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Owning A Piece Of America

Owning A Piece Of America - Season 3 Episode 2 Season 3 Episode 2 With Host Faith Bautista and guests - Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova owner of Californila Business and Lemuel Balagot owner of LA Rose Cafe.

 


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Another Young Filipina Businesswoman is Making Waves in the US

What started as a “pakisuyo” became a lucrative business for an enterprising young Filipina.

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is the 27-year-old founder of Californila, a ‘personal shopping’ online store where customers from Manila can purchase items which are only available in the US.

She said that the idea behind Californila goes back to the Filipino tradition of sending balikbayan boxes. With the money she earned from her part-time work in a cafe in California, she would buy send items for her friends and relatives in the Philippines.

Image from FemaleNetwork.com

Soon enough, her friends and relatives offered to cover her transportation shipping expenses. At that point, Ishka decided to embark on this business undertaking by creating an online store.

It was not easy at first. Ishka had to juggle between jobs and other responsibilities; not to mention that, at that time, she does not have the money to fund orders from her customers.

She also had to be awake and working nearly 24/7 because she needs to attend to her Filipino clients, who are in a different time zone from hers. Add to that the demands of her full-time and part-time jobs that she needs to keep to fund her growing business.

Ishka learned the value of work earlier than most people of her age. At age 11, she started working on clerical tasks in the company of her parents. Through this job, she learned how to multi-task and to spot a good opportunity when she sees one.

Now, Ishka’s Californila provides a source of income, not only for herself but her relatives as well. One of her “more matured” staff is one of her social media managers who also happens to be her 83-year-old grandmother!

When asked for advice to would-be entrepreneurs here or in a foreign land, Ishka said “Life is all about taking risks, if you never take a chance you will never achieve your dreams because you’ll be in the same place as you were yesterday. Great achievements happen when you step out of your comfort zone, building this business took a lot of hard work and perseverance. You either take the risk or lose an opportunity to be a better version of yourself”.

Article Source: Definitely Filipino

This Filipina Businesswoman’s Life Has Changed Because of Online Shopping

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is no stranger to hard work. In fact, at 11 years old, her parents had already exposed her to clerical tasks in their company—an experience which trained her to multi-task and eventually challenged her to become more enterprising.

Now at 27, she is the owner of Californila, a fast-growing personal shopping online store that provides Manila-based customers with items only available in the US. What started out as pakisuyo and padala now provides Ishka more than just stability, but a means to provide jobs for her relatives and friends while also allowing her to follow her passion. (Her 83-year-old grandmother is one of her social media managers!)
 
In our recent online correspondences, Ishka shared her story in the hopes of inspiring Pinoy immigrants to jump into doing what they love, even if they’re far away from home.

“When I moved to the US, like any other immigrant, I didn’t know what to expect. All I wanted was to go back to school to learn more about the tech industry and gain experience in a job related to my field.”

However, in spite of her homesickness, she was presented with an opportunity: personal shopping. Having access to US-exclusive products made her the default shopper of her family and friends in the Philippines. This brought about the early beginnings of Californila.

“The whole idea of Californila originated from the Filipino tradition of sending balikbayan boxes to our loved ones in the Philippines,” she explained. “When I made a bit of money from a part-time job at a cafe, I would send items that are worthy to share to my friends and relatives in the Philippines.”

It became so prolific that her family and friends in Manila would offer to pay for a personal shopping fee, which would cover her transportation and shipping expenses. From then on, she decided to formalize the process, initially starting a shop on the now defunct Multiply before creating her own online store which has grown to become Californila.

While Ishka is now enjoying the fruits of her labor, it wasn’t easy building her name in a foreign land. Aside from initially not having enough funds to accommodate orders, she was also juggling several other jobs and responsibilities.

 

“Another issue I faced was the time difference,” she said. Despite having to be at work by 7AM in the US, Ishka had to take care of her business until the wee hours of the morning because she was catering to people in the Philippines. On top of that, she also had a full-time job as a receptionist and a part-time job at a cafe. She ended up having to dedicate her free time to Californila. And “it was a one-woman show,” she described.

All this she would do while catering to her online customers, with whom she still needed to build professional trust. “Promoting Californila to the Filipino community in the first years was also kind of tough because I was not physically there and I really want to provide them with great customer service. I started with my friends and colleagues and of course with the help of social media, our service grew by word-of-mouth.”

 
While she had it rough, giving up never crossed Ishka’s mind.

“I actually never thought of [giving up] because what pushes me forward is seeing it grows and getting a lot of positive feedback from new referrals and loyal customers. This actually challenged me to even improve the quality of service we gave them the day before.”

Ishka kept her customers at the heart of her business. “I think about what they want, what they need and what will make them happy,” she said, and this honest willingness to serve her fellow Filipinos has paid off, as Californila is slowly becoming the go-to site for those looking for hard-to-acquire US products.

“The best reward that my hard work provided me is to see the excitement of the customers in getting their orders and that they saved time and money with our personal shopping service. To hear that they wouldn’t think twice in referring us or ordering more items is really fulfilling as well. Whenever they are able to buy an item that canât be found in the Philippines, I feel like we’ve accomplished something together.”

As for those who wish to venture out on their own and create their own business either here or abroad but are afraid to do so, Ishka has this advice:

“Life is all about taking risks, if you never take a risk you will never achieve your dreams because you’ll be on the same place as you were yesterday. Great achievements happen when you step out of your comfort zone, building this business took a lot of hard work and perseverance. You either take the risk or lose an opportunity to be a better version of yourself.”

*This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.

Article Source: Preview

 


Meet the 27-Year Old Filipina Whose Online Business Is Making It Big in the US

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is no stranger to hard work. In fact, at 11 years old, her parents had already exposed her to clerical tasks in their company—an experience which trained her to multi-task and challenged her to become more enterprising.

Now at 27, she is the owner of Californila, a fast-growing “personal shopping” online store that provides Manila-based customers with items only available in the US. What started out as pakisuyo and padala now provides Ishka more than just stability, but a means to provide jobs for her relatives and friends while allowing her to follow her passions. (Her 83-year-old grandmother is one of her social media managers!)

In our recent online correspondences, Ishka shared her story in the hopes of inspiring Pinoy immigrants to jump into doing what they love, even if they’re far away from home.

“When I moved to the US, like any other immigrant, I didn’t know what to expect. All I wanted was to go back to school to learn more about the tech industry and gain experience in a job related to my field.”

However, in spite of her homesickness, she was presented with an opportunity: personal shopping. Having access to US-exclusive products made her the taga-bili of her family and friends in the Philippines. This brought about the early beginnings of Californila.

“The whole idea of Californila originated from the Filipino tradition of sending balikbayan boxes to our loved ones in the Philippines,” she explained. “When I made a bit of money from a part-time job at a café, I would send items that are worthy to share to my friends and relatives in the Philippines.”

It became so prolific that her family and friends in Manila would offer to pay for a “personal shopping fee” which would cover her transportation and shipping expenses. From then on, she decided to formalize the process, initially starting a shop on the now defunct Multiply, before creating her own online store which has grown to become Californila.

While Ishka is now enjoying the fruits of her labor, it wasn’t easy building her name in a foreign land. Aside from initially not having enough funds to accommodate orders, she was also juggling several other jobs and responsibilities.

All this she would do while catering to her online customers, with whom she still needed to build professional trust. “Promoting Californila to the Filipino community in the first years was also kind of tough because I was not physically there and I really want to provide them with great customer service. I started with my friends and colleagues and of course with the help of social media, our service grew by word-of-mouth.”

“I actually never thought of [giving up] because what pushes me forward is seeing it grows and getting a lot of positive feedback from new referrals and loyal customers. This actually challenged me to even improve the quality of service we gave them the day before.”

Ishka kept her customers at the heart of her business. “I think about what they want, what they need and what will make them happy,” she said, and this honest willingness to serve her fellow Filipinos has paid off, as Californila is slowly becoming the go-to site for those looking for hard-to-acquire US products.

“Life is all about taking risks, if you never take a risk you will never achieve your dreams because you’ll be on the same place as you were yesterday. Great achievements happen when you step out of your comfort zone, building this business took a lot of hard work and perseverance. You either take the risk or lose an opportunity to be a better version of yourself.”

Article Source: Female Network

Paving the way for technopreneurs: Start-ups at UP JMA’s NEXT

Technopreneurs, or technology-based entrepreneurs, have been rising as of late. They’re often run by young entrepreneurs, usually millennials, with a purpose in mind other than making money: public service, pursuing their passion, etc.

These companies seem to come out of nowhere and become success stories seemingly overnight. They start off as an idea, and blossom into something that’s suddenly the talk of the town. They cater to things you wouldn’t have thought of, or may have but never had the chance to pursue.

The University of the Philippines – Junior Marketers Association (UP JMA) recently held NEXT: Kickstarting Innovation at the Gateway Gallery in Quezon City to introduce some of these tech start-ups.

CALIFORNILA. Delivering anything you purchase from any international online store that ships to the US straight to your door. Know more about them at californila.com.

 

GAVA. Crowdfunding for a cause… no matter how big or small it may be. Learn more at gavagives.com.

 

MOBER. You’ve heard of Grab and Uber? Think of Mober as something similar… but for delivery and/or moving vans. Know how to move at a click at www.mober.ph, or download the app from App Store or Google Play.

We picked out two of the most unique start-ups that graced the event, start-ups that you should keep your eyes on in the coming years:

Shapecloud

3D printing has been around for a while, but Filipinos often associate it with foreign companies that use it to build high-tech equipment. Local companies often resort to overseas orders just so they can prototype a certain product or part of a product, often to debilitating costs… until today.

Shapecloud, the country’s first online 3D printing platform, gives locals access to a user-friendly option that doesn’t require you to go to offshore companies just to bring a 3D model to life. Some of the services they provide are 3D scanning, CAD services, and, of course, 3D printing.

 

Shapecloud makes 3D printing look like an ordinary process by letting users either upload their designs on their website or choose from the many designs they have in store. You can also have them do 3D models of photos you have, though that would cost you extra.

They’ve already gotten a foothold in the country thanks to partnerships with businesses and schools, particularly those who deal with engineering and architecture. They have also branched out to producing one-of-a-kind memorabilia, which you can have shipped directly to your home anywhere in the country or the world!

To know more about Shapecloud, visit their website www.shapecloud.ph or follow them on social media (Shapecloud on Facebook and @shapecloudph on Instagram).

Mica PH

Waiting in line is trivial for most countries, but it’s a part of everyday life in the Philippines. Anywhere you go, there’s a line you have to stand and wait in before you get to what you want… only to be led to another line.

 

Three Ateneo high school students saw this as an opportunity and created Mica Q, an online application that lets you queue up for an appointment with a doctor, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) embassy without the need to actually line up.

Mica Q is like setting an appointment – only smarter. All you need to do as the user is to choose the date and time of your appointment and you’re good to go. A text message confirms your appointment, and integration with Waze makes sure you can make the most out of your day before having to go to your appointment.

Both the app and the appointment site are set to go live in mid-2017, but interested clients can already ask about their services by sending an email to contact@mica.ph. For updates on this unique app, follow them on Facebook (Mica PH) and Twitter (@teammicaph).

 

Article Source: Primer

Exclusive - Young Pinay Entrepreneur Creates Successful Online Business With Only $50

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is a 27-year-old Filipina migrant who lives in Los AngelesCalifornia. She created a website called Californila.com (formerly Stuff2Shop) - “a Personal Shopper and Shipper” site that been very popular with Pinoys who love imported goods.”
What was her inspiration? Shopping.

 

Specifically, she enjoyed the products and the shopping experience offered in the United States. It didn’t take too long before her relatives and friends to asked her to purchase items and commodities from American retailers in their stead. She happily took this opportunity to answer their “nakikisuyo”, “pabili”, and “padala” requests.

 

Ishka then realized how profitable this service was to other Filipinos looking to purchase items from the States.

 

“My friends and relatives were the ones who asked me for the ‘personal shopper fee’ because they realize there are expenses such as time, gas and shipping. That’s when I started the ‘Personal Shopper and Shipper’ service,” Ishka says.

 

At first, she conducted her business through Multiply, but decided to make her own website after discovering limitations her Multiply platform had. Ishka had a Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology Management graduate from De La Salle University. She made her own website instead.

 

When Californila.com was first starting out, they were receiving 5 to 10 product orders per month. Now they have around 5,000 to 8,000 orders a month and ship via SeaCargo and Air Cargo almost every day.

 

She did it all on her own, with only $50 she had earned.

 

With the money she makes, Iska can afford sportscars and her own house in L.A. She’s even employed her grandmother and other people from her community to help her out in her ever-growing business.

 

According to Ishka, “My business is a reflection of who I am. Handling my own business feels like I’m in my own playground. If you actually visit one of our offices, you’ll see a fun working environment where employees would consider it a place to work and play.”

 

She said, “If you’re looking to start your business, start it when you’re young so you’ll have more energy and motivation, more time to learn from your mistakes, you have fewer responsibilities, fewer commitments and much more time to make up for any losses you’ll incur.”

 

Congrats Ishka!

 

 

Young Pinay Entrepreneur Creates Successful Online Business With Only $50

 

Article Source: Trending Bible

With only US$50, LA-based Pinoy millennial starts successful online shopping business

Ishka and pre-Christmas deliveries. Photo by Ishka

Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova is 27 years old and lives in Los Angeles, California. She may seem like your regular Filipina migrant who is starting her family abroad, but in fact, she singlehandedly built an internet empire that capitalizes on Filipinos’ love for imported goods.

In her teens, she built Californila.com, formerly Stuff2Shop, an increasingly popular website that acts as your “Personal Shopper from California to Manila.” Whatever stuff you want in the US, Californila will personally purchase for you. It acts as your personal taga-padala that will ship straight to your door via Sea Cargo and Air Cargo, may it be in the Philippines or in other parts of the world. You may order from their online store, have a customized order, or even order in bulk.

Years later, because of Californila’s success, Ishka not only has the financial freedom to buy sports cars and her own house, but she also employed her grandmother and other members of her community.

Ishka and her team gets four batches of these orders in a day. Photo by Ishka

The American dream

Ishka migrated to Los Angeles with her family when she turned 18. She was fortunate enough to experience the exciting world of American shopping – she had access to the latest gadgets, novelty items and other unique products that her friends back in the Philippines wanted.

Having this opportunity, when she made a bit of money from a part time job at a café, she would send items that are worthy to share to her friends and relatives in the Philippines. It wasn’t long before her relatives, friends and friends-of-friends took this as an opportunity to obtain commodities from American retailers, similar to nakikisuyo or pabili.

“My friends and relatives were the ones who asked me for the ‘personal shopper fee’ because they realize there are expenses such as time, gas and shipping. That’s when I started the ‘Personal Shopper and Shipper’ service,” she recalled.

To make ordering easier for her potential customers, she first set up shop in Multiply back in 2007. She called it “Stuff2Shop” but she was always apprehensive of her dependence on the free shop hosting website.

“There were a lot of features that Multiply.com cannot accommodate so I decided to build my own site from [scratch]. I also had a bigger vision for the Californila website – to be an actual online store processing orders and special orders not on the product list on the site,” Ishka said.

Being a Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology Management graduate from De La Salle University – Manila, she quickly went to work to program her own website. She also created a system to make the process more efficient.

When the website Californila.com launched, they had around five to ten product orders a month and shipping once a month. Roughly three years later, they have around 5,000 to 8,000 product orders a month and they ship almost every day.

“We’re actually moving to [a] bigger warehouse this month which is four times bigger than our previous office space,” she said.

As the number of orders grew, Ishka realized that she is allowing Filipino consumers who are not in the US to experience the shopping privilege she had.

“I provided them with [a] faster, more convenient and more affordable way to shop for products from the US without needing to wait for their relatives to bring it to them as pasalubong,” she said.

 

Carefully sealing packages. Photo by Ishka

A one-woman show

The road to success hasn’t been easy for Ishka. For one, she did not have enough funds to accommodate all of the orders. She would even borrow money from her parents. Another issue she faced was the time difference.

“It was a one woman show – running the website, buying orders, taking the public transportation (because I didn’t drive back then), working the wee hours in the US until around 4 or 5 AM because it’s morning in the Philippines, and still having [to] go to work at 7 AM.”

Ishka explained that this routine is made more challenging because on top of all of her tasks, she still needs to do personal or household chores like cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. She had managed to survive, however, because she had been trained well in managing her time.

Before her migration to the States, she had already been a working student. In fact, she had been working as early as 11 years old, doing clerical tasks for her parents’ company.

“I actually would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to be exposed to these experiences at such an early age. Balancing school and work at age 11 can be challenging, but it’s really not that hard if you enjoy what you do,” she said.

Eventually, she was able to take on bigger tasks such as payroll and database management at the age of 14. She would go to Makati after she finished school in Quezon City to release the payroll for her mom’s employees. On weekends, she would also work with her mom on their database management company.

 

“It taught me how to manage my time effectively, to be more responsible for my actions and decisions but still have fun in everything I was doing. My parents made working seem like playing,” she said.

“At 18, I started taking more risks when I built my own businesses so I started taking my own risks, learning from my mistakes, accept failure but still never give up on your dreams,” she added.

And true enough, time management and her hard work paid off. Californila.com grew and it also paved way for her to establish other businesses. She also currently runs a one-stop-shop Digital Creative Agency in Los Angeles which offers website design, graphic design, marketing, video production/TV commercials, billboard production in Las Vegas, and across Los Angeles and many more.

She is also a partner of a popular online community portal for the Filipino people abroad. The portal provides up-to-date information on Filipino related businesses, events, deals and coupons, job openings and even offers easy-to-digest cultural information. It also gives the Filipino subscribers a voice and allows them to share valuable information and their experiences even if they are miles apart.

With her earnings, she was able to buy a brand new BMW Sports Car at the age of 18, a Mercedes Benz SUV at the age of 23, and a house in Los Angeles at the age of 25.

Despite these, Ishka believes that materials things should not establish the success of a person or a business.

“True success is not measured by material things. True success is your happiness. One of my happiness about running this company is having the ability to hire my 83-year-old grandmother as one of my social media managers and also provide jobs to those who deserve to get a chance,” she said.

Ishka and her crates of deliveries. Photo by Ishka

No limitations

Though she has faced initial challenges and some even doubted her capacities because of her young age, Ishka believes that age is not a weakness. She believes in the saying, “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”

“I think it’s all about the experience. There are a lot of hurdles I encountered that I know people I’m dealing with even threefold my age hasn’t even encountered. No matter what age you are, you can accomplish anything if you put your heart and soul into it,” she said.

“The funny part about building my business at a young age is, I am the youngest worker in the company!”

Ishka said that you need to conquer your fears before starting a business. From her experience, some of the common entrepreneurial fears are: (1) lacking enough background and knowledge to get started; (2) fear of failure; (3) being overwhelmed, and; (4) initially losing some of your own money.

“The fear of the unknown will always be there and there’s always a room for improvement, but I believe once you build your own structure and find people who you can trust and invest on, your business is on the right track,” she advised.

And of course, running her own business has its perks.

“My business is a reflection of who I am. Handling my own business feels like I’m in my own playground. If you actually visit one of our offices, you’ll see a fun working environment where employees would consider it a place to work and play,” she said.

Five years from now, Ishka looks forward to a lot of changes, especially since her business heavily relies on technology. For Californila, she’s envisioning the company to make online shopping abroad to be as simple as shopping at your local malls but getting the convenience of shopping from anywhere, from any of your mobile devices.

Despite the fickleness and fast-paced characteristic of a digital business, Ishka firmly believes that starting your business online is the way to go. She attested that it is extremely inexpensive, you’ll have more flexibility of your time, you have the freedom of choosing your location and you have unlimited income potential.

“If you’re looking to start your business, start it when you’re young so you’ll have more energy and motivation, more time to learn from your mistakes, you have less responsibilities, fewer commitments and much more time to make up for any losses you’ll incur.”

Article Source: Entrepreneur PH

 


5 Influential Filipino Women – 21st Century Literature

When you hear the word “influential”, most people would immediately think of Henry Sy or John Gokongwei. In fact, majority of our presidents and leaders are men. However, there are lots of strong independent women in our country just waiting to be discovered.

1.Encarnacion Alzona

Encarnacion Alzona was the first Filipina to complete her doctoral studies and national scientist. She was also an advocate of women’s suffrage.  She explained that if women are permitted to vote, men’s respect for them would likely increase because “a person enjoying full political rights deserves greater       respect and esteem than a disenfranchised one.”

Source:www.flikr.com

2.Maria Corazon Aquino

Source:www.filipiknow.net

Following the Marcos occupation, the late president Cory Aquino led the nation from dictatorship to democracy. From the crony capitalism to a market economy, she allowed the normal “Juan” to start his very own business. She also restored human rights as rights and not just a privilege. She was the first female president in Asia and was also named Time magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1986.

3.Therese “Reese” Fernandez- Ruiz

Source:www.entrepreneur.com.ph

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz opened opportunities for women in poor communities in 2007 with her business, Rags 2 Riches where she and her team weave accessories out of scrap cloth, organic materials and indigenous fabrics. Due to her efforts and impact on our society, she was recently listed as part of  Forbes’ list of 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.

4.Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova

Ishka is another young entrepreneur in the community. The 27-year-old is the founder of Californila an online store where customers from Manila can purchase items which are only available in the US.

Source:www.californila.com

5.Ayasofya Vittoria Aguirre

Source:www.philstar.com

This seven year old Filipina figure skater won 3 gold medals in the recent 29th Annual Skate Japan 2017 held in Ageo City, Japan. She also got one silver and was voted best overall in Artistic Performance. Above all that, it was her first time to join a foreign competition.

Source:www.hodgepodgelifestyle.com

These women have shown that no matter your age, gender or social status, you can make waves in the world through hard work and dedication. Do you know any other influential Filipinas waiting to be known?

Article Source: 21st Century Literature