As told to Patricia Medina:
I’m Karla Zulueta, and I consider myself an entrepreneur.
A typical morning for me would start at 10:30 am. My alarm is at 10:00, but I end up waking up at 10:30 most of the time. If I have time, I listen to ‘Brain Sync’ by Kelly Howell, which is a guided form of meditation. That’s like my prayer and booster for the day.
If I have even more time, I cook breakfast for my boyfriend and for my sister, Kim. Being with a French man, everything has to be fresh: fresh produce, fresh products.
When we we were all still living together, my mom would always cook amazing meals. Maybe that’s why I love entertaining people. Even when we were young, we already knew what good food was.
Aperitif catering started out as a hobby. When I moved to my new place in Rockwell, I loved throwing parties for my friends here at home, and every time it would be a different theme. I try to set the table nicely, and think of new recipes and new ways to cook. One night, I made a spread of wine and cheese. I didn’t know that one of the guests there was going to have a wedding. She told me, “I want to get you for my wedding. Why don’t you do my wedding spread?” At first I declined because it was only just a hobby and not a business. However, I was so drunk that time and the marketing girl in me was awakened.
It was so impulsive. I was hungover, then I woke up, made an Instagram page, and made a logo right then and there. Since then, I’d get orders every week. It’s been really fun, but now it has reached a point where I have to move to a new house because running a catering business at home isn’t practical. I’m excited to make it grow. By June, we’ll expand the brand. That’s very exciting.
The heart of my business is Sundowners Vacation Villas in Bolinao, Pangasinan. That came by accident, too. It changed our entire lives. My boyfriend took me to their family rest house that they’ve probably never used for years. His mom asked me if I could find a way to make a business out of it. I suggested to turn it into villas and call it “Sundowners.” As soon as we advertised on Facebook, it blew up. We opened back in February 2014, and we’re still fully booked every day. In 2015, Sundowners Bolinao was number one on the top most Googled local destinations in the Philippines.
I’m also the marketing director for Skin101. While I’m not a partner, I’m currently a one-woman team. I have been with them since 2014, and it has been a great ride so far. The brand is getting a lot of recall, especially with the new endorsers, Yassi Pressman and Lauren Reid.
Young Living Essential Oils changed my life. They are shipped from Hong Kong so they’re the best, most potent oils. I put it in the diffuser, but sometimes I put it in my drink. It’s the only oil that you can drink. I put a drop of Lemon Thieves, or DiGize in my drink because it heals my bloating.
The first things I drink in the morning are my natural supplements from Healthy Options. I have probiotics, digestive enzymes, Vitamin D for my bones, and Vitamin C so I don’t get sick. Spirulina is also my coffee for the day, since it gives me good energy.
I’m such a go-getter. I probably have a “green thumb” when it comes to businesses. Maybe I just got lucky, but I think every woman can be empowered. I think every woman has the right to be, they have to find it within them. If there’s something I’d love to be an advocate of, it’s probably the law of attraction. I started with nothing, and I realized that the only thing that I have for myself is the power to be anyone that I can be. When I was able to absorb that in my head, through mediation, through reading books, through positivity, through generosity, I was able to magnetize everything that I could envision.
Now, I think I can do anything. I’m up for every challenge, and I’m not gonna stop there. In my head I always think, “What’s a nice brand or business to make after this?” I’m constantly growing, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop. I can still picture myself even when I’m 60 years old, I’m still going to be doing something.