The present crisis has forced our airlines to suspend operations last March until end of May due to travel restrictions. Many flight attendants were placed on unpaid leaves in order for the airline to save on costs. While it would really be challenging to deal with unpaid leaves, some found ways to augment the loss on income by putting up their own businesses. One of them is Elyssa Abrahan De Jesus, a flight attendant from AirAsia.
It has always been her goal to put up her own business while flying but her schedule did become a roadblock to put up a business. Elyssa believes that being a flight attendant would help her in running her own business. "Being a flight attendant is not just all about serving people and safety. You learn a lot of other skills like good customer service. You need to surpass people's expectations for them to have a good impression of your company. Being a flight attendant has also helped me in other ways. It helped me boost my self confidence which greatly helped my negotiation skills in order to handle different situations smoothly and correctly," Elyssa shared.
The pandemic proved to be a deciding point for Elyssa. Due to flight suspensions, the company had to put her on unpaid leave. f course, she would rather grab that option for as long as she can retain her job, but she needed to find a way to augment the loss in income.
Being a culinary arts graduate, Elyssa decided to put up a food business, focusing on baked products. Her first option was to go for Cheesecake however, there was a lack of ingredients in the market due to the limited supply as a result of the lockdown and the high demand from other small businesses. "I had to think of another similar product but with an easier ingredients to find in the market. While Crinkles may be common in Metro Manila, it may not be in my province," Elyssa said.
"What pushed to not give-in is the realization that I cannot stop earning because I still need to support my parents especially during this crisis. I also have my own family and I have 3 year old son," she explains.
She opened her business named "Cabin Crewkies" where she sells different varieties of Crinkles. Elyssa's business grew eventually, from supplying Crinkles to customers in her province of Batangas to even outside provinces eventually. "I started with chocolate crinkles, they cost 130 Pesos per tub with 10 pieces on each tub. With it's chewy and moist texture, people really loved it and with that, more people in our province got to know my business. I started to have another variety of Crinkles which is the "Red Velvet Crinkles with Cream Cheese filling". It costs 180 Pesos per box with 10 pairs on each tub. I never thought that it would really became a crowd favorite as well.
"It took me a month to think of another variety which I eventually launched, the "Oreo Stuffed Crinkles". They cost 250 Pesos per box with 10 pcs on each box. Knowing that all of my varieties are very much in demand, I started selling "Mix of Happiness in a Box" which is all of those 3 varieties are in 1 box already. It has 3 Oreo stuffed, 3 Red Velvet, and 4 Chocolate Crinkles which costs 220 Pesos," Elyssa fondly shared.
Elyss is very happy with the success of her business as what started from a single product eventually became a multiple product line selling a variety of Crinkles. "I never expected that my business would grow that much and very well loved by many. I'm very happy to serve people while I was on duty as a cabin crew, I was also glad to bring happiness through my crinkles," Elyssa told us.
Becoming an entrepreneur has taught Elyssa a lot of important lessons which she can even use as a cabin crew. One of them is hard work. She said, "I learned that we should not be comfortable on just having one source of income if we want to earn more, especially during times like this. We need to explore more for us to earn more. Yes it's tiring but sooner or later, it will be all worth it. You will finally say that all of your hard work is really worth it."
For her cabin crew colleagues, Elyssa has this to say:
Never give up. You need to prioritize God because with God nothing is impossible. Think of what you really love. If you love what you are doing, it will really go well and it will lead you to a very successful business." -Elyssa De Jesus
Thank you for sharing your #asensocabincrew story Elyssa, and may it bring hope to all our present flight attendants facing uncertainty during these days!
You may find Cabin Crewkies on Facebook, just search "Cabin Crewkies" for orders, schedules of delivery, and shipping.