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Sundals’ Evan Marie Maderazo on building a business amid ‘mom guilt’

Updated: Feb 23

Words by Renee Nuevo

Photos by Jan Mayo

Creative Direction by Meg Manzano

“My business actually started in remembrance of my mom,” begins Evan Marie Maderazo of Sundals. Evan’s mom was the “OG seller” so local and pop-up bazaars were her playgrounds growing up, and she often accompanied her mom to meet with their suppliers and craftsmen. That is where her love for local began. 

Puro imported products kasiyung uso before. Pag imported products ‘yung suot mo, cool ka. Kapag naka-local products ka, patita ka,” she says. 

Evan began her entrepreneurial journey at 18, when she started a small online shop with borrowed capital. She successfully managed to grow her earnings to six digits—then life happened. 

“I found myself pregnant and a single mom. My mom and my dad passed in the span of two years. Business was good but the struggle was real. At that time, ang dami pang stocks. I had two shops and an online store, but I needed stability and a routine.”

She returned to the corporate world, staying for eight years while raising her son. In 2018, upon the encouragement of her brother, Evan decided to sign up with Lazada. She uploaded her first two products on the platform, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

A platform that empowers

“I’ve been through the start of e-commerce. Nagkaroon na ako ng several websites on my own,” shares Evan. “To be able to create your own website, mahal siya and sobrang tedious niya. And if you’re not that tech savvy, matatagalan ka. Hindi ka na makaka-focus on what you really want to do, which is to sell and develop a product. Dun nagstart ‘yung Sundals.”

She had been on Lazada for two years when the pandemic hit. “I was so lucky na my business was already [there],” she says. Although they had little to no sales for the first six months of the lockdown, the sense of security she felt was an enormous help amid all the uncertainty. And because of the pandemic, she was able to spend much more time with her 12-year-old son. 

“First time ko nakasamayung son ko for six straight months,” Evan says. “And then I felt the mom guilt. I knew lahat ng mga working moms nafi-feel ‘yun. It’s really hard to prioritize ano ba dapat—to be able to provide for your kid or to be there for them?”

That same year, during the Lazada 6.6 Bounce Back Sale, Sundals’ sales grew a staggering 500%. Evan’s love for local, coupled with the ease, dependability, and reach of selling her products on the platform, led her and her husband to focusing on their businesses.

Another big challenge Evan faced was having to let go of the notion that she needed to do everything by herself. 

“‘Yunyung pinakamahirap because [even though] I have a partner na and got married, ang thinking ko, dapat strong independent woman. But then I realized, kailangan strong, independent, and open-minded woman ka na. I’ve realized na hindi pala dapat kaya ko. And hindi rin lahat alam ko. I have to let other people in so I can do more.”

In the world of business, one thing she dealt with a lot was other people not taking her and her business seriously. “Iba talagayung tingin ng society kapagyung babae ang nagbi-business. Feeling nila hobby business lang. They don’t take you seriously.”

Whereas men would get asked questions about goals and numbers, Evan would simply get asked how she’s doing. “Ask about my business! Ask about my future plans. But they don’t until I’m getting featured or getting recognized by several organizations, thanks to Lazada.”

More than just the numbers

Having found a safe, reliable, and accessible e-commerce platform changed the direction of Evan’s life. Over the years, she’s learned that it’s important to embrace the journey, and, most of all, to not let other people define what success is for you. 

“At this point I’m so happy I get to be intentional in what I do. It’s not all about the numbers. At the end of the day [it’s about] how you feel about yourself and about the impact that you make to others.”

For Evan, it’s about keeping the Filipino spirit alive and passing that on to future generations. Most of all, it’s seeing the look of pride on her son’s face whenever he watches her talk about her business, her passion, and how she empowers herself and others to do the same.

You can find Evan's locally made footwear Sundals on Lazada:

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