BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
I never dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur. But exactly like the line in a song of the same title, I should say: “Angels brought me here.”
My desire was to become a professional speaker and a consultant; to work in the corporate world. And I guess this has happened in my past jobs. My consultancy career was performing, fine and I was really happy being a Human Resource Manager in one utility company in Bacolod City. Everything went fine, until the time which we never thought of came. The company I worked with was acquired by a huge corporation resulting us to lose our jobs.
Public speaking has always been my passion…
I was never prepared to be jobless. Worst, our separation pay was handed in three post-dated checks. During those times I had two college students in school; I was also in the process of completing my MBA; my father was a stroke patient while my mother has diabetes with some complications. Maintaining two patients were never a joke. It drained all my savings.
Teaching part-time in college while doing some training on the side were the fastest remedy. Still, with my fixed expenditures I could barely endure. With the last yard in my savings, I proceeded to venture with two other friends to put up a printing business. But then again, the business didn’t turn out to be as expected. We cannot compete with the big ones, especially in price wars, while dozens of backyard printers were giving us fierce competition. After 2 years of operating the printing press, my business partners decided to give up. The conclusion to continue or to pack up were left in me.
Luminary by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
I almost give up. But the moment I looked at my people, a little spark of hope fueled my already tired spirit. I asked myself if I stopped, where will these people go? All of my staff were not even High School graduate. One of them cannot even get an NBI clearance because of his past records. If I will stop, they will surely go hungry. I felt so obligated to press on.
Devastated, I plead with my God. Then, a promised from the bible came to me. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, slaughter and destroy. I’ve come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I had got on to this promise and together with my younger brother, we had concluded to continue.
Appearing at the scratch and misprints we have gathered from our printing business, we decided to come up with a new product – the paper mache. Since, Bacolod is the home of the world’s famous Masskara Festival, we commenced making paper mache masks. These masks were sold initially in the Negros Showroom. Immediately after it was introduced in the market, our masks were sold like hotcakes. So I said, “this is it!”
Deco Mirrors by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
I was the first artist of my business, from painting to accessorizing the mask, I made sure to be part of the working hands. I recalled in those times where I need to report to my class with some hint of paints on my fingers. I became famous in school with my line explaining the stain: “Class, these are the hands that work.”
Subsequently, we evolved using a better material like fiberglass because we began to get orders from OFWs abroad. We were forced to hire more workers and sub-contractors in order for us to meet the market demands. We also began to extend our product line into fashion accessories, small furniture and furnishings which we also export to the US and some Asian countries resulting in the creation of more jobs.
Custom-made trophies by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
Today, we already have several outlets in the city and other dealers in few other provinces. Our showroom, the Jojo Vito Designs Gallery showcasing a variety of Bacolod Masks is now fast becoming as a part of tour circuit in Bacolod City. In our showroom, we received buyers and tour groups from all over the country. Apart from our products, our people, showcasing their skills doing the crafts became part of the highlights when visiting our gallery.
As part of our advocacy, we also cater to various invitations to talk about business and entrepreneurship. We believe that by sharing our personal experiences we will be able to inspire people to go into the business which will provide more jobs.
At the University of St. La Salle’s Entrepreneurship Summit dubbed as “Breaking Barriers: When Making Money is a Reality:
We know that we still have more to improve and there is still more room for growth in our business. But the continued unfolding of blessings, to me is just a confirmation that we are on the right track. I believe that for as long as we do it right and mindful of the welfare of our people blessings will just follow. Just like the promise of the Lord to Abraham in Genesis 12:2b “I will bless you and make your name famous, and you will be a blessing to many others.”
Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
#119 Kapitana Dicang St.-Alunan Avenue, Bacolod City
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.jojovito.com
Giving a talk to more than 500 participants of the 1st Entrepreneurship Summit of Talisay City, Negros Occidental.
At ABS CBN Bacolod: The Morning Show on “Business and Entrepreneurship”
A talk on Strategies and Product Innovation at La Consolacion College-Bacolod
MORE PHOTOS OF JOJO VITO DESIGNS GALLERY
Students from Centro Escolar University doing “Mask Painting” at Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
Celebrities visited our gallery
Masskara Queen Beauty Pageant with Jojo Vito Mask
Kaya Mo Bang!, one of the Several TV shows which featured Jojo Vito Designs Gallery
Masskara Festival New York Edition, Bacolod contenders won for three feat including the best in Mask and Costume. Costumes and Masks designed and executed by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery