As a mother, actress, and businesswoman, Gladys Reyes is a purpose-driven lady who readily takes on multiple hats. Life’s challenges actually empower her to be better, stronger, and more creative.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Philippines towards the 2nd quarter of 2020, Gladys and her husband Christopher were one of millions of couples who had to manage radical adjustments within their own family as everyone suddenly had to stay at home most of the day. Their four children found this situation extra challenging because they had to stop seeing their friends and could only attend school online.
“At first, the kids had a hard time getting used to the situation where they cannot interact with relatives and friends. Even us, as their parents, had to make the same adjustments including setting up for online classes and keeping the children entertained while they’re stuck at home. But after a year, we got used to it and now wearing masks and face shields is as important as wearing clothes before going out. Getting used to this, I think it will stay this way, even when the pandemic is over,” Gladys said.
Similarly, Gladys and Christopher had to deal with making unforeseen changes in how they ran their food businesses. They had started Sommereux Catering in early 2020 with the goal of providing Filipino households with delectable menus from all over the world. This was their second food venture after opening the Estela restaurant in 2018, and they had very high hopes for both businesses. So when the pandemic hit, the couple was one of many entrepreneurs who had second thoughts about the viability of their operations.
“To be honest, at first, our Sommereux Catering business was so affected by the pandemic because events, gatherings, and parties were not allowed. But almost immediately, we knew we had to adapt and that’s when we decided to offer food delivery service,” she said. “We were determined to make it work.”
From providing catering services during special events, Sommereux shift edits operations and started offering their popular dishes – such as the Cochinillo, Lechon Belly, and Seafood Paella – directly to their customers, who then got to continue enjoying these beloved specialties during family celebrations and special occasions at home.
The value of reliable partnerships
Even under strict health and safety protocols, one cannot deny that Filipinos will continue to love food and celebrations, which is precisely why Gladys decided to bring their dishes to the homes of their clients–a pivot that made them realize the value of having reliable partners.
“What we learned during this pandemic is the importance of having the right people and companies to work with and the proper delegation of work so that we can maximize on whatever opportunities come our way. My husband heads our business, while I take care of tutoring the kids with their online classes and also do my tapings. I am very fortunate to have a strong support system – my family – especially my mom and dad who also live with us now,” Gladys said.
With their entire family all staying safe at home and doing most of their activities online, and with all of their Sommerreux orders also accepted online through its official Facebook and Instagram pages, Gladys said that having the fastest digital connections made the past year and a half of this pandemic less stressful and more bearable for herself.
“It is a big factor that I have a strong internet connection provided by PLDT Home Biz to help me multitask as a mom, wife, and entrepreneur. We’re able to monitor our business remotely and communicate with our customers and business partners easily. And definitely I’m able to help my kids with their online school work, and then bond with them and my husband by watching movies while at home,” she said.
Mastering your passions
Being a successful entrepreneur and multi-hyphenate, Gladys reiterates the importance of leveraging on your passions when starting a new venture, because it will give you the fuel to face unexpected changes head-on and will allow you to embrace challenges with creativity.
“It’s an advantage if you pursue a business that you’re really passionate about because you will have to know its operations inside-out,” she said. For her, a business will thrive when you’re passionate with what you’re doing, and if you have trusted partners like PLDT Home Biz that will enable you to grow and be strongly connected.
“I wasn’t comfortable at first, but as an entrepreneur I had to be active in the digital space because it is where the customers would see and know me. This is where I could introduce not just myself, but also our business. As entrepreneurs, we need to be hands-on and adjust to situations that might not be within our comfort zone at first. But it really helps to have support on many fronts. These days, more than ever, we need trusted partners and reliable and fast internet connection to do our work better,” Gladys shared. Watch this video to learn how you can master your own business at home with the new PLDT Home Biz Asenso Fibr Plans – now faster, simpler, stronger, and bigger. Visit this link to know more.