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Filipino mompreneurs successfully penetrating the international market are proof that great achievements do start from small beginnings. Their determination, innovation and adaptability have led them to successfully juggle their roles as mothers and entrepreneurs — building thriving businesses and raising their families at the same time. 

Two such women from this year’s Gawad Madiskarte, mounted by the Madiskarte Moms PH (MMPH) community last September, are Ayn Angeles, founder of HERS by Godfather and winner of Diskarteng Malikhain, and Irene Herrero, founder of Jacob’s Gourmet Foods and winner of Scale Up Diskarteng Angat. 

They are an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs who dream big, especially mothers who wish to strive for a better life for their family. They also prove that with passion, a global mindset and resourcefulness, national borders can be scaled to offer their products around the world. Their journeys underscore the transformative impact that dedicated and enterprising mothers can have on the business landscape and leave a mark on the global stage.


The power of awareness

Ayn Angeles took her handcrafted leather shoes under her label HERS by Godfather. She started her business with customized shoes originally intended only for men, but her customers would usually visit the showroom with the women in their lives — wives, girlfriends, sisters, and moms. 

“They would always ask us if we had shoes for women. After more than a year, I said, okay, let’s make women’s shoes. That’s how HERS by Godfather was born,” Ayn said.

Ayn didn’t really dream of going international at first, but her shoes were a hit among Filipinos living and working abroad — it brought them national pride, something that propelled the brand’s global venture. 

“Ninety-five percent of our clients are online. They said they see such designs from other countries but not from Filipino shoe brands. They saw the quality and designs of our shoes and said we could compete with international shoe brands, and they were willing to support and promote Philippine-made products. Through word of mouth and their beautiful photos that they would post online, we managed to get new clients.” 

A proponent of comfort and style coexisting, Ayn adds that from the beginning, the brand was dedicated to crafting footwear that not only complements modern fashion but also prioritizes comfort in every step. This commitment has garnered a following among those who refuse to compromise on either elegance or comfort. 

It’s one thing to run a business in the Philippines — and quite another to do so abroad when you live here. Ayn’s advice for those planning to go international is to “find a trusted partner in the country you wish to bring your products to. Since you are based here in the Philippines, you might not know of requirements or restrictions abroad. Find an advisor or mentor that has done it before you. There are so many things and processes you have to do. Madugo ang proseso kaya mas mabuting may nakukuha kang tamang advice while doing this.” 


Made for the whole world

To be successful abroad, it’s a given that your products are of international quality and made for a global market from the outset. 

That’s how food entrepreneur Irene Herrero of Jacob’s Gourmet Foods did it too. The brand’s emphasis on using organic ingredients fits well with the local and international market’s belief that the best flavors come from the finest, naturally grown produce. Jacob’s Gourmet Food ensures that every ingredient is cultivated with respect for nature, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors that speak of authenticity and quality.

Chef Irene scaled up Jacob’s Gourmet Foods not only in supermarkets all over the country, but in 28 other countries as well. 

“I started this business to give my family a better life and to inspire my fellow mommies,” Irene says.  A single mom of four kids, Chef Irene is one of the pioneer manufacturers of 100% organic gourmet food in the Philippines. She believes that everyone has the power to keep toxins out of their body through products that one makes a conscious decision to consume. 

“I started with three kilos of tuyo,” Irene says. “And from there, dumami ang products namin.” Jacob’s Gourmet Foods’ product range includes pasta sauces like creamy tuna pesto and Italian pepperoni; Filipino favorites tuyo, dulong, dilis, bagnet, gambas and suka. 

Jacob’s Gourmet Foods infuses innovative twists into classic Filipino recipes. Its culinary experts experiment with organic ingredients to create unique flavor profiles, catering to the evolving tastes of consumers. Whether it’s tuyo in a bottle or pesto sauce, Jacob’s Gourmet Foods is at the forefront of flavorful innovation within the organic food sector.

Beyond its organic products, Jacob’s Gourmet Foods is dedicated to sustainable practices, understanding that preserving the environment and supporting local communities go hand in hand with its business. By sourcing ingredients responsibly and employing eco-friendly packaging, Jacob’s Organic Gourmet Food ensures that every step in its production process aligns with its commitment to sustainability.

Chef Irene and Ayn’s products may be different, but one thing is definitely clear: a commitment to quality is the first big step to going global and being recognized locally and internationally. Pair that with the right marketing and promotion and it won’t be long before the right people take notice and drive your business.


Check out the social pages of Hers by Godfather on Facebook and Instagram; Jacob’s Gourmet Foods on Facebook and Instagram.  And be inspired by the entrepreneurial moms of Madiskarte Moms PH community.