Bitter Sweet Success
Go a sweet tooth? Lenieflor can satisfy that. Sweet success, literally and figuratively, is what Lenieflor Ico has right now. Since 1990, she continues to make lovers and kids happy through her products, flower icings. According to Lenieflor, her business is an unexpected blessing from God. Lenieflor grew up exposed to farming and charcoal making. She thought that this kind of work is what she would have until she gets old. Since childhood, she and her husband, Danilo Ico, experienced the sweat-dripping work in the farm and in the mountains. They were employed as farmers of rice and vegetables and as charcoal makers. Lenieflor admitted that their work then was no joke.
“God really guided me to this,” she said. It was like God moved in her life and directed her to the flower icing business. Wanting to help her sister, Lenieflor assisted her sibling in latter’s bakery in La Union. There, Lenieflor learned how to make flower icings. Her two years exposure in the bakery gave her the foundation for her own business. Out of tiredness from their work in the field, the Ico couple took the risk of putting up their business with just Php 100 as starting capital. From then, Leny’s Food Product was born in Nueva Vizcaya. At first, they just hoped for this business to give them financial support in their day-to-day living. Luckily, it boomed and became their main source of income. With Leny’s Food Product incurring good sales, they decided to let go of farming and charcoal making.
Everything was going smoothly until year 2003 when Lenieflor’s mother died. This event did not only make Lenieflor suffer but her business as well. Lenieflor had a nervous breakdown for two years and she did not want to go out of their house. Her husband shifted to another work too when she ran out of motivation to continue the business. God then again moved in her life. In 2005, her husband was weakened by lung cancer. This woke up Lenieflor and made her revive all her strength and motivation to pursue the business to support Danilo. She again took the risk by bringing her products to Divisoria, hoping that she would have more customers. It was an answered prayer for her as Lenny’s Food Product went back on track.
Today, Lenieflor’s flower icing did not only reach Luzon but Visayas and Mindanao as well. For her, the training she had under the CMDC program was very helpful since she was not able to finish her high school education. Before, she was not even recording the cash-in and cash-out of her business. But now, she keeps a record of everything in the business. According to her, she will never forget her learnings she gained on marketing, finance, human resource management, product variety, and packaging. She explored on all possible designs of flowers for her customers so they would not get bored on icings. She also improved her packaging to preserve her sweet products longer. With that, her icings could now last for five to six months and even a year. She also recognized that good relationship with her workers and customers will bring success to her business. She was very dedicated to observing respect in dealing with them.
The life in the field made Lenieflor patient, hardworking, and persistent. These values were carried on in managing Leny’s Food Product. Aside from being grateful for having a growing business, Lenieflor is very glad to be able to provide employment to her townmates whowere in need. Seeing them also gaining success is what makes her more fulfilled. She also had a dream of providing more employment as she dreams of having a factory of flower icings. With this, she said, more people will have a job, thus more families will be supported.
For Lenieflor, hardships are there to challenge and mold people to be better and stronger. This lesson was what she wanted to impart to other aspiring entrepreneurs. “Do not give up and just trust in the Lord,” she said.
|MFI||Alalay sa Kaunlaran Inc. (MOTY)|
|Educational Attainment||Highschool Level|
|Enterprise Name||Leny’s Icing Flower Candies|
|No. of Years in the Business||23|
|Products and Services||Flowes Candies & Cakes|
|Monthly Gross Revenue||60,000|
|No. of employees||22|