A LARGE percentage of young people start their careers, after graduating from college, working in companies and not starting their own businesses.
Many think they have to work first in order to earn the money they need. The thought of opening any kind of business only comes in later in life, perhaps when they are already in their 30s or 40s.
But such is not the case for a businesswoman Shiela Andrea Cang.
From doing garage sales in high school, working part time as part of the accounting and sales team in a resto bar during college, to building her own cafe, 31-year-old Shiela has her sight straight to her goal, knowing what she wants and how to achieve it.
Even as a kid, Shiela always came up with plans for her future business and started selling goods, like second hand clothes or ukay-ukay.
“Even before pa, bata pa ko, mag sige naman kog tinda sa balay. Dayun kami sa akong friend, dili man mi makalaag, wa mi allowance, so mag sige mi og garage sale, sa amo ra pong area (when I was still a kid, I always sell goods in our house. Then my friend and I, since we don't go malling because we don't have allowances, we always do garage sales in our area),” Cang said, adding that even after graduating college, she still sold second hand clothes via social media.
A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Xavier University, Shiela is confident of her skills in marketing as she spent the last year of her college working part time in a resto bar in Nazareth, this city, and a year working after graduating in Riverview Hotel, both under the sales and accounting department.
Gaining these experiences only fueled her desire to start a business of her own.
And unlike anyone, she did not feel the need for more work experience as an employee for another company, and neither did her parents who gave her their full trust and support.
“Akong parents grabe kaayo ka supportive. Wala gyud ko nila gi-inganan og ‘Hoy pagtrabaho.’ So murag ‘Unsa man imong gusto? Sige testingi.’ Kabalo sila na ang business risk gyud na sya, up and down. Pero open sila ana. Wala ko nila gi-oblige ana so gipasagdan ko nila sa akong gusto pero wala pud nako sila na down (My parents are really supportive. They never did tell me ‘Hey, you need to work.’ So it’s like ‘What is it that you want to do? Okay, try it.’ They know that in business there are risks, it’s up and down. But they are open to the idea. They let me do what I wanted to and in turn I felt I shouldn't let them down),” Cang said.
It was in 2010 that the then 23-year-old Shiela, with a partnership with a friend, opened her first shop, a boutique which sold brand new clothes that are trendy with millennials.
“Sa pagsugod nako'g sayo sa negosyo, daghang nakakita kun unsa ka kapursigido bahala'g wala pa ka na milyonaryo (When I started my business, there are several people who saw how determined I was even though I'm not a millionaire),” Shiela said.
Although she spent several years in charge in marketing her business, this did not fully satisfy Shiela as her hear was not into fashion but in the cafe business.
“Pagka 2011-2012, gusto na ko mag expand unta para naay cafe pero lisod pa man gyud (In 2011-2012, I wanted to expand my business by adding a cafe but it’s still difficult for me that time),” Cang said.
It was her meeting with a former schoolmate and now boyfriend, Bruce dela Cerna, back in 2016 that pushed her to take the risk and established another business.
And in July 25, 2016, Shake and Brew Cafe was born.
It was an office space located in the second floor of the A&M Building, Tomas Saco St., Cagayan de Oro City when Shiela found the place. Despite the fact that cafes are usually found in the ground floor rather than the upper floor, Shiela still opt to use the space and converted it into a venue for students and professionals alike to relax and chat.
And although it was her second shop, Shiela felt more in tune with working in the cafe as she herself could be seen manning the shop, serving and chatting with customers, taking care of the marketing side of the business and even helping in the training of their staff.
She also believed that it is not necessary to loan a huge amount of money just to buy expensive or branded things like furniture. You can still buy something durable but still within the affordable price range.
She has no need for cuteness and over-the-top designs. All she needs is creativity and innovation, Cang said.
“If naa gyud sa imo ang imong (If you have the) passion like you don't open because gusto ka naa lang kay (just because you wanted to have a) cute space or to please everybody. Siguro if feeling nimo na kaya mo sya panindigan (Perhaps if you have the guts to stand for what you feel like doing) then you have everybody's support, labi na ang imong family, wala gyuy problema na mo-diritso ka. Pero you have to consider gyud the pros and the cons (especially from your family, you will have no problem. But you still have to consider the pros and cons),” she added.
“Ayaw pagpabilib kung kabalo ka ikaw gakahadlok pa ka (Don't be overconfident if you're still scared of trying),” Shiela said.