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  • How This Mom Earned P40K A Month From Home (She Even Landed A Celeb Client!)

    How a sideline cake business gave this WAHM her biggest break.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
  • Framie Hollera-Jose with her husband Stephen and son LInk.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Framie Hollera-Jose

    Framie Hollera-Jose, now a work-at-home mom (WAHM), used to bake with her sister, Ghea, a culinary graduate. They would accept one to two orders from friends and relatives during the weekend.

    The sisters named the small business “Hermanas Bakehub” and it produced tempting sweets such as choco crumble brownies, cakes, and cupcakes. “My sister prepared the recipes and aesthetics of our products while I did the branding/marketing side.”

    Framie had no solid background in baking (“I didn’t even like to eat cakes before”). But she worked at the Center for Culinary Arts school as part of their marketing team for four years.

    “I literally wrote a letter to our vice president asking if the school would grant me a short course in baking, and it was approved. To this day, I’m very thankful for it,” she shares.

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    How to put up a work-from-home cake business 

    Eventually, Ghea pursued a different food business, and Framie took over Hermanas Bakehub (Hermanas means ‘sisters’ in Spanish) while keeping her corporate job. But a medical condition and breastfeeding her 7-month son made her decide to resign from her corporate work. 

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    “My milk supply was dwindling, and it gave me so much stress and guilt.” Suddenly finding herself at home, she decided to go full time with the cake business.

    Going solo, Framie met unexpected challenges. “Apart from doing the mixes manually, which took so much time, I also personally delivered the orders. While this is a great way to establish rapport with my clients, it means taking fewer orders because you are out all the time,” she says.

    Framie’s biggest challenge yet was failed orders. Tumbled cupcakes during a motorcycle delivery (“Never again,” she swears). Fondants breaking and melted buttercreams of three-tiered cakes! Spoiled cream puffs and cracked sugar cookies.

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    To get to this stage, Framie says, “I learned a lot from these failures and worked to improve each time.” Check out her creations on @hermanasbakehub on Instagram. 
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Framie Hollera-Jose
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    A P36,000 investment 

    Over time and with a little financial help from her family (her mother-in-law gave her P5,000 “out of the blue”) Framie was able to up her game. Months after the loan from her MIL, her husband encouraged her to buy a heavy-duty mixer that cost Php36,000.

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    “I borrowed my husband’s credit card, so I can buy it in installment. He said to look at it as a business investment to learn how to circulate the money.”

    (Left) Framie with her first big purchase eventually paid off the mixer from her baking earnings. Now she counts Jodi Sta. Maria as one of her clients.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Framie Hollera-Jose
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    Starting at one to two orders per week, Framie would only earn Php10,000 to Php12,000 more or less, but today she gets an average of 15-25 orders a month and “way more on peak months.” Her average monthly earnings are now Php40,000 to Php70,000 and exceed Php100,000 on peak months like December.

    She has two trusted persons handling cake deliveries, and “no one else.”

    Framie says joining online baking groups, such as Bake Happy Manila and Bake-O-Logy and mom groups like Glam-O-Mamas and Millenial Moms helped her business.

    “I remember a few moms asking recommendations on custom cakes, and I started tagging my page and posting some sample products even if a lot of other bakeshops were posting their products, too.”

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    Small business in time of quarantine

    Framie discovered people will always look for cakes for special occasions even when in quarantine. Right after the COVID-19 lockdown mid-March 2020, orders either got canceled or were moved to an indefinite date. But, two weeks into the quarantine, inquiries and orders started to pour in. “Fortunately, business is doing good. Families, it turns out, would still like to celebrate birthdays and milestones with at least a cake.”

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    When the pandemic is over, Framie hopes to open a physical store. She is also mulling doing an online baking class for moms and kids and ultimately work on a book where she can share everything she knows about baking.

    And to her fellow moms who would like to give the baking business a try, she says, now is the best time to do it. “No matter how challenging the situation we are in, now is the best time to push for it. The demand is high, all bakers are busy, and everybody eats at home.”

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