The Parenting Emporium: Parenthood, Shared
“It takes a whole village to raise a child.”
~ Igbo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb ~
The Parenting Emporium is a social enterprise that has only one aim — to help make the parenting journey easier for you. Because parenting is a legacy, and parenthood, when shared, becomes a whole lot easier.
Thus, The Parenting Emporium aims to become an industry leader and the primary brand among discerning consumers interested in parenting and childcare by providing products and support services that address every family’s concerns relating to pregnancy, health, nutrition, and education.
We believe that no mother, father, or caregiver from any walk of life should stand alone. Each person can beneﬁt from the support and wealth of knowledge offered by others, especially — but not limited to — those who are considered experts in their respective fields.
We also believe that each person involved in every child’s life plays an important role in that particular child’s development — and that role must be played to the best of that person’s ability.
Knowing that raising children is a community effort, we aim to take the lead in creating communities that foster better parenting. It is our mission to replace systems of misinformation and ignorance with an ecosystem of parenting tools, and a support system of knowledgeable individuals who will help people raise better families.
Thus, the Parenting Emporium as a social enterprise aims to provide parents and caregivers with a venue to discover and avail of premium baby and childcare brands, and to participate in educational modules, lectures, workshops, consultations, and other childcare support products and services.
How it all started
Maricel Cua and Beng Feliciano, the founders of The Parenting Emporium, recall how their concept of a premier, expert-backed parenting resource hub came about.
“Our story dates back to 2007 when we were both starting our own families and we were as clueless as any young family nowadays,” Beng shares. “Back then, even though the Internet already existed, it was still mostly dial-up, and we primarily sought the familiar support of friends and family.
“At that time, our most difficult challenge was breastfeeding, so when the opportunity for us to carry the world's number one breast pump presented itself, we decided to say ‘yes.’ Little did we know that doing so would lead to so many open doors and windows, not just for the business, but for helping other moms and their families.
“With Medela as our stage and now, one of our flagship brands, we slowly built a community around us with our particular way of selling and supporting — very hands-on, very personal, but without losing our core values of community, development, security, professionalism and transparency.
“So, it soon became more than breastfeeding for us. We realized that there are so many more needs out there for modern-day parents. In particular, we discovered that many parents had questions about pregnancy, health, nutrition, and education.
Eventually, we found ourselves growing with these parents ... but because, compared to before, there was actually too much information out there, we became very picky and discerning when it came to choosing products and experts to introduce to our mommy friends and customers. It no longer became a question of where to get the info but more of ‘Which info should I listen to?’”
Thus, Beng and Maricel found themselves answering the need for a support system for families that is based on the knowledge of experts in various fields, and sustained by premium, parent-recommended products and services. They also knew that they wanted the business to be about helping others, and not just making a profit. The result: The Parenting Emporium.
Products and brands offered
To give you an idea of what The Parenting Emporium has to offer, here is a list of just some of the products/brands Beng and Maricel have personally come to love and trust with their own families, as well as the families of the community that has grown around them — those that have, in a way, received their “seal of approval”:
· Baby K’Tan
· Belly Armor
· Bios Dynamis*
· Comflor and Bebedom Playmats
· Esensya Productos Artesanales-Esensya Handcrafted Products*
· Little Luli
· Mother K All Natural Baby Wipes
· Nature to Nurture
· Nature’s Farmacy
· Nipa Foods*
· … and many more!
(*Also included in The Parenting Emporium’s list of “Brands That Give Back”)
The Parenting Emporium/TPE’s expert partners in parenting
When it comes to partners in parenting, Beng and Maricel have been to many classes themselves as parents and know that there are those that simply just echo what you can find on the Internet.
“Usually, the mommies in our community have already read up and surfed the Net,” Maricel explains. “So, we needed experts in their fields, certified and practicing, who are very genuine and not sponsored or influenced by big corporations.”
Thus, she and Beng chose The Parenting Emporium’s partner subject matter experts because they had both theoretical knowledge and the experience to be able to give their community not only textbook knowledge nor just anecdotal wisdom.
“We wanted to make sure that they would be able to give realistic and practical advice based not only on passion nor head knowledge, but also based on the realization that there are several ways to go about achieving a parenting goal,” Maricel emphasizes.
The partner experts were also chosen based on their values: “They are warm, caring, and approachable, yet they can give sound, authoritative counsel with no judgment,” Maricel shares.
Below are just some of The Parenting Emporium’s partner experts, who will be making the right information available to the families in the TPE community on a daily basis through (1) the forums that will be launched on the TPE website, and (2) the classes that will be made available on a weekly basis at the Emporium as well as at partner venue sites (Domuschola International School, Playworks Philippines and Urban Ashram Manila):
· Chiqui Brosas-Hahn, U.S. Certified Childbirth Educator, Labor Coach/Doula and Breastfeeding Advocate/Financial Adviser (Childbirth Classes)
· Joy Dejos, Wife, Mother and Certified Professional Coach, known as the “MommyProofing Coach,” who supports moms in kicking Mommy Guilt and Mommy Judgment to the curb (MommyProofing Classes)
· Charlene Carlos and Leona Panutat, “Inspiration-Seekers,” Curators and Owners of L’Indochine (Decluttering and Creating Living Spaces Classes)
· Jane Kingsu-Cheng, Marketing and Image Consultant, Magazine Editor, Manila Bulletin “Style Kit” Columnist, Blogger at FlatsandStilletos.com and Mom of 3 (“Mommy Styling: The Reboot” Classes)
· Abbie Venida-Yabot, Certified Lactation Counselor, La Leche League International Leader, Founder of The Breastfeeding Club, Wellness & Parenting Advocate, Life Coach and Mother of 4+1 (The Breastfeeding Club Classes)
· Jacqueline Alleje, Chef, Founder and Co-Owner of Rizal Dairy Farms, Healthy Nutrition/Green Gourmet Culinary Instructor at Moderne Culinaire Academy (Cooking Healthy Workshops)
· Jon Chua, Chef Instructor at Magsaysay Institute for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (MIHCA), Chef and Owner (with wife Raquel) of Mamachows Pastries, Hands-on Father of 3 (Cooking Demonstrations)
· Joyce Ann Zaragoza-Martinez, Founder and Owner of Center for Lactation Care, Registered Nurse, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (“Breastfeeding Crash Course” Classes)
· Daisy Lauron and Jocelyn Godinez of Peek-A-Boo Yaya Training Services, which provides training, lectures and demos to help yayas meet the various housekeeping requirements of their employers, plus courses on newborn and toddler care, basic first aid, safety precautions against various criminal modus operandi, and breastfeeding support (Yaya Seminars)
· Dindi Besinga-Manlapaz, Founder, Meet the Art Masters Developer, Arts & Crafts Teacher at Likhangbata Creativity Center, Freelance Graphic Designer, Digital Artist, Housewife and Mother of 2 (“Meet the Art Masters” Classes)
· Ginger Arboleda and the Manila Workshops Team, a provider of quality lifestyle workshops for individuals to achieve their personal and professional goals in life (First Time Parents Workshop Series)
· Mariel Uyquiengco and Rosanne Unson of The Learning Basket. Mariel is a U.S. licensed Kindermusik educator and a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, while Rosanne has taken Literacy units at the University of the Philippines’ Open University. (Parent and “TeacherYaya” Education Classes)
· Martine de Luna, Award-winning Blogger at MakeItBlissful.com and Digital Consultant specializing in Blogging and Social Media (Blogging Workshops)
· Tanya Velasco, M.A., and GURUFIRM, a company that provides Training and Consultancy Services on early childhood education, family life education, and lifelong learning (Family Life & Child Development Classes)
More than just a business: Paying it forward and giving back to the community
As firm believers of “giving back” and the model of social enterprises, Maricel and Beng have set up The Parenting Emporium such that customers can contribute at various levels and benefit different groups as well.
“A certain percentage from all TPE purchases go back to our advocacy work,” Maricel explains. “All purchases directly benefit our advocacies.”
“Social enterprises don’t rely on international bodies and kind souls to fund their worthwhile projects,” Beng adds. “Funds for their advocacies are already part of their business model, so while they grow their businesses, so does the help provided grow. It then becomes not only the efforts of a few generous souls but of every single customer who steps foot in the Emporium. As long as the business is alive and thriving, so, too, will the beneficiaries thrive.”
Besides the existing start-up social enterprises under TPE’s list of “Brands That Give Back”, Beng and Maricel will be in constant search for other start-up social enterprises so that they can be featured in the Emporium.
Aside from these, TPE pledges to work with local communities through start-ups like WeBoo Inc., which supports bamboo plantation farmers in Bulacan. WeBoo is one of TPE’s partners for their private labels, TPE Solutions: Natural Play, which will be launched in the near future.
“For more traditional beneficiaries, we have included the causes of our community families such as Lia Mañalac-Castillo’s DiksyonaryoAtbp, which provides dictionaries, reference books, and storybooks to far-flung communities that have no access to books and the Internet,” Maricel shares. “And, of course, something that is very close to our heart: our Milk Sharing Hub, which has provided over 2,000 liters of donated breastmilk to needy babies.”
“Finally, we pledge to provide free, safe, and non-judgmental physical as well as online venues for groups under our advocacies,” Beng emphasizes.
Coming Soon: TPE Solutions plus so much more!
Supporters of The Parenting Emporium can be assured that there are many more exciting things coming up for the social enterprise.
“We will be launching our private labels soon, namely TPE Solutions,” Beng shares. “These will be products that provide solutions to common family concerns such as how to encourage our children to be more active, develop their gross motor skills and, at the same time, play more outdoors than indoors, and many others.”
“We will also be launching each component of the Emporium as the year progresses,” Maricel adds. “We want to assure you that we are one with you in this parenting journey, because we believe that parenthood, shared, will become a much lighter ‘load.’ Because parenting is a legacy — the best ‘gift’ we can give to our kids, we want to help make it easier for everyone involved.”
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Launching in October 2015: The Parenting Emporium official website: