The sudden onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last 2020, and the lockdowns and safety protocols that ensued, forced many entrepreneurs to reinvent their operations overnight in order to survive. Among those who weathered this challenge was fashion entrepreneur and TV personality Roxanne Montealegre, who was quick to make a digital shift and eventually made a success out of her business.
Before the crisis, the TV host spent most of her days at shoots while she ran her side hustle, A-List Custom Clothing, making sports apparel and school wear for a steady base of customers. Then, almost without warning, the lockdown was imposed and everything came to a standstill.
While staying safely at home, it dawned on Roxanne that if her business was to survive at all, she needed to figure out how to transform it into an online enterprise, and she had to do it fast. Thankfully, PLDT Home allowed her to do just that.
PLDT Home Biz offers an internet plan that’s specially designed for home-based entrepreneurs like Roxanne. Aside from giving subscribers super-fast connectivity, PLDT Home Biz provides a complete e-commerce program that provides end-to-end support for home-based entrepreneurs – from building an online selling platform, to making and accepting online payments, to logistics solutions.
Beyond digitally transforming her business to enable her and them to work from home, Roxanne also had to make a bigger business decision. To stay relevant and help address the demand during a health crisis, Roxanne had to innovate and expand her product offering to include personal protective equipment (PPE) for everyday use.
Thus, Project Frontline PH was established. A couple of months into the business, Roxanne’s strategy proved successful that they were even able to donate nearly 5,000 PPEs to 100 hospitals.
Adapting fast to change with best practices
Roxanne’s strategic move was borne of her entrepreneurial commitment to opportunity. As seasoned entrepreneurs know, being innovative and creative in business is not enough. One should be willing to act quickly and adapt to change to pursue an opportunity – especially in a time of crisis.
“So much has changed, so fast. So, we also had to move fast. In my mind, shutting the business down was not an option. There had to be a way, and we were committed to finding an opportunity which we could make the most of,” Roxanne said.
Roxanne went into deep research about producing PPEs and anti-bacterial clothing, adopting more effective ways of working remotely and providing her employees with the tools to go digital. Her husband, Mark Luz of Qure Corp., was also quick to show her the ins and outs of the industry.
The business decision demanded a lot from her and her staff but their efforts ultimately paid off. Aside from helping alleviate the heavy demand for PPEs in the health sector, it enabled her staff to make ends meet amid a crisis that forced many to lose their job. Knowing how vital fast connection is for her business setup, she also provided PLDT Home connection to her province-based seamstresses, and it proved to be most user-friendly and accessible.
“I grew up in a house powered by PLDT Home and I only trust brands trusted by my mom as well. I was so thankful that I’ve been a PLDT Home subscriber so all I had to do was explore how best I can use my connection at home to make our digital transition possible. Before the pandemic, I loved the fact that my internet connection has always been consistently fast. Thanks to PLDT Home, it was like having a business partner at home that is as committed to your success as you,” Roxanne said.
No surprise, since for the last four years, PLDT Home has consistently been named by the Ookla® Speedtest Awards™ as the fastest broadband network in the Philippines, besting all other internet providers in the country.
Roxanne adds, “My hometown Marinduque is now fibered up so I made sure I can ‘work from anywhere’ now by also connecting to PLDT Home our century-old house that we restored, so I can enjoy the gift of living the island life and working there from time to time.”
Rising by uplifting each other
The best part of Roxanne’s business changeover, however, was the opportunity it afforded her to evolve into a purpose-driven entrepreneur. And it’s something she finds most gratifying.
“For me, doing business now is less about competing and more about collaboration. To really thrive means to work hand in hand with different industries, partners, and communities where we belong. Just working together to contribute towards something bigger that benefits others,” shared Roxanne.
Roxanne’s foray into PPE manufacturing also enabled her to create a spinoff venture – Someday Maybe PH, a brand of “pandemic-proof” everyday wear. Its line includes clothing made with anti-bacterial fabrics and PPEs designed to look more casual, with the help of weavers from provinces that relied heavily on tourism, which have yet to recover due to the continuing COVID 19 safety mandates.
Roxanne also makes sure that she continues to learn by keeping herself connected with other women entrepreneurs. Through PLDT Home Biz and the Facebook group Madiskarte Moms PH (MMPH), an online community of home-based “mompreneurs,” Roxanne gets ideas and tips, has access to business tools and resources, and is able to network with other like-minded businesswomen. MMPH has been making such an impact on its members that, in celebration of their hard work and success, MMPH will hold its first ever annual awards this year -- which Roxanne herself will be hosting. Powered by PLDT Home Biz, the event dubbed “Gawad Madiskarte 2022: Pagkilala sa Tagumpay ng Madiskarteng Pinay” will be on March 8, 2022, aptly coinciding the International Women’s Day.
As the country moves into a new era of remote entrepreneurship, more and more home-based business owners like Roxanne are discovering how they too can thrive via the fastest internet connectivity of PLDT Home Biz and its free e-commerce solutions.
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