10/28/2016

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Picture this: Denim jacket-clad folks lounging on throw pillows and Persian carpets while snacking on fries and drinks. Going by that description, you might think that we were talking about a chill house party.

Don’t be fooled though, because this was actually the scene at co-working space Warehouse Eight last Oct. 7 for The Maker’s Setup. Attendees listened to established names give tips on how to start passion projects in their respective fields of design, food, entrepreneurship and non-profit. They gathered for a series of talks that brought together business founders Brian Cu of Grab PH, Dan Matutina of Plus63 Design Co, Camille Meloto of Human Nature, Jericson Co of EDSA BDG and The Curator and Prim Paypon of The Dream Project.

Listening to all of these people speak about their beginnings was a humbling experience, to say the least. They are living proof that you can make a living doing what you’re passionate about.

While the speakers all had plenty of inspiring things to say about their businesses, we couldn’t help but point out a few common words of wisdom. (Hint: all of them require a lot of hard work and a strong sense of dedication). Read on to get inspired!

1. Make your message clear and allow it to evolve — Jericson Co, co-founder, EDSA BDG and The Curator

Jericson started EDSA BDG with one simple aim: “We should all drink better.” With a bar and a café under his belt, he’s still in the process of making that happen, and he stresses that remembering your original message and improving it as you go on is the key to staying on track.

 2. Focus is the golden key — Brian Cu, CEO, Grab PH and co-founder, Zalora Philippines

Brian stressed that you need to focus on one thing and give it 110-percent if you want your business to succeed. In the beginning, many of Grab PH’s drivers had to park and patiently wait for customers to book them. It took a while, but by focusing their efforts, they were able to grow the business into the in-demand service it is today.

 3. Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith — Camille Meloto, co-founder, Human Nature

When asked about the challenges that she faced when she started Human Nature, Camille was honest when she detailed the problems that they had with sourcing materials and dealing with dishonest employees. She said that this quote from Elisabeth Elliot sums up the work very clearly — it’s important to believe in your idea in order to keep powering through.

4. Necessity is the mother of social innovations — Prim Paypon, founder, The Dream Project

It was Prim’s dream as a kid to start an NGO, and he made it a reality with The Dream Project, a non-profit, volunteer-based community initiative that aims to help the youth. One of their first projects came about after they noticed that students in a part of Negros Occidental weren’t doing well academically. After getting to the root cause (they found that students were too tired to study, after having to swim across a river just to get to school), they partnered with other organizations to donate bancas to the affected communities.

5. You can never be too old or too established to experiment — Dan Matutina, founder, Plus63 Design Co.

Dan believes that settling isn’t something that a creative person should do, no matter how long he or she has been in the industry. Though he’s contributed to big places like Wired and Fast Company, he said that he still finds himself playing around with different techniques and styles every once in a while.

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