Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Cruz.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Julie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a stay-at-home mother of three young children – ages 6, 3 and 1. At my core, I am both creative and entrepreneurial so I’m always thinking about creative projects I can take on alongside my role as a stay-at-home mom. In looking at my options, I pinpointed my love for community and that I especially feel a sense of instant camaraderie whenever I meet other Filipino-American (FilAm) families like mine. I also knew I wanted to do something related to family life, and in our family, we cultivate a sense of pride for and connection to our heritage. It was from identifying these which came natural to me, coupled with the joy I find in event planning as a creative outlet that inspired the idea for FilAm Fam. I also had the epiphany that our modern generation of Filipino-Americans, many of us raised in America most or all or our lives, has to be intentional about passing on our heritage to the next generation, otherwise it is bound to get lost. By the end of this April, we’ll be seven months old as an organization and have gained considerable traction and momentum in little time through consistently hosting cultural events that deliver great value for the community. We see that there is definitely a demand for what we offer this niche market.
Has it been a smooth road?
In the relatively short time, we’ve been around, it’s been quite a smooth road with everything we’ve produced thus far, specifically in regards to logistics and community response, and I credit that to my faith in God and my belief that His favor goes before me. The one major challenge I do have, however, is managing family life with three young children while fostering this growing community. It truly is the busiest season of my entire life. As I write this, the kids are in bed and I’m working another late night on my iPhone chipping away at my work to-do list. It’s been a struggle to be fully present with my family when I don’t have a regularly designated work schedule. Often my attention at a given time is split between caring for the kids and the thoughts of what needs to get done for work. In my sleep-deprived state, I just have to keep reminding myself that this is just a season and it will pass.
We’d love to hear more about your organization.
FilAm Fam is a community organization with a mission to honor and preserve Filipino heritage with intention for the next generation. I created this organization as a creative outlet for myself with a yearning to exercise my entrepreneurial spirit while satisfying a personal desire to pass on my Filipino heritage to my three young children, ages 6, 3 and 1. Through FilAm Fam, I produce cultural events and experiences that cultivate awareness of Filipino culture both within the Filipino-American community and beyond it, with an intention to expose the culture to whomever desires to learn more about it. The foundation of our organization is our monthly “Pamilya Meetups” – free family-friendly community events that teach about particular themes of Filipino culture, in which I partner with FilAm-owned businesses and target FilAm families with young children who desire cultural enrichment and the passing of heritage to the next generation. This niche market is largely untouched, and I’m proud to be a pioneer in this space and glad to be able to help fill a gap in our community.
If you had to start over, what would you have done differently?
When I began this organization last October 2019, I jumped in rather quickly, executing three back-to-back weekend events within a month and a half of launching. As momentum gained while in the midst of the holiday season, I didn’t get the chance to really think about my logo nor hire a professional to develop it. And recently within the past week, I’ve had two organizations ask for my logo. So I had to give them something I’d just whipped up on Canva and is basically a mediocre representation of the brand I’ve built. So the one thing that I would have done differently would be to come in more prepared with my branding materials, plus an upgraded camera to take high-quality shots for my Instagram page, our primary platform for building our brand and community!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @filamfamgram