When Charles Perrault wrote Cendrillon in 1697, he probably had no idea that girls worldwide would become enamored by the story of a poor girl who, with the help of her fairy godmother, beats all odds, goes to a ball and captures the heart of a prince. Bibbidi bobbidi boo. A lot of us wish it were that easy to make our dreams come true.
For one woman, who had the odds stacked against her growing up, making her dreams come true was perhaps harder than it was for the rest of us, but that did not stop her from seeing difficulties as merely challenges to overcome while on the path to success. Ms. Rossel Dimayuga, Shantal to her family, friends, and peers, talked about life, her goals, and the advocacy that is very close to her heart.
Ms. Dimayuga has this innate glow in her. When you walk into a room, she will be hard to miss. She had just had a photoshoot so she was dressed to the nines with flawless hair and makeup. She was a little intimidating at first, but you will be put right at ease the moment she started talking. Her voice had a trace of humility, perhaps because of her humble background, but once she started talking about her passions, which are business, people empowerment, and extending help to children, the trace of humility in her voice was replaced with authority.
Ms. Dimayuga grew up in a low-income family in Batangas. They were not destitute. They were able to get by but there was very little wiggle room for more than the basic necessities. Her father was very strict and expected her to be home thirty minutes after her classes had ended. The same thing happened after college once she had started working. She doesn’t come from wealth nor a family of entrepreneurs, but somehow after college, she realized she would never achieve financial freedom by staying as an employee.
Like a lot of people who grew up in the province, she dreamed of working in Manila. Her eyes glistened with pride when she stated how she landed a job at the Manila Ocean Park, and how excited she was to come home to show her family with all of the aquarium’s promotional brochures. “This is where I work,” she told her parents as she proudly showed them the brochures. She also worked as a Beauty Consultant for a major beauty brand then subsequently, she came to work as a Building Administrator.
Although these working experiences thought her a lot, she had a realization that she wanted to push herself even more in to achieving her dreams. With this, she mustered up her courage and she started to venture into her own business.
Ms. Dimayuga did not shy away from actual work. She knew she needed a stable job to eventually make her dreams come true, so while she was working full time, she decided to start an online business selling cell phones on Facebook.
“I realized that you can actually start a business without any capital,” she said. What she did was contact a supplier who would provide the phones and posted the pictures of the products online. The cell phones had already been paid for in full plus shipping even before they left the store.
It is this business smarts that led her to much bigger endeavors. Eventually, she had enough money to open a laundromat. She said she had been naïve to think that hiring someone to operate it would be the best thing to do because her full-time job prevented her from being one hundred percent hands-on. The business tanked but failure did not faze her. “Failure is always a good thing because with it come life lessons,” she said.
Her experience in handling small businesses, despite the failures, has made her realize that people could achieve financial freedom if they had their own businesses. This realization was further emphasized with the onset of the pandemic. She saw countless people queuing up outside government offices waiting under the scorching sun just for ayuda. Most had been laid off work or poor with or without a global pandemic.
“If those people only had a business to call their own, they probably wouldn’t have suffered as much. We have seen how the business community has thrived despite the pandemic. Yes, we’ve seen a lot of restaurants, stores, etc. close down, but somehow, they bounce back.”
This is just one of the things that Ms. Dimayuga aims to do. She aims to educate Filipinos about the importance of Small and Mid-size Enterprise (SME) – that one does not have to be rich to start their own business.
“It’s not just about making money, it’s also about not having to worry about food security, your children’s education, or if something unexpected happens like a pandemic.”
Another goal of hers is to start a foundation called Yakap Kalinga, which aims to help underprivileged children by providing them with shoes, supplements, and other necessities every start of the school year. This project is already ongoing but the foundation will be formally launched next year.
To date, Ms. Dimayuga owns a manpower agency, a security agency, a finance company, a trading company, a textile and garments manufacturing company, and most recently, One Genki Corporation, the sole distributor of Genki diapers from Japan.
She has come a long way from being the young, innocent girl from Batangas, who always felt restricted with time. She is the embodiment of the term “self-made” for she can truly claim all her successes as hers.
At 32, she is the Chief Finance Officer of Bright One Glorious Star Inc. and One Genki Corporation, CEO of RadCorp, President and CEO of Promptus Trading Inc., President and CEO of Nobles One Solutions Agency Inc., President of Bagwis Security & Investigative Services Inc., and President, and CEO of Empress Textile and Garments Manufacturing Corp.
Every now and then, we come across a person who is truly inspirational. She made us realize that one cannot and should not wait for an outside force to make one’s dreams come true. In a way, Ms. Dimayuga is her own fairy godmother.