For Ellaija, although seemingly scary, taking risks is a crucial step. Adopting this mindset has allowed her to constantly explore opportunities outside of her comfort zone, and to breathe life into new ideas.
How old are you?
27 years old
What do you do for a living, and what are the things that make you feel more alive?
What makes me feel alive is creating things that reflect my vision. I love conceptualizing brands with a touch of my aesthetic and seeing them come to life gives me pure joy. Ever since I was a kid, my parents trained me and my siblings to be entrepreneurial. I co-manage our family resort in El Nido, Palawan and oversee my cosmetic brand Soie skin. I co-founded Moonë Beauty and recently opened my own brunch café in El Nido called Dayō. Currently, I am in the middle of research and development for a new cosmetic brand.
I am most known for:
I am most known for being a go getter. If I want something, I make it happen. I just give my 100% and believe that everything will work out. “If you think you can’t, you really can’t. If you can believe it, you can achieve it" is one of the quotes I live by.
When I was in college, I made a list of my dream businesses. After graduating in 2019, I started to get out of my comfort zone. I looked back on the lists I made back in college and it served as my guide on what path to take. So far, 3 of the things I wrote down on my list have been checked off.
I am most proud of:
I never thought that I was capable of building something from scratch and seeing my idea come to life, that it’s actually possible that my hard work will pay off. I’m proud that at my age, I’m financially independent, I don't have to rely on anyone. I believe that women should be financially independent regardless if they are married or not, because it empowers them to make their own decisions and live their lives in their own terms. We should have the ability to take care of ourselves and the people whom we love.
What do you think is the biggest challenge, and the best thing, about being your age?
The biggest challenge in my age is that in our culture, there’s so much pressure when someone is his or her late 20s. There is an expectation to be successful and to get married. Personally, I also have my own set of expectations like I want to have everything all figured out. But I guess, no one has really all figured out, have they? We just discover things as we grow older and what’s important is to enjoy every season of our lives and I realized that even in suffering, losing, and waiting, one would gain wisdom. We just have to be willing to learn from our experiences - good or bad.
On the other hand, the best thing about my age is that I still have so much room for personal growth and even for mistakes. Every day, I just try to be a better person, to learn about life, and discover more about myself.
How have you grown wiser in the past two years?
The past two years have been hard for all of us due to the pandemic, businesses were affected one way or the other. But I learned that taking risks although seemingly scary is a crucial step. Otherwise, we will never know what’s on the other side of our fears. Although opening a business in the middle of pandemic sounds daunting but I in fact opened all my passion projects during the pandemic. Taking risk is better than losing our chance. More importantly, it made me understand all the more our need for a personal relationship with God, it helped me to navigate my life and not to lose hope because He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
What are some of the best pieces of life advice you have ever received?
That it's okay to prioritise yourself & your well-being because if your cup is full, then you have so much to give to others as well. That your love, care and happiness will just naturally overflow. You'll be able to show up better for others if you show up for yourself first. Being self-full is not selfish, it's necessary.
Who are the women you look up to and how have they helped shape your life?
The woman I look up to is my mom, she's the definition of a superwoman and the most selfless person I know. My mom's resiliency is what inspires me the most whenever things get tough, she can still manage to laugh at all her problems. She can literally light up the whole room with her energy. Whenever I doubt myself, she's the one who would support me and without her guidance, I wouldn't have been able to do my passion projects – my cosmetic line and my café.
She Talks Generations celebrates wisdom-sharing among women; and highlights the different perspectives and unique strengths that we bring to the table at every life stage.