Dreamer Tanya Mondoñedo creates a brand that’s sweet and endearing
By Deneb Batucan
BUILDING a business from the ground up is a feat in itself. But building it all by your lonesome? That sounds improbable. But not for Tanya Mondoñedo.
Tanya is a self-made businesswoman who makes her living by helping other women and men have the beautiful skin that they desire. She is the proprietor of Dulcet Skin, a Philippine-made brand of skin care and beauty products.
Tanya started conceptualizing the brand in 2012, but her business savvy skills started way, way back. At seven years old, Tanya would be seen selling and trading products like yemas and cupcakes to her schoolmates.
“It was there that I felt that I was really an entrepreneur,” she said.
Her passion for business just escalated as the years passed. Even during college, she would sell all kinds of products from food to clothing, not just for additional income but because she just enjoys it.
When she graduated from college, her mom gave her the free will to do what she wanted. A native of Dumaguete City, Tanya decided to transfer to Cebu and try her luck here. She left home with only a little money, which she decided to invest in a business.
She invested all her money and became a distributor for a local soap product. With hard work, she became the top distributor in the Philippines for that brand. But she found out the hard way that success is a breeding ground for envy.
Tanya decided to leave that local brand and start up her own brand. She searched for a manufacturing brand for soaps and other skin care products and found one in Manila. She journeyed there all by herself, getting lost in a city that she wasn’t familiar with. By the time she found the manufacturer, she was dismayed by their treatment.
Keeping her head up
Tanya felt small and unvalued when she got to the manufacturer’s office. But she kept her head up and talked and negotiated with them. Eventually, through her negotiation skills, Tanya got a good deal and together with the manufacturer, they began to design Dulcet’s first products.
She started with only two soaps, one toner and one serum. Then she started to expand to underarm and body products and eventually to cosmetics and perfumes. Today, Dulcet Skin has over 200 products under its brand.
When the first shipment of products arrived in Tanya’s home — still raw and unpackaged — she began to design everything from the packaging to paper bags. The name of the brand, dulcet, means sweet, which is a characteristic Tanya possesses — beautiful, sweet and endearing.
Making Tanya’s brand was not easy at all. Bashers tried to put her down, but Tanya found strength in her passion. She soldiered on to find new customers who would fall in love with her products as she did. Eventually, she found customers who pledged to her products and suggested to become resellers of Dulcet Skin.
When dealing with business, Tanya always establishes rapport with her customers. “It’s important for me to build a relationship with my customers and resellers,” she said.
Patience has been a quality that has rose Tanya to greater heights. “I need patience in dealing with customers because we are dealing with skin. Patience in carefully selecting the ingredients in our products to mirror what our customers need. We have organic products for those who have sensitive skin but we also have products for those want instant effects.
With each of my clients, I study what they would need,” Tanya said. “It’s also important to have integrity and great quality—quality service, products, everything, so the customers would come back again and again.”
As a hands-on and sole owner, Tanya never stops learning. She studies the ingredients that she uses for her products and consults with her manufacturer and his team of pharmacists and chemist as to what would be a good product. She designs the packaging herself and sells it through online or house calls. Plans of opening up a kiosk in a local mall are already under wraps and will hopefully come to fruition by this year.
Tanya is a dreamer who hopes to one day own more businesses. The design she made for the Dulcet Skin paper bag has so much meaning. “In the Dulcet bag, you see five strands. These are my dreams. The first strand is Dulcet Skin. The second is Dulcet Spa and Salon. Next is Dulcet Style, then Dulcet Sweets Restaurant, and hopefully when I really become rich, I’ll own a Dulcet Hotel,” she said with a sweet smile.
Hard work definitely pays off in the end, no matter how many times the world seems to put you down. Tanya never gave up on her dream and soldiers on every day to make it a reality.
“I feel like the world is my oyster. It’s a nice life. But it didn’t come without significant sacrifices,” she said. “Money and fame is not really the goal. I really enjoy every day. It’s like I’m not working at all. I don’t feel tired, though everybody is telling me to rest. And I don’t complain when thing go rough. I just look for solutions in whatever problems that may come.”
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin Bastatas
Locale: Quest Hotel and Conference Center