While she was born to a family with a successfully growing business, Maye Yao Co Say didn’t have a red carpet laid out for her. Rather, this hardworking woman immersed herself in every aspect of it—from cleaning up the warehouse to selling items to customers as a little girl, to coming up with marketing ideas and introducing brands to the market as a college student; you name it, she’s done it. And everything she has learned along the way proved useful to her in her present roles today as businesswoman and mother.
Indeed, Maye—now the COO of Internationale Globale Marques Inc. (IGM) and Richwell Phils. Inc., both responsible for bringing quality children’s brands Barbie, ELLE, Nautica Kids, Chicco, Hot Wheels, M7J Kids Republic, Pigeon, Safety 1st, and ERGObaby, to Filipinos —has mastered her craft well. And, having already learned the necessary ins and outs of her family’s business and how to run it, it’s no surprise that she soon began envisioning something bigger. And this resulted in the birth of Ogalala, an exciting destination for fashion and play for kids and their families.
Taking cues from her experiences in her childhood, and now mother of two, Maye incorporates her own child-rearing principles in Ogalala. “Mothers have intangible goals. I want my children to be happy and fulfilled—and I’m sure it’s what other mothers want for their child, too,” explains Maye. “The role of Ogalala is to make these goals tangible. The brand aims to help raise a warm, light-hearted, curious, and global child.”
Sharing how the concept behind Ogalala first began, Maye describes how much effort she’s put into her personal system of child-rearing. “My parenting style is very strategic. I use the same approach I practice at work—setting goals and specific action plans to achieve them,” she begins. “So even before my children were born, I had a concrete idea of how I wanted to raise them. I set my own milestones for them, such as what particular skills and more importantly, character traits I’d want them to develop when they reach a certain age,” she admits with a laugh.
However, Maye reveals, in raising her little ones Marcus and Meagan, her goals have evolved along the way, thanks to books like How to Have a Smarter Baby and Baby Einstein to titles like The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness. “I realized the importance of the entire package—not just the intellect. For one, the physical aspect or health is important. My husband, who’s a triathlete, is a good example. Being fit allows him to accomplish so much and this makes him feel fulfilled,” says Maye.
It was this realization that got her interested in the value of play in the child’s learning and development, hence Ogalala’s extensive range of toys that encourage fun and enjoyable learning. Melissa & Doug and Baby Einstein are staples for my kids since birth. Now my kids love to explore scientific concepts so they collect a lot of Animal Planet, Discovery Kids and Artec Japan Toys, HABA from Germany and Oops from Switzerland are toys that are organic and innovative which modern moms really like.
Not only that, Maye also introduced—through Ogalala, too—a rather unexpected element to the mix: fashion. “What’s on the outside greatly influences your performance and how you regard yourself. Even as a child, when you know you’re properly equipped for a task or when you’re dressed for the part, it gives you the confidence to do what you have to do well,” she points out.
Indeed, she remarks, through Ogalala, “I want to share what I’ve learned about parenting and the value of fashion and play—whether it’s from books, activities, and of course, personal experience—with fellow mothers.”
Envisioning Ogalala as a space where parents can connect with their children and where they spend quality time and learn from each other, Maye concludes, “I want it to be an avenue for parents to discover their child’s potential and develop it in a nurturing way. Ogalala for me is a great beginning to bringing young ones closer to discovering and pursuing their passions, talents, and dreams.”
Internationale Globale Marques, Inc.,(IGM) is the retail solutions, play products, and new projects affiliate of Richwell Phils. Inc. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of retail and the children’s industry, founder Alberto Yao has yet again realized a major milestone in today’s retail world. Find out more about IGM and its portfolio of brands at: www.igm-ph.com and www.oga-lala.com.
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