#GRLPWR: Inspiring Women in Business

The short but powerful slogan, Girl Power (GRLPWR), celebrates the strength and capabilities of girls and women– that they can do anything they set their minds to and become leaders and trailblazers in the fields that they want to be in.

At Ayala Center Cebu, there are many businesses run by women entrepreneurs of different ages and backgrounds, proving that they are more than capable of leading and excelling in business and entrepreneurship, as is in other fields. 

As we close Women’s Month, three girl bosses and womenpreneurs share the lessons they have learned in starting a business and how they are encouraging other women to exercise their GRL PWR.

Tatah Dela Calzada, Founder and Creative Director, ATE BY TATAH (Level 1, Ayala Center Cebu)

Tatah Dela Calzada described herself as a “late bloomer” in the fashion industry, but this did not stop her from opening ATE BY TATAH after retirement.

“I realized I can change my mind and it’s never too late to learn and love something new. I realized I can be happiest in the field where I can be more effective in making more people, especially women, happy,” she said.

Through her business, Calzada helps girls and women exercise their GRL PWR by boosting their confidence and self-esteem.

“ATE is advocating body neutrality by creating clothes that enhance our figure and encourages the client to feel beautiful and confident in whatever skin they have. We are encouraging individuality. We alter the clothes to suit the clients’ preferences and make ‘it’ their own design,” she said.

Angela Elaine Albulario Rapes, Director of Operations, Magic Fit Alteration Shop (Basement 1, Ayala Center Cebu)

In starting a business, Angela Rapes advised budding women entrepreneurs to ask themselves four questions: “What do I love doing? What am I good at? What does the world need? and What can I be paid for?”

“These helped me realize my goal not just [as] a woman but as a business person in duplicating myself for passive income and creating jobs [for] the deserving,” she said.

Through the years, Magic Fit Alteration Shop has helped empower their all-women staff who love and enjoy their work.

“Our staff are all women and they have been with us for so many years already. They have evolved from single girls, married women, and some still working lolas. They are living proof that ‘life is having something that keeps us busy doing what we love, to fill us with meaning and happiness while being surrounded by the people who love us.’ My staff and I are proud to claim that this is evident in the high quality of our service,” she said.

Cristy Uytengsu, Director of Operations, Tsim Sha Tsui Dimsum & Tea Bar (Level 1, Ayala Center Cebu)

Inspired by her many trips to Hongkong, Cristy Uytengsu, wanted to make dim sum available at any time of the day for Cebuanos. Tsim Sha Tsui started while she was doing an internship abroad.

“Be confident about yourself first and foremost.” she shares. She mentioned that one of the most important lessons she has learned is to accept criticism and embrace every challenge. “Just push yourself out of your comfort zone that includes innovating and adapting to change. Like in any other business, it requires a lot of your time and effort to reach your goals. Don’t give up and always have a positive mindset.” she said.

Cristy shares that their company is mostly headed by women, the majority of their crew are also women. She believes that supporting Women Empowerment helps give them freedom in decision-making and allows their voices to be heard.

“It’s important to celebrate Women’s Month in order to educate girls and women that they too can dream of being a girl boss.” she said. 

Tatah Dela Calzada, Angela Elaine Albulario Rapes, and Cristy Uytengsu are just three of the many Cebuanas who are inspiring and paving the way for more women to join, become leaders, and make a name for themselves in their field of choice.

Support women-owned businesses and show appreciation to the inspiring women in your life at Ayala Center Cebu. For more information, like @AyalaCebu on Facebook and follow @AyalaCenterCebu on Twitter and Instagram.

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