I recently caught up with Martine De Luna, owner of the Manila Work-At-Home Moms group on Facebook, blogger and coach extraordinaire of Dainty Mom and MartineDeLuna.com. With The Wahmderful Weekend coming up in a few days, I wanted all of us to get to know Martine better. Read on and be inspired. By the way, if your read through to the end of this post, there’s a fabulous giveaway for The Wahmderful Weekend.
Martine, thank you very much for taking time for our interview today.
What were your intentions when you first formed the Manila WAHMs group?
MDL: I wanted to create a true community of work-at-home women in the Philippines. Most of the groups I’d seen out there were spammy and filled with job postings, not real conversations between WAHMs. Eventually, the group grew, and grew even more after I began the WAHMderful Workshops, a collaboration between the WAHMderful Life Community and Manila Workshops.
Did you have some doubts/fears before you did it? How did you overcome it?
MDL: I didn’t have any doubts that this community — the WAHMs group on Facebook and the workshops — was necessary. First of all, there was no active community that was doing what our group is doing (at least, none I knew of). Rather than wait for someone else to start this group, I acted on my instincts and started it. Many of the original members are readers of my blog, DaintyMom.com, which is where I first started to write about my work-at-home life.
How would you describe the group dynamics now?
MDL: The Manila WAHMs Facebook Group and the WAHMderful Workshops community comprises mostly women who do outsourced work, freelance work, all from home. We’ve got a mix of married women, single moms, newbie WAHMs and veteran ones who’ve been in the lifestyle for some time now. We have a handful of online shop owners and entrepreneurs, too.
What I’ve come to see is that there are a lot of long-time WAHMs in Manila. It’s become more and more obvious that there really wasn’t one single support group online that united these women. I don’t consider myself a leader or expert at the WAHM life, but I am known to be a conversation starter. That’s what this is:
A group that perpetuates the conversation, the idea that a woman can make a living while making a home, and do both well and purposefully.
We’re not just concerned about making money and getting rich materially.
What are the benefits of joining the group?
MDL: Well, the Facebook group is a sisterhood. There’s a camaraderie there. So you get to connect with real women who work from home, who likely understand the ups and downs of the WAHM life.
When we have events, the Manila WAHMs group is the first one who knows about them, like the WAHMderful Life Workshops and such. We extend discounts to members of the Facebook group, too, for these events.
The WAHMs in the group also find other WAHMs in their area or region, so they can connect with one another offline. It’s a great place where WAHMs can meet and collaborate, even support, help and pray for one another.
Can you tell us some stories of how the group is able to be of help to WAHMS or WAHM to be?
MDL: This group has been able to connect WAHMs with business partners, co-service providers, and more. For instance: Two of my panelists from the first WAHMderful Life Workshop, Marge and Jenn, were able to collaborate. They now work as partners providing virtual assistance coaching and services. They’ve even taken it further to run their own workshops! Many of the moms who give workshops through Manila Workshops are from the WAHMderful Life/Manila Work at Home Moms group.
Aside from these collaborations, we’ve also helped other WAHMs connect with employers, through job leads. We’re a helpful community, and when somebody posts a job opening or opportunity, the WAHMs recommend or refer one another for these jobs, depending on the skill required, expertise.
What are your future plans for the group?
MDL: My dream is for the WAHMderful Life Community and Manila Work at Home Moms group to be a FULL SERVICE job placement-learning support organization. I want us to eventually work with companies that provide jobs for work-at-home moms.
I am also looking for partner organizations who want to collaborate with the WAHMderful Life and Manila Work at Home Moms on projects. I’d love for the organization to be able to support local advocacies, especially those that champion mothers.
There you have it. It was fun and inspiring to connect with Martine. Would you like to connect with other work-at-home moms? Come join us at the Wahmderful Weekend: The Heart and Hands of the Work At Home Mom on Oct. 27, 2013 at The SMX Convention Center, Bonifacio Global City.
Manila Workshops has graciously sponsored a free ticket to the Wahmderful Life for Beyond The Silver and The Gold readers! That means one of you will get to go for FREE!!!
Note: Try to accomplish all the tasks because this gives you more chances of winning a ticket. The winner will be announced on Oct. 26, Saturday. I suggest that if you’re really decided to attend the Wahmderful Weekend, go ahead and pay for your ticket. If you have already reserved and paid, come and join anyway, because if you win, Manila Workshops refund your payment. Isn’t that great?