As an entrepreneur, bag designer, and style icon Amina Aranaz-Alunan is a respected name in fashion circles; to the students of SOFA (the School of Fashion and the Arts, of which she is a co-founder), she is a tireless and generous mentor—but Amina admits that while she is passionate about everything she does, what she looks forward to is coming home and being a mother to her three kids.
“To be able to fulfill all my responsibilities and still have time for my children, I always plan my schedule very carefully,” she said, adding that attending to her husband Rafa Alunan and their kids is always a priority even in the midst of all her work.
Recently Amina, the teacher and school director that had to step up during the graduation of seventeen SOFA students. They all completed SOFA’s Fashion Design and Marketing program—and Amina is proud of all of them.
According to Amina, she feels a special kind of fulfillment as a teacher when she sees hard-working students finish a program.
“I’m amazed at seeing how our students change and bloom. I love seeing them transform year after year. They walk in sofa with nothing but their passion and raw talent and emerge a different person. Equipped with a set of design, technical and business skills, they are more confident, focused and aware of their direction and capabilities. They are ready and driven to embrace their career goals and challenges,” said Amina.
At SOFA, students are taught the entrepreneurial aspects of fashion as well. Amina said that these subjects are necessary for anyone who wants to be a professional in the fashion industry—something that could be surprising for some students.
“Admittedly our students in SOFA like the design subjects more. However, they do appreciate and value the importance of the business subjects as well. We want to make them understand that any creative endeavor must always be supported by a business backbone for it to thrive and grow,” she said.
Amina, who is also a Globe Business Ambassador, has a formidable workload as a school director and faculty member at SOFA. According to her, she is able to stay grounded and balanced—able to do her work and take care of her family—through a) managing her schedule well; and b) using modern telecoms technology.
“I play various roles in the school: over-all vision building, fashion department chairperson, teacher, marketing, and admissions. Carefully planning my schedule is crucial. Also, being accessible via cellphone and the Internet allows me to manage the school even when I am elsewhere,” she said.
Amina said that Globe Business solutions and services help her fulfill her passion as a teacher while still letting her be an entrepreneur, wife, and mother. “Globe Business solutions allows me to attend to my various roles without being absent from my other responsibilities. It keeps me connected to all the parts of my life,” she said.
According to Manny Escosa, Globe Business Marketing Head for SMBs, multi-tasking entrepreneurs like Amina can benefit from several Globe Business solutions that will help them live a more balanced life.
“Globe Business is providing easy, affordable, and reliable solutions to Filipino entrepreneurs who need to get several things done within a short period of time. An SMB owner’s time is very valuable—not only to his business but also to his family. Through our solutions, we are empowering Filipino entrepreneurs to be more flexible and in control of their time. In this way, they can grow their business while still having the opportunity to enjoy life to the full,” said Escosa.
For example, entrepreneurs may avail of TxtConnect, which lets them send a high volume of text messages. It’s a Web-based service that broadcasts SMS messages to groups of people using a computer with an Internet connection. This makes it easier to send SMS blasts in just one broadcast, with just a few keystrokes on the computer.
Messages sent through TxtConnect are secured through its masking technology—this ensures that the recipients only get official and appropriate messages, instead of spam or other unwelcome message blasts.
TxtConnect also charges rates that are much lower than regular text messaging or phone calls. Subscribing to TxtConnect results in as much as 35 percent in saved cost compared to the regular text messaging service charges.
Another solution for entrepreneurs is Business Capped Plans. These plans set a cost ceiling for the use of the company’s mobile phone accounts every month.
A Business Capped Plan provides a monthly load allowance that serves as a cap or limit on company mobile phone credits. For example, if a Business Capped Plan has a monthly allowance of P600 per month, the company only pays for that amount.
Business Capped Plans have an Unli Call feature that allows unlimited calls within the Globe and TM network. Those who subscribe to Business Capped Plans would also receive mobile phones as part of the package.
In case a Business Capped Plan’s allowance is used up, an employee can simply reload his SIM with regular Globe credits. Business Capped Plans also allow users to avail of Globe’s various prepaid promos, like Supersurf and various Unli services.
Amina knows the difficulties of building a career in fashion firsthand. After finishing her university studies, she worked at a stylist for a Filipino fashion magazine and even did a bit of modeling—but she knew that she still had a lot to learn. Eventually, she went to Milan to study fashion at the Instituto Maranggoni.
When she returned to the Philippines, everything she learned about fashion as an art and as a craft came in handy when she began designing and producing the ARANAZ brand of stylish bags. Thanks to Amina’s creative, innovative, and beautiful designs, ARANAZ bags are now much sought-after fashion must-haves—in the Philippines and overseas, as well.
Now that she’s become a fashion icon, Amina wants to help out other Filipinos who want to have a career in the fashion business—but don’t know how to get the proper education and training. Her approach was to establish what is, arguably, the best fashion school in the Philippines. It’s her way of giving back to the fashion industry which has been good to her.
According to Amina, founding and running SOFA isn’t easy—and was very challenging in the beginning.
“Running the school is a lot of pressure on us. Our goal is to contribute to the growth and progress of our local creative industries; this is what keeps us going. We hope that our country will be able to produce an increasing number of creative professionals and homegrown brands that, eventually, will reach the world market. SOFA has exceeded my expectations. It started out as a risk, now it is a risk that I am glad that I took,” she said.
For more information on how Globe Business solutions can help you balance your work and personal life, the way Amina has been doing, visit the nearest Globe store near you; or visit
http://business.globe.com.ph or call +632 730-1010.
Globe Business is the corporate arm of Globe Telecom, the leading mobile telecommunications company in the Philippines. Globe Business provides wireless and wireline solutions for a diverse set of industries, businesses, and commercial enterprises. It assures SMEs of affordable, reliable, and dependable services for all communication needs, both wireless and wireline solutions, to generate the highest possible profit at the lowest possible cost.