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Today I’m talking to BIPOC Founder and social entrepreneur Gelaine Santiago about her 5-year journey of entrepreneurship – where she learned the valuable lesson that, “You can’t do everything, BUT you can do anything.” Gelaine is a Filipina-Chinese immigrant to Canada who went on a personal journey to reconnect with her heritage, ultimately leading her to start a company that helped others do the same.
But in the early days, she and her co-founder were swayed by outside advice that focusing on selling fair-trade, artisan Filipino products in Canada would be too small of a market. So, they launched their company selling artisan products from around the world.
After struggling for several years with low-traction, Gelaine and her co-founder took back their power and went all-in on the mission they originally envisioned to focus just on Filipino products. Shortly after, they honed in even more to just focus on Filipino fashion items only with the tagline “Wear your heritage.”
With a mission and focus that was truly aligned with their values and priorities, things took off for Cambio & Co, and now they are the North American partner to the Philippines’ largest social enterprise Rags2Riches, helping them to expand into the USA and Canadian markets!
In this episode, Gelaine talks about how becoming secure in her identity as a person of color and immigrant, and going with her gut despite outside voices, helped her to feel confident to show up for her Filipina-Canadian audience online.
We also talk about how honing in on your people and keeping your focus on learning alongside them (rather than teaching them as an expert) is often the key to getting out of imposter-syndrome that keeps so many of us from actually engaging our communities.
This episode is just jam-packed full of wisdom, from an entrepreneur whose been through ALL the stages, you’ll learn so much from Gelaine and walk away empowered to let go of all the stuff people are telling you to do, and ready to go after that vision you have with full confidence in who you uniquely are.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- Why it’s hard to be confident in the early days as an entrepreneur
- What happens when we go with our gut instead of listening to outside voices
- How to find our voice
- Gelaine’s tips for storytelling online