For mumpreneur Aubrey Abanico-Ejnenkiel, family involvement is far more essential during home isolation than one new activity after another.
"I feel great that I don't have to answer to anyone," AbanEco owner Aubrey Abanico-Ejnenkiel says, laughing, "[Well,] when my kids demand things, I have to drop everything. Actually, they're my bosses."
The iconic banig
Aubrey decided to let go of the daily commute and the 9-5 grind, admitting that the lifestyle just didn't feel like a fit. For Aubrey, finding her "higher self" meant moving forward by looking back.
"I wanted to reimagine my childhood and relive it" she shares, adding, "If you're a Filipino, you'll know what a banig (handwoven mats typically used for sleeping or sitting) is. It's an iconic product. AbanEco (a play on words referring to abaniko or 'handwoven fan' and Aubrey's maiden name) just stemmed from that."From the banig, Aubrey expanded her offerings to coconut bowls, bamboo cutlery sets, bags made of pineapple fiber and other sustainable products.
"We have the most amazing handicrafts in the Philippines and a lot of the products we make are sustainable."
The importance of involvement
Her push for sustainability goes beyond the products she offers. Aubrey extends the practise to her home and through the activities she prepares for her three children, especially now that they're out of school because of the pandemic.
"My parenting style is a bit different. I don't have activities for them all the time," she admits, "I let them get bored too. Boredom leads to imaginative play."
But when she does have prepared activities for her children, her three go-to crafts are accessible and sustainable.
"I make play dough for them. It's simple and they can play with it for hours while I cook. You combine salt, flour, cream or tartar and food colouring. Sometimes I put essential oil, like lavender, so it smells beautiful."
"We've also been doing scrapbooking. It's exciting for them because they're allowed to use scissors."
"We've been picking up rocks and little treasures outside as well. We paint on the rocks and it's fun because we get to go outside and explore."Amidst the limited exploration, Aubrey shares that parents shouldn't feel pressured to have activities for the children all the time.
"There's a difference between just living together and being involved. It can just be free play or I try to get them involved in what I'm doing [like cooking] even if it takes longer. Involvement makes the family spirit a happy one. We have to be in it. We have to be present."
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