Jennifer Meredith has been an avid “miner” of online sellers even before the pandemic struck. After spending so much money buying online to redecorate their house, she decided to try selling online herself.
She started Mine Na Beshies in July 2020 to earn extra income for the family. Since then, she has formed a close friendship with her buyers or “miners” through live selling.
She attributes her success to her family and her fellow nanaygosyantes. “I would not have a business like this if not for their support and encouragement. My family is my number 1 supporter. Whether I win or lose, they always have my back. But iba pa rin yung support from your fellow mompreneurs. I can ask tips and also share some advice to them, too.”
Tell us about your business and why you started it?
Our first business is actually (selling) earth-friendly cleaning products. Some of our clients are resorts, restaurants, malls, and residential clients. My husband, Rob (Meredith), guides me because I’m still in the stage of learning the ins and outs.
I decided to try my hand at online selling and to me, the connection between sellers and miners is a special one. We aren’t just buying and selling, we’re bonding. I’ve made so many friends who I love dearly since the beginning and I meet more each week.
Since starting Mine Na Beshies, It has grown into something so much more than (another way to earn) money. It’s also about my relationship with the miners. I do my very best to entertain, not just sell. Their response is truly inspiring. I’m also lucky that my husband is patient because we can stay up pretty late some nights just having fun.
Who is your target audience?
This is a difficult one to answer. Everyone can find something (they want) with Mine Na Beshies. We offer a wide variety of ukay products, ranging from household items to clothing and handbags. Our main clients, though, are the wonderful mothers of Puerto Princesa!
What three professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
My first accomplishment would be that I’ve been able to provide a positive example for my children. They see me working each day and I believe it’s creating an entrepreneurial foundation in them as they often help out to earn some money.
Second, my skills have grown so much. Inventory management, market understanding, shipping, and bookkeeping have been my greatest personal development areas.
Third, I strive to be one of the most trusted and well-known sellers around. I still have room to grow but I’ll reach that goal. I offer great products at very reasonable prices, and I’m happy that my audience stays by my side.
What makes your business story unique?
I think my husband would say (it’s how) I’ve turned my spending habits into a stream of income. He used to roll his eyes every time a product was delivered (to our house) when I was a committed “miner”. Now, he tells me how proud he is of my growth and dedication. He recently told me he expected (Mine Na Beshies) to be a waste of time. Imagine my excitement when I learned how I have actually impressed the man I have so much love and respect for!
I also get to work with my sister, Joan, and my very good friend, Jane. We are partners and we share the work extremely well. I’m blessed with support at home and the miners who continue to drive me to do better. Mine Na Beshies will be here even after the pandemic.
How did you know when you had the right idea?
When I first decided to sell online, my idea was just (to have) fun and turn my past time into income because I spent thousands of money buying stuff online. I talked to my husband if it’s okay for me to try live selling on Facebook and he asked what’s my purpose of doing it. I told him that I want to try kasi parang ang saya lang watching the online sellers, and because of the pandemic, I have nothing to do but to just keep on watching the sellers. I was worried that I would be spending a lot!
He supported me and I borrowed (my initial) investment from him (Php 8,500). I know I can’t do it alone, so I told my housemaid to help me and also talked to my friend if she wants to earn extra income kasi her company was affected by covid. Our first few (Facebook) lives went well (that) I (also asked) my sister who is pregnant that time to join me so she can have some savings as well.
One day, I told my husband, “I think I made the right decision doing this.” We were able to help my friend, my sister, and my housemaid to have extra income. The little amount that they earn from our live selling helps their family. We even hired a delivery boy, too, and invited my nephew to help. Our income from online selling (also) helps me and my siblings to maintain medication for my father who suffered a mild stroke last February.
For me, live selling is not just (a means) to earn, I also want to give my viewers happiness and laughter. I want to give them satisfaction with the affordable stuff I’m selling. I know God prepared me for this journey.
What are some of the mistakes you wished you could have avoided?
We cannot avoid mistakes in every path of our life, whether in business or personal life. When I started online selling, I had bashers na rin! I don’t mind them na lang, deadma. It would just be stressful kung papatulan ko sila.
Selling ukay is very risky because not all items are in good shape, and there are small issues we don’t notice. We can’t avoid the items with issues, the “bale” of items is sealed and even the supplier doesn’t know what is inside. If there is a mistake I wished to avoid, it’s getting items that are not fast moving. I should have avoided getting “bale” that our competitors are selling too.
People always look for new stuff. If all sellers are selling bags and I sell bags too, all our viewers will get confused. I always want to be unique in my way of selling..
Any advice to moms who dream about being entrepreneurs but just can’t get started?
I recommend starting now! Don’t waste your time just dreaming of it. If you don’t have a big investment, then start with a small amount. Little by little, you would not notice you’re earning a lot already. If you need some tips, look for a group of women entrepreneurs and join them.
I think the main problem of moms is building up their self-confidence. They think that moms just stay at home and take care of their kids. You can stay at home and still earn!
You must learn to manage your time. Think of something that you love to do. Success starts with small steps. We can’t jump ahead to obtain the success we want (right away).