How to Pursue Your Passion #RealTalkTambay

The whole time that I was pregnant and nursing, I was crocheting. It’s the easiest craft to handle. Unlike a set of pliers, wires, and trinkets where I need a table to put them all down, crocheting is light and portable.

Yet, when I checked out the photos that we took last year, I suddenly missed crafting with wires. Wire working is not a popular craft, which made it exciting for me because I was walking on unknown grounds. I felt that I was challenging the arts and crafts community by bringing something that only few local creatives ventured. It was also scary because I had no mentor nor a book to teach me to better my wire working skills.

Remembering this, my gigil was reborn. I wanted to work with Paper Pliers again.

So last month, I found myself registering for the Round 2 of #RealTalkTambay, organized by Ella Lama, a Manila-based Illustrator and fellow entrepreneur. It’s a conference where invited speakers share the difficult but satisfying reality behind the glamorous Instagramed world of arts and crafts.

Attending this session refreshed my perspective to the growing ‘micro-business arts and crafts’ community. I was reminded of the reason why I wanted to be part of these group of people, why I wanted to be like my idols.

What I love about the set of invited speakers was that each have a unique set of experiences. One speaker shared of quitting the corporate world and being a full-time creative. Another spoke of having a day job, while being a commissioned artist. Another speaker shared leaving the corporate world, going full-time as a freelance, and then working for a corporation again.

It made me realize that these people are humans, just like everyone else. Just because they have thousands of followers doesn’t mean that they have their ducks in a row, or that they have planned their future ahead. They struggled in every challenge presented to them. They make do with what they can and have to overcome these challenges.

What made them all the similar are two things:

  1. They have pursued and/or are pursuing what they are good at.
  2. They are well aware of the reality that money is an important aspect of pursuing any passion.

If you feel stuck between wanting to pursue your passion to having a day job, needed to feel supported in pursuing a creative life, or wanted to know how to be like your creative idols – make sure to follow Ella Lama’s Instagram feed to watch out for the next tambay session sometime November. It’s worth it. (Congrats Ella!)

One of the best takeaways from this session that I very much agree on is:

If you want to pursue your passion, embrace the ugly parts.

I’ve read somewhere that it’s not enough to set goals to reach your dream. What matters more is showing up every day. No matter what mood, what type of work you should be doing, even though you know you’ll end up making junk, show up. That’s the only way to achieve goals, to be successful in the pursuit of your passion.

Formulating my ordering system, accounting finances, inventory check, and accommodating each inquiry were not a walk in the park. It was fun at first, but since I’m obligated to do it, it felt tedious.

But that’s okay. I accepted it. I knew that these things are part of what I signed up for. I don’t have to love every aspect of owning a business. If I don’t do them at all, how else would I be able to manage my business?

That’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks: fixing papers, inventory check, organizing photos, and writing a lot of lists – while taking care of a newborn.

New pit stop: Business in a ‘newborn-baby-and-parenting’ city

Yes, Paper Pliers is up and running again.



Check out our newly-renovated website and our order form

Breaking the Internet Silence


I haven’t written anything here for more than a year. The last post was March 2015 and you haven’t heard anything from this space ever since. Nevertheless, I’ve been actively posting updates and news in Paper Pliers’ Facebook and Instagram page.

Until after December 2015.

Last year was a really busy year for us. A year of firsts. A year of struggles. A year of conquering myself. My goal last year was to measure the potential of the craft business and my potential as an entrepreneur and artist. Then one day, while manning a booth at BGC Midnight Mercato, I felt very ill and nauseous. I thought this happened because I was pushing myself to the limits. I needed to take a break.

When we visited the doctor, we found out that the exhaustion happened not because of overworking. It was because, we were expecting! Yay!

Of course, we weren’t going to use that as an excuse to back out from our commitments. So we kept it to ourselves for a couple of weeks to our family and friends, and a couple of months to our followers. We decided to finish everything before the year ends, and vowed to rest after that. We wanted to focus on our pregnancy and on taking care of our baby.

Hence, the reason why we were silent for quite awhile.

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Hello everyone! Sorry for going MIA for half a year — BUT it’s because of a very great reason. We are expecting! 👶 YAAAY! 🎉🎉🎉 That said, we still won’t be able to go back to work as we’re “wiring” ourselves to be new parents. Thank you for our clients who believed in us for the past year, most especially the last two months. It was great effort to try to balance everything, while keeping our bearing during the first trimester of pregnancy (morning sickness and crazy hormones 😭). Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos to us and to your family and friends, and for letting everyone know how you appreciate our handmade wire-written pieces. We greatly miss working for Paper Pliers — conversing with our online and repeat clients, craft fairs, events. We’re planning to get back to work and offer our personalized services before the year ends. We’ll keep you posted! 💌 – Anrea & Carlo

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But not for long.


PS: You might have noticed that I renovated our website. I’ve been organizing our photos and creating lists lately. I’ll talk more about this on my next blog post. 🙂