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Tony Santos, a work-from-home mom and the force behind Direct Milk Tea Supplier – Food Wholesaling, shares her inspiring journey of overcoming personal tragedies to build a thriving business. 

In 2018, before the pandemic, Tony ventured into the milk tea supply industry, driven by curiosity and a passion for the food and beverage sector. What began as an exploration into direct importing blossomed into a successful enterprise that not only weathered the challenges of a global crisis but also provided a beacon of hope and empowerment for many.

Tony’s path to success was not without its hurdles. In 2019, she faced the heart-wrenching loss of her infant daughter, followed by the tragic death of her overseas father in 2020 – both due to health complications. These twin tragedies could have derailed her ambitions, but instead, they fueled her determination to focus on her business and provide for her family and siblings. 

Transitioning to a work-from-home setup, Tony pivoted her successful business model of a resto-bar to focus solely on supplying milk tea ingredients, a move that paid off as the demand for home-based businesses surged during the pandemic.

What sets Tony’s business apart is not just the quality of her products, sourced from the best manufacturers in Taiwan, China, and Malaysia, but her unwavering commitment to her clients and employees. Understanding the importance of swift customer service and continuous learning, she offers product training and actively keeps abreast of industry trends to ensure her offerings remain relevant.

But it’s not just about business growth for Tony. She takes pride in being a responsible employer and a supportive figure for her employees, some of whom she has helped through education. Her leadership style is hands-on, with regular visits to her branches ensuring that her team feels supported and valued.

Tony’s approach to business is also deeply personal. She credits her success to the solid relationships built through platforms like Facebook and the support of the Madiskarte Moms PH community, where she has found not just clients but also a network of empowered mompreneurs. Her story was even featured on the popular TV show Rated K, which significantly boosted her business’s visibility and credibility.

Tony’s dedication extends beyond her business. As a member of the Madiskarte Moms PH community, she empowers fellow mompreneurs by providing them with opportunities to become resellers, thereby enhancing their financial independence and confidence. Her advice to other women is clear and empowering: “Have your own money. Have your own financial stability.”

“Yun yung pinakamagandang lesson na natutunan ko through this time. Talagang ikaw yung magtatrabaho para sa sarili mo,” Tony shares.

This philosophy not only underscores the essence of empowerment but also the significance of resilience in the face of adversity.

Tony’s story is not just about overcoming grief but also about breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes. She realizes that a lot of people still don’t look favorably on ambitious women. However, the successful business owner of Direct Milk Tea Supplier – Food Wholesaling disagrees. “Sa totoo lang, yung mga babae ngayon dapat talaga ambisyosa sila.”

This statement reflects her belief in the power of ambition to fuel personal and professional growth, especially for women in today’s society.

Despite the challenges, Tony’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience, hard work, and the importance of supporting one another. Her story not only inspires aspiring entrepreneurs but also highlights the impact of women in business and their ability to rise above adversity.

As Tony continues to expand her business, branching out into new products like takoyaki and beyond, her story serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder that even in the face of tragedy, determination and compassion can lead to success and empowerment.