For 35-year-old Anna Co-Tan, it gave her precious time - enough to start a business of producing thoughtfully made journals dedicated to her daughter.
"It came to me that I wanted to document her story, I wanted to be able to tell her, "This is what happened, these are the things we went through."
A gift to your child
In an exclusive interview with Smart Parenting, this mom of one from Pasay City shared how she was able to create "The Great Adventure: Your First Five Years," a locally-made journal that parents could use to help document their children's milestones.
She said she received a record book from her parents, and she wanted to do something similar for her baby, but she couldn't find one locally that fits her needs. This inspired her to create this baby journal for her daughter, as well as for other parents who may be looking for the same.
"I think it's something very personal for us, especially as parents, when you get to write with your own handwriting. These are very personal touches that when you give it to your kid, it's really a gift from a parent to a child."
Anna said it's perfect for parents who want to remember fond memories with their kids, but end up dumping those precious photos in their phones.
"These are very intimate moments and experiences, and you don't necessarily need to post all of these things on social media," she said.
No business background needed
Being in a corporate job ever since she started working, Anna said she didn't know how to run a business. But having a 'why' and time was enough to make her take the risk and keep going.
"I'm grateful to my OB for putting me on bed rest. When people say bed rest, they would say, "Ang boring-boring na ng life ko!" I think you could actually take advantage of that as a time to reset, to find new things, and to connect with yourself and that's how I found my why," she said.
After all, Anna shared, running a business includes managing budgets, timelines, and contracts, and those were the things she had to learn as she go along.
"Now that I launched the product, it's not as easy as magpopost ako one time, may benta na. It's also a learning process," she stressed.
Just like the uncertainties of pregnancy, Anna shared there were a lot of challenges she experienced in creating the journal. "There's a lot of self-doubts; you're creating something new, you put your heart and mind into it, and you ask yourself, "Am I wasting my time? Can I really do this?"
"The answer really is as long as you did your due diligence, you researched, you asked, you took feedback, and then you studied it, and then you take a risk, because you never really will know until you try," she said.
She then shared some tips for parents who also wanted to start a business.
1. It takes a community
"For parents who want to launch a business, it's never really a one-person team, you need a community to help support you," Anna shared.
As a new parent, she is very grateful to her husband and in-laws for giving her the gift of time. But how did she convince her family to give her time? It brings us to number 2.
2. Know your why
"The reason has to be deeper than just to sell it, it has to be deeper than para may kita, it has to be deeper na, I want this as a legacy for my child, I want this as an affirmation to myself, I want to be able to do this because _____."
"And if you know why you are so driven to do it, and why you wake up in the middle of the night wanting to be able to create it, then that is the one that will drive you, your compass that will give you direction on where you want to take your product, how you want to bring it to life," she added.
"It's what I communicated to my husband and my in-laws, and thats why they understand why this means so much to me," she said.
3. Research and get feedback
As parents, oftentimes we don't welcome advice, but if you want to start a business, you need to be open to feedback so you can get insights from different perspectives.
However, Anna suggests to be wary with all the feedback you receive, "Always return to your why. You have to be able to make that decision whether whatever they are telling you resonates with the reason why you are creating that product. Minsan ang daming advice pero hindi siya swak sayo."
4. Just launch your most viable product
This is an important tip that Anna shared. "Minsan, ang daming suggestions, 'Lagyan mo ng ganyan, ganito.' Let me launch the product first, all of the other accessories will follow," she said.
5. Don't expect things to happen overnight
'"Pag nagawa mo na yung produkto, wag ka muna magresign! Hindi yan overnight nabebenta," she explained. "Just because you have a product doesn't mean it's gonna sell overnight, you still have to do work."
When you create a product with a purpose, other than profit, it has rewards. "It warms my heart when you get to sell it, parents would say, "I love this, I could use it for my kid." It's something they could cherish and enjoy in their own unique personal relationship."
What's unique about 'The Great Adventure' journal
What we love about the journal that Anna made is that it's gender-inclusive, interactive, fully-colored, and comprehensive.
The theme "The Great Adventure" was inspired by Anna and her husband's love for travel. She explained, having a child is indeed a big adventure. "No matter how much you plan when you travel, a lot of stuff would happen, like having a child."
The journal is ring-bound, which is perfect because it can help you document your child's life from birth up to five years old, so it grows with you.
Finally, the journal is proudly Pinoy-made. It was designed, illustrated, and published in the Philippines.
This is the best gift for yourself, and for another mom during her baby shower or upon giving birth.
Anna hopes that every parent who will purchase this product will cherish it not just for the present, but for the future.
"We all have stories to tell, as parents, we want to remember the moments but with everything happening, we tend to forget. These are moments we want to keep alive, they are affirmations, achievements, though small, when you record them, you realize they are actually very big things," she said.
She also gave us a beautiful reminder on what the journal can hold, "This is the story of a child. This is your unique story, nobody else not even your brother or sister will have the same story as you."
Get a FREE Agukaka Journals notepad when you buy the Smart Parenting Baby Bag here.