By Jane Kingsu-Cheng
“I can’t count the number of times I’ve wished my clothes perfectly fit me, since I am a petite girl. So I started sewing clothes for me as a hobby while waiting for my students at my center,” reveals 39-year-old Sheryl Ann Buenaventura, who’s main business is a tutorial center that she’s been running for 11 years. “I’ve always wanted to have a clothing brand. I just don’t know how and when to start it. It was perfect timing that most people find it convenient to buy clothes online when I started Style Ana.” And like any mother’s love, the brand is named after her two daughters, 12-year-old Ana Ysabel, and 4-year-old Ana Stella.
How did the kids’ line start?
When you have daughters, they always want to look exactly like you. They always want what you wear, so I started making one for each of them also. I make sure that the style is fun and stylish, and fitted for kids. My preschool students like my skirts, because they feel like princesses when wearing them.
What’s your day like?
I have a packed schedule and I have developed a routine. Preparing my kids to school, checking my students at the center, making worksheets for my students, attending to suppliers, attend to meetings, entertaining clients online, making sure all orders are shipped on time. I have to finish them before I start teaching Grade 6 students at 3PM. After nap time, my youngest will go back to my center to play with other kids. I am blessed that my tutorial center (where my Style Ana stocks are also there), my daughters ‘ school and my house is also near.
What’s your day like with your daughters?
Our two daughters are very funny and they love each other very much. My eldest is in Grade 6, so I tutor her after school. My tutorial center has always been their playground and second home. We are always together. My eldest suggests prints or colors for kids line. Whatever they want, I make. Last summer, they wanted to be mermaids so I came out with mermaid tails which was a hit for pretend play for kids.
What’s your favorite style piece?
I prefer looks that are not high maintenance. I see to it that I wear comfy clothes yet speaks my style. During weekdays, I wear jeans or a skirt and pair it with sneakers and a shirt. I like wearing statement earrings because it defines my style. I am girly, yet I can hustle everyday.
Top 5 business tips:
- Stick to what you love doing. You will never feel work as work. At the end, you turn your passion into money.
- Be a wife and mom first, then a business owner second. I always make sure that I have time for my family no matter what. They should be my top priority. I always attend to their needs before anything else no matter how busy or tired I can be.
- Have the right people to support you. I am always grateful for my supportive husband, sweet kids and loyal staff. Without them, I would not be able to accomplish a lot of things in a day.
- Learn to listen to your clients. It is very important to improve your brand. I am always happy to hear feedback from clients.
- “Mom time” matters. Always try to relax . That’s what I always do. Find time to date your husband. It’s also good to have a group of friends.