FCM One-on-One presents:
Entrepreneur and Author of Domestically Yours
FCM: Tell us about your arrival here in Canada?
AC: I went to Fort MacMurray as a nanny. I looked after a 3-year-old boy. I was there for a year. I got sick because it was so cold. My body couldn’t handle it. I said I wanted to go home, so I went to Edmonton to get my ticket. I wanted to go back for good. But I saw a friend of mine who was in the domestic training course with me back in the Philippines. She said stay here; it’s better in Edmonton. But I said I don’t have an employer. She said she’d find me an employer and she did. I was employed in Edmonton as a nanny. In all, I worked as a nanny for five years.
FCM: How did you get into freight forwarding in Canada?
AC: A family friend told me to think of a way to go back to my old job or do what I want to do. I researched going back to school. But it’s expensive to go back. I was considered as an international student. I would pay more for tuition at the University. So I did the online course with the Canadian Freight Forwarding Association, based in Toronto. They accepted me because of my experience back in the Philippines. They also posted my information in their job website. I got three phone calls from large enterprises. So I worked in Calgary for awhile, but I came back to Edmonton because all the people that I know are in Edmonton.
FCM: How did your entrepreneurship journey start?
AC: My entrepreneurship journey started when my kids came to Canada. There are four of them. I needed additional income to be able to support them. I know clothing suppliers. I started in my basement with an online store. After that people were calling me about my store. That’s what prompted me to put an actual store in the mall. This was eight years ago.
FCM: So your kids were your motivation to be an entrepreneur.
AC: Yes. I want to provide for my children. When I started my first store, it was difficult. I asked around, checked for ideas, and created a business plan which I presented to the mall for a small space and they let me have a store.
FCM: Are you a full-time entrepreneur now?
AC: I’m still working as a freight forwarder today and at the same time I still have my store. I hired staff to manage my store. Then after work I come and check it. In business, there are ups and down, but I get through these things.
FCM: Who influenced you to be an entrepreneur?
AC: My partner Wesley Frith influenced me to be an entrepreneur. He guided me to set up the business and how to run it.
FCM: What are the advantages of being an entrepreneur?
AC: You can help other people if they need extra income. It’s inspiring to be able to help others. Because this happened to me before. I needed extra income so I know what’s it’s like. Now I’m in a position to help others.
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