I started Nanay at Ako Boutique in 2013 with my retired mom and a baby on the way. Mom wanted a business that she can do on her retirement. While spending a lot of time in my computer researching, I found about online shopping especially for my baby’s needs. I also did a lot of research about best practices of childrearing that are natural, convenient, and eco-friendly; thus our tagline, which represents breastfeeding, babywearing, and cloth diapering.
Online shopping became handy especially if you are not in the metro and there’s not a lot of choices in the local stores. I already started ordering my baby things online. I came to so many online stores, facebook pages, local and abroad, compared prices and quality just to get the best deal. I added extra quantities on my shopping and used them to put up the facebook shop. I did not imagine that just by becoming a mother, I will also go into a business!
We started reselling different products underscoring our natural parenting practices, and also promoting Filipino products. Six months later, we started producing our own products as well—ring sling and nursing covers. Since then we focused on building Nanay at Ako and Nakong’s as our brands.
As our nakong (Ilokano word for “child”) grows, our line of products is also evolving according to his needs. When he was about seven months, we created the mei tai. When he became a toddler, the CarGo; but also the nursing covers and scarfs, back towels, washable breast pads, everything according to our needs. With these, we share our parenting enjoyment with other families.
Nanay at Ako Boutique is the maker of Nakong’s CarGo, Nakong’s Mei Tai, Nanay at Ako Ring Sling, Nanay’s Nursing Cover and Versatile Nursing Scarf, Nanay’s Washable Breast Pads, and Nakong’s Back Towel and Cloth Wipes. We offer quality yet affordable products. For our babywearing products, safety is also a main concern, that’s why we have our products tested using international standards to ensure babies are safe and quality is maintained.
In 2016, we partnered with other brands to bring our products closer to families. Through Nanay at Ako Boutique, we are able to support moms to make a living through sewing our products, and weaving communities that provide some of our fabric needs.
My background is in the publishing industry. I was a writer for supplementary educational magazines before I moved to lead a publishing firm in our church. I still do this work until now as part of my ministry. But I am in love with motherhood! I am a proud homemaker, work-at-home mom, and a mompreneur—keeping my family close and serving them to the best that I can.
I am a very hands-on mompreneur, Nanay at Ako Boutique is also my child. I do almost everything—from research, design, cutting to marketing, getting in touch with suppliers and partners, and customer service. Except for the hardest part, the sewing!
When we were starting, we only had one seamstress who takes care of our made-to-order carriers then we added another mom, and another and some more to be part of our growing production team! (At the time of the photo, there were only four of them present.) They sew with care and quality. And because they are moms, too, they know every aspect of parenting needs. Your needs are in their minds and their kids are their inspiration. When you buy our products, you are not only taking part in our advocacies but you are helping us build a community.
Another important person in our team is our Tatay! He is the master cutter for our carriers. He also multitasks as the customer service assistant, and he prepares and sends your packages to the couriers. So next time you have an inquiry or a concern and send them in our facebook page, maybe it’s not a “sis” who’s answering you but a “bro.”
Who is Nakong
You may be wondering why most of our products are branded as Nakong’s. Behind all that we do is a boy who is a real inspiration and love. Our products are made and designed because of his needs in different points in time of his infanthood and toddlerhood. As he continues to grow, and so is this business, we are inspired with different family stories, telling us the specific needs of their children. With those, branding our product Nakong’s makes some connection between us and all the children who are using our products, making them their own because it’s nakong’s.