In Her Suitcase is a regular feature on Pink My Ride that focuses on interviews with women who inspire me, who can inspire you, and who try to live their best lives by coloring their journeys in their own unique and remarkable ways.
For our first ever In Her Suitcase interview, I’ve chosen to feature Gian Ramos, a good friend of mine who is literally all about COLOR — from her wardrobe to her gadgets and little trinkets, her Instagram posts, her arts and crafts projects. Our friends and I would fondly laugh and tease her about the strikingly bright colors she wears and carries all the time, but what seemed to be a mere, petty “favorite” turned out to be her saving grace during one of her darker days, or her “quarter-life crisis”, as she puts it. At a period when she felt confused and unsure of what to do with her life, this seemingly shallow fascination — her love for colorful things — was what made her discover her passion.
Feeling lost and unsure of what to do? Just look a little bit closer, because the answer already lies within you. Okay, that sounded like some sort of tagline but seriously, that’s exactly what I learned from Gian. Read on and enjoy the interview!
PMR: What’s been keeping you busy lately?
Gian: At the moment, I’m busy with my retail job. Coming from the tech industry, everything is practically new to me in the retail industry. What I was doing before as a Web Developer is very different from what I’m doing now as an Assistant Category Officer. Truly, I’m learning a lot. Other than work, I’m also busy with planning for this year’s summer bazaar and my new sport (swimming!).
PMR: Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a woman driving to her dreams? What has brought you to where you are now? And what else are you doing to take you there?
Gian: Last year, I took a break from the corporate world. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to continue my career in the field of Technology. I guess at that time, I was in the throes of my own quarter-life crisis. I didn’t want to work and so I was unemployed for several months. One Saturday afternoon, while my boyfriend and I were jogging in UP he came up with this idea. He said that since I like colorful things and doing arts and crafts, why not make tie-dyed shirts and try selling them? The following weekend, my boyfriend and I tie dyed a couple of shirts at his place. And with that, the Tie Dye Project was born.
Honestly, I never thought I’d make money from designing Tshirts. But I did. To my own surprise, in just a week I earned what would have been my two months’ worth of salary from my former job. Other than the money, it was a great feeling to know that people actually liked my creations and are willing to pay for it!
My dream to successfully manage my own business is what brought me to change career direction. I realized I need to have a background in retail management if I really want to pursue the path of being a successful entrepreneur. And so last year, I decided to join the retail industry. Right now, I’m learning a lot of things that I know I would be able to apply in my own business.
These are employees of Affinity Express, Gian’s first major client. Photo was taken during a teambuilding activity where they wore tie-dyed shirts Gian designed and produced.
PMR: Any amazing discoveries about yourself along your journey?
Gian: I discovered that I’m capable of working 18 hours a day (For a bulk order from a big client, I spent almost a week tie dying Tshirts from 6am until 12 midnight!). But more than that, I discovered that possibilities are endless for me as long as I do the work that I love.
Gian wearing one of her creations.
PMR: What’s in store for the road ahead? Any plans for the near future?
Gian: I plan to continue and further grow my business.
PMR: What does “coloring the journey” mean to you?
Gian: Like what they say, life is a journey. And I believe the happy moments, the people I meet (whether good or bad) and even challenges I encounter each represent the colors of my journey. There are “colors” that I may not like but I know every “color” is essential in making my journey come full circle.
Gian and her boyfriend and business partner, Pao, wearing matching shirts they created together.
PMR: Life is a journey and in every trip or journey, we bring suitcases. Inside our “life suitcases” are the LESSONS we have picked up along the journey, and we take these with us as we drive on. What’s in YOUR suitcase?
Gian: My journey in life is far from over but I am happy to share with you some important lessons I learned at 28:
1. You can’t do everything well but you can do SOMETHING well.
I realized that God has given me unique talents and that I need focus my strengths in specific areas in which I am passionate about, instead of getting involved in things that don’t come naturally.
2. Learn from every experience and see it as an opportunity to become a better you.
3. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, trust that God is in control and that He is doing a great work of faith in you.
Before, whenever I find myself in difficult situations I begin to question God. But eventually I learned that God placed me in that difficult situation for a reason. It’s His way of making me step outside of my comfort zone so I can discover the great things I can do.
Just like Gian, have you ever felt confused about something only to find out that the answer was right within you all along?
You may visit Gian Ramos’ blog and follow The Tie Die Project’s Facebook page.