5 artistic mompreneurs show that you can do what you love while raising a family

Published May 11, 2021, 5:27 PM

by Jessica Pag-iwayan

Artwork by Ariana Malapit

In celebration of this year’s Mothers’Day, we asked five hands-on mommies on how they balance their careers as artists and businesswomen while taking good care of their respective families. 

Nina Hidalgo
30-year-old miniature artist and a stay-at-home mother
Daughter Nissie, three

Why did you venture into this arts and crafts business?
I’ve been into arts and crafts ever since I was a child. There was just a phase in my life where I stopped because I had to work at an early age. So when I had the chance to go back to it a few months after giving birth, I took the opportunity and did not think twice. Then I met a local artist who does handmade journals and so my miniature painting in tiny books began.

How challenging is it to make arts while looking after your child?
Having a child alone is such a challenging task, and I don’t know how my mom was able to handle it all. I guess the toughest part for me is when I want to execute an idea as soon as I think about it, but I can’t because it can’t be a priority as of the moment. I have to put it aside and take care of the things on top of my list, and when I finally have time to do it, the fire is no longer burning.

How do you balance your career as an entrepreneur/artist and as a mom?
Now that my daughter is three years old and is now used to taking a nap during the afternoon, I make use of those hours to do process videos, take photos, reply to emails and at least interact with my social media audience and watch some series on the side. Being a parent can mold you to become a different version of yourself, you evolve mentally and emotionally.

Prescious Anne C. Tablante
35-year-old macrame artist
Children Super Angelo, four years old, and Prescious Wonder, two years old 

How did you start in this art venture?
Most people whom I’ve worked with in the hospitality industry would say I’m a workaholic. But I had to give up my full-time job when my son was born in 2016. That’s when I started making natural soaps, personal care products, and anything DIY just to keep myself busy. My second pregnancy in 2018 was more difficult. I got skin allergies so I couldn’t work with anything that involves chemicals. I also suffered from prenatal depression so, all the more, I needed a mental distraction. That’s when I found a macramé workshop for bag-making in Metro Manila and fell in love with the craft. But I wanted something unique, something new, and decided to venture into making macrame jewelry. As a crystal enthusiast, I eventually thought of incorporating natural gemstones/crystals in my work and that’s how Wonderknots Ph started. 

How challenging is it to make arts with two little kids?
It’s quite challenging as I have to do everything myself— from sourcing out suppliers, making social media content, taking photos, creating the piece, inventory, packaging, labelling, shipping out and tracking orders. As one of my clients calls it—superwoman as its finest. But I’m blessed to have a very supportive husband who’s hands-on when it comes to the kids so this makes my mom-life a lot easier. 

How do you balance your career as an entrepreneur/artist and as a mom?
The cliche “when you love what you do, you just do it” is applicable to me. I don’t plan my time or make schedules. At first, it was very difficult since I’m breastfeeding my daughter and she’s really clingy. But eventually, everyone in the house got used to it. Now, when I feel that I have to create a piece I just tell my husband then we communicate it to our children. I’m equally blessed to have smart and understanding kids. But of course, most of the time I create pieces when they are asleep! Peace and quiet. 

Oats Tiu
38-year-old resin artist
Son Archer, 2.5 years old

Why did you venture into this arts and crafts business?
When I still had a day job, I needed something to help me destress and I found that doing something artsy has helped me get into a zone of meditation. My first love will always be calligraphy and I got several commissioned projects that helped support my hobby. Then I got interested in painting and received a few projects here and there for it. In-person workshops used to be a thing so I had my fair share of conducting those which truly helped finance my family.
About three years ago, my husband and I needed something bigger to support our growing family. I was pregnant then and knew that we had to find a craft that can become a legit business. He’s very much into art as well so we brainstormed with that in mind.
Resin art wasn’t that trendy yet but we saw the potential in it so we invested in supplies and made a whole lot of experimental sample pieces. Eventually grew confident enough to start selling those pieces and soon after, we started receiving commissions for different resin products.

How challenging is it to make arts and raising a child at the same time?
Because raw resin fumes is quite harmful, we always make sure never to allow our son anywhere near the resin materials. The thing is, a lot of post-processes go into creating a resin product so that means I have to wake up around 5:30 a.m. everyday to ensure I can finish as much resin work as I can and pack up orders for shipment before my son wakes up and starts looking for me.
He’s at that age now when he sees my art materials, he’ll want to pick them up and pretend to do whatever it is that he’s seen me do. The only time I can actually get work done is when he’s gone to bed at night or napping in the afternoon. 

How do you balance your career as an entrepreneur/artist and as a mom?
|You know that saying “you sleep when the baby sleeps”? All parents know that it’s easier said than done. Because of the many tasks waiting for me to finish during the day, I tried to do as much work as I can when my baby sleeps but I realized that burns me out faster.
So eventually, I realized that the perfect balance for me is when my son naps, I can be on my phone working by answering inquiries and taking note of orders instead of doing more physical tasks.
When my boy sleeps at night, I’ve finally decided to join him in doing so. We still co-sleep so it’s easy to wind down together until he falls into deep slumber. Should I find myself waking up a few hours later and he’s still sleeping, I’ll then get up to get some work done. But lately, and most often than not, I allow myself to sleep along with him and just wake up at an earlier time the following day so that I won’t get burned out too fast.
It truly is difficult trying to balance working life with motherhood. But thankfully I have an extremely supportive husband who is also very hands-on with child care who then allows me more hours to work while he does the morning tasks with our son then, I’ll take over for the afternoon.

May Samson-Lalata
40-year-old business owner/brand marketing consultant
Daughter Chia Samson, 22

How did it start? 
I’ve been handcrafting with beads and fabrics turning them into necklaces or bracelets for years now but it was only until two years before MIRTH&YIFT™ was officially launched in 2018 when I ventured into making handcrafted earrings for business. 
There are multiple reasons why people venture into things that interest them – creativity, challenge, passion and a business mindset. For me, I wanted to create a brand where I can bring together the creativity I believe I have and the years of experience I have so worked hard for. It is more than just a passion for me. It is a job that I want to be better at. 

How challenging is it to make arts while guiding a young adult of today’s generation?
Guiding a daughter who is adulting is a complicated process of parenting: you want them to learn from you and your experiences by setting examples or by continuously giving advice. I also believe that this process is where we, as mothers/parents, get to learn from them. To relate this principle to doing what I do while also looking after my young adult – I let her work speak for the kind of guidance she is given. 
Chia is 22 years old and at her age, she is carving out her own foundation of interesting experiences, of things that she is best at. She is currently a BA Theatre Arts major, maintains a blog (chiasamson.com) and has recently started an accessories brand called mija. She was a student DJ at 94.7 for almost 3 years (2016-2019) and was an essay writing champion before college. Soon enough, she will be graduating from UP and from the same department as I did two decades ago.
I am proud to be a mother of a millennial who takes a lot after me but more importantly, one who is also so different from me.

How do you balance your career as an entrepreneur/artist and as a mom?
I am lucky to have a husband who understands my career. I am lucky to have a daughter who can fend for herself. I am lucky to have a work-from-home setup since 2018. In other words, balancing my career and my being a homemaker is made easy by my family and by the work itself. 
I work the whole day as a consultant and when the clock strikes 6 in the evening, my work table shifts to a whole new layout. Most of the work I do for MIRTH&YIFT™ are done at night and during the weekends.


Natasha Aliño
36-year-old entrepreneur
Daughter Maia, 14 years old

How did this start? 
I ventured into the arts and running a business, because I wanted to travel more and build something that I can call my own and have more flexibility with time. 

How challenging is to make art while looking after the welfare of your child?
This is quite ironic but the challenge is the feeling of not having enough time and energy to do more and what makes the situation more manageable is that Maia knows that I’m not a super mom. There will be hits and misses and making it a point that it will be all hits for the things that really matter the most.

How do you balance your career as an entrepreneur/artist and as a mom?
I think it’s having that mindset that it’s not all about the number of hours you spend with your child, it’s about making the moments count and investing in the right places. As a mother to a teenager, I make it a point that I take time to listen to her stories, new learnings, and questions with the intention to truly understand and provide some guidance that would be helpful in her growing up journey that is full of curiosity and self-discovery. It’s investing in meaningful conversations that may not take a lot of time but have a lasting impact.