Being a mompreneur is no easy feat. Motherhood on its own is already a full-time job, and juggling it with the responsibility of running a business makes it far more challenging.

New mom Chari Trinidad-Mendoza successfully conceptualized and launched several new brands and collaborations, as well as secured a big brand acquisition for one of them—amid a pandemic! We talk to Chari on how she’s able to “do it all” while fulfilling her role as a wife and a mom.

Artwork by Ariana Maralit

Manila Bulletin: What companies do you take care of?
Chari: I am a partner/co-owner of both Alike and RCT5. Alike is a digital media company I founded, whereas RCT5 is an FMCG company my best friend founded. Here we continuously create brands and products that are relevant and in demand. Some brands we own are OMO! White (recently acquired by Ever Bilena), Oh Crop! Adlai, and several others. These are two companies we both started and handle as if they were one, we’ve coined it CHOSE (short for Chari & Rose). And in our plans is to put up a CHOSE Foundation dedicated to help our marginalized.

MB: How does a typical day look like for you?
C: As I write this, it’s already late in the night and this was my only free time to answer—despite it being a holiday today. To be honest, entrepreneurship’s been glamorized by today’s media when it is in fact, far from glamorous. It is real hard work—sweat, grit, and tenacity required, a working habit we consciously as a team maintain because I, and my partners, believe that while we can confidently get to the goal—it’s just a matter of when. 
And it’s not just one goal we are trying to hit, it’s several goals because we have so many brands. Brands that are all in different industries, brands that all need different executions. There is no routine at all. Every day is different. And it is exciting! So we are really giving it our best. We are most grateful to God that we are growing despite the pandemic. 

MB: You’ve always been on-the-go, but you’re also a new mom. How has motherhood affected your work life
C: My baby Callista is five months old now. And slowly, I am getting better sleep. Unlike the previous months where I barely had sleep and had to continuously grind despite it, so I wasn’t at my best mentally. Now at five months postpartum, I would consider my work performance easing back at peak. 
I remember when my baby was born, three days postpartum, I already tried to go back to work. I didn’t really take any maternity leave. And friends would message me saying they can’t believe I’m working already. I really consider myself a workaholic. And I really try to give my best in all roles I play. And so I consciously put in all efforts to make time for my husband Marvin and our baby Calli as well. 

MB: How are able to “do it all,” especially in the middle of this pandemic?
C: It’s hard, really. Just as entrepreneurship is glamorized, being a mompreneur is even more glamorized. And, oh, if only people knew what I really looked like at home juggling my duties as a mom, a wife, and entrepreneur. It really is not a breeze.
Nonetheless, I am very grateful to God because even if the struggle is real, I am grateful because I am able to do so. And I am, because God gave me the strength to be. It is no ordinary feat, and sometimes I fail to give myself credit for it, actually. So to all the working moms out there, I salute you. 

MB: How do you manage family life and career during this time? 
C: Thankfully, we’ve set up our companies pandemic-proof where we all get to work remotely. We only go out when necessary. We also have a nanny who takes care of Callista hands-on especially when I am in the zone at work. Sometimes during the mornings or afternoons, I would carry [Calli] to our swing and it would be our bonding, a swift shift in role, then I’ll go back to work.
And so, despite the juggling roles I play, I am still very blessed because I get to do it with my family just beside me. At the same time, I am also very blessed because I have a husband who is so supportive. Despite me working even at night, he understands and respects my work ethics. 

MB: No one can juggle work life balance perfectly, can you share tips or personal steps that you do to manage and cope?
C: Taking a break is very important. As a workaholic, I have to admit that, sometimes, I forget to. It takes conscious steps to be out of the zone, but it’s one we should take every now and then so we remain at our optimum. Making time to sit in the swing with Callista, playing with her, having a no-laptop no-phone time, watching Netflix with Marvin, making time for our parents and siblings during the weekends—these are no-miss routines for us to have a healthy work-life balance.  

MB: What kind of principles do you follow as you go through life?
C: God and family first, always. Everything that I do, I do because I want to give justice to the gifts God has blessed me with. I do what I do to contribute as much as I can to this world, no matter how small it may be. And it is my hope to be my baby’s role model, someone she looks up to, so I strive to be the best I can be. 
And everything I do, I do with gratitude. That mentality of gratitude is what perhaps gets me through. When it gets overwhelming, I look at the picture, and I am reminded that I am blessed. There should be no room for anything but gratitude to God. 

MB: What’s your general advice for other working moms on how they can also “do it all”?
C: Being a mother and being an entrepreneur are two very different things but the same in the concept of mothering. As an entrepreneur, your company is also your baby. And while it may be overwhelming to keep shifting roles in a day from mother to wife to entrepreneur, just keep doing everything with gratitude in your heart because all roles you were given with are all blessings from God. Don’t forget also the people who love and care for you along the way. I am blessed to have a loving family, and blessed to have the most amazing partners. God works through our loved ones. 

MB: What’s next for you?
MB: I honestly want to try to have another baby, maybe we will try again next year. I grew up with siblings I was very close with and so I wanted the same for our child. As for our companies, we are definitely bound to make endless more “babies” as much as we can, in this lifetime we have. God willing.

Source: Manila Bulletin (