbago ang buhay ko... I’m so grateful. Ito ‘yung pinakamagandang nangyari sa buhay ko–na mabigyan ako ng chance na makapag aral, na-recognize ako ng mga tao,” she shares.

    Genette hopes that her story will inspire individuals who are still unable to take the steps needed to achieve their life goals. Her advice is to take risks and not to be scared to fail. 

    "'Yung mga paghihirap niyo at mga kahirapan sa buhay, gawin niyo iyong inspirasyon para lalo kayong mag try hard," she adds. "'Ang sabihin niyo sa sarili niyo: 'kung kaya ng iba, bakit hindi niyo kaya?'"

    Is her story motivating you to pursue your own long-held ambitions? Learn more about her path as a Canadian fashion designer here:

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