Every cloud has a silver lining, or so they say.by Karl Go
To these 8 young people, the months of lockdown and quarantine have brought out the entrepreneurial side of them, letting them test their skills and make a living out of their passions. From specialty to coffee to Japanese onigiri, to mango tarts and custom-made embroidery, the different kinds of quarantine projects are immensely varied, to say the least. Today, we take a look at 8 quarantine student-entrepreneurs who are either still in school or have just graduated.
Christian Ng – Highrise Coffee
Specialty coffee in the time of a pandemic may seem unprecedented, but not to Christian Ng, a 2nd year BA Psychology student from Ateneo de Manila University. His quarantine project is Highrise Coffee, espresso-based bottled coffee which he crafts in his room. His inspiration to start Highrise stemmed from a love for coffee, and a desire to serve coffee to people despite physical restrictions from the pandemic.
Gennie Go – Sweets by G
A love for cookies was what inspired Gennie Go, a 5th-year Business Administration and Accountancy student from the University of the Philippines Diliman, to start her quarantine project, Sweets by G. As someone who was caught by the home baking wave during those lockdown months, Gennie decided to channel her free time into baking her favorite cookie flavors, much to the delight of family and friends. Eventually, she was inspired to turn it into a small business that provides premium, handcrafted cookies of different flavors.
CJ Qua – Portions
If you’ve ever craved mango tarts, then look no further with Portions, home to this classic favorite. Inspired by a similar passion for baking that took flight amidst the lockdown, CJ Qua, a 5th-year Business Administration and Accountancy student from the University of the Philippines Diliman, started this mango tart and cookie mini venture. Portions specialize in the sweetest mango tarts around, but their cookies pack a mean punch as well!
Nikki De Leon – Petit Puffs
What first started as a mini-experiment soon turned into a full-on entrepreneurial venture for Nikki De Leon, a BA Psychology graduate from UP Diliman, in the form of bite-sized cream puffs. Petit Puffs as it’s known specializes in all sorts of mini cream puffs, and with up to 4 flavors to date, is definitely one to go to for your sugary fill. Further inspired by friends who were starting their own small businesses, Nikki decided to take this risk and it seems to have paid off.
Althea Yu – Onigiri Bar MNL
A hometown brand created to bring a taste of Japan to Manila, Onigiri Bar MNL specializes in the traditional Japanese rice bun, or Onigiri. Althea Yu, a fresh graduate of BS Management from Ateneo de Manila University, started this with the goal of bringing something she thoroughly enjoyed from Japan to the Philippines. With toppings such as salmon cream cheese, tuna, beef bulgogi, and even longganisa and laing, these little rice burgers more than leaving you craving for more!
Dani Dee & Mia De Jesus – Moodi Athletics
High school best friends Dani Dee and Mia De Jesus, both from UP Diliman, decided to spread their love for fitness and working out through Moodi Athletics, an activewear and lifestyle brand that makes athleisure clothes for every occasion. Currently only catering to women, these young ladies believe that fitness is a lifestyle choice, be it going to school, running errands, lounging at home, or working out. Crafted for peak comfort, Moodi Athletics is like a second skin and allows ladies to wear it all day, every day, no matter what mood they’re in.
Danielle Huang – Tiny Leaf Embroidery
A custom home embroidery service that began in July 2020, Tiny Leaf Embroidery is the brainchild of UP Diliman Architecture student Danielle Huang, and the fulfillment of a lifelong hobby and love of embroidery. What began as a personal project soon became an entrepreneurial venture, and Tiny Leaf was Danielle’s way of keeping busy during the lockdown. Custom hand-made stitches mean that customers are getting an artisan’s unique and one-of-a-kind work, with personalized designs.
Kathryn Llama – Sugar Llama
A home-based bakery that specializes in baking sweet and savory rolls of various flavors, Sugar Llama, is 5th-year Business Administration and Accountancy student Kathryn Llama’s little quarantine project. Similar to the trend of home bakers, Kathryn found herself with quite a bit of spare time during the lockdown and decided to develop her passion for baking. From mini cinnamon rolls and cereals “cinnabites”, to full-sized, flavorful buns, Sugar Llama will undoubtedly satisfy your sweet tooth!