OFWs in Dubai launch a unique and inspiring startup business

A clothing that won’t only make you look good, but make others feel better too.


Last month, my classmates in Ateneo LSE Gus and Gwyn Erni, joined Ate Mat, me and my wife in launching Eternitee - an online store featuring inspirational t-shirts and other merchandises.

As an expat in Dubai for 11 years, I am grateful to be surrounded by positively influential people in my communities. I was blessed to be considered influential - at least in the digital field, even if I only have a handful of followers.

Starting the business took us more than just a leap of faith. Here's the full story.

But before all the accolades, not everyone know I also had a share of tears and struggles of a typical OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker). I was locked in a room by my boss for apparently working with a visit visa. I was sent to Kish Island 7 times, the horrific Qeshm 2 times, and once in Oman for visa runs – having to sleep in the beach shores during summer and in flea-infected carpets of so-called hotels. I had terrible bosses. Some jobs I had were not paying me salary up to 3 months. I jumped one low-paying job after another for 4 years until finally landing a decent role in one of the best airline companies in the world, and apparently now working in one of the leading digital agencies in MENA.

The determination to make a difference in the OFW community enables me to pursue something that majority of the Filipinos abroad might not consider doing – to start a business in the foreign land.

As I was enriching my personal relationship with the Lord, taking steps to grow deeper in faith, I intimately seek for answers of what business would God want me to do. One very early morning, I received the answer to my prayer through an article about an entrepreneur in the Philippines doing the same kind of business. Being a web designer and an e-commerce enthusiast by profession, a blogger and social media influence as well, I instantly felt the affirmation on that revelation.

God gave me these set of skills, He put me in this platform not just for a career, but to be used according to His greater purpose.

ETERNITEE LLC - we are an officially registered e-commerce company in the UAE. We opened our online store last  month where people can find motivational t-shirts and other items to buy. We pride ourselves of giving customers the opportunity to give hope and encouragement to people by wearing the TEE-shirts creatively printed with words of wisdom, inspired by the bible.

The purpose of the business is to remind the world of the importance of having true wisdom in our way of life. Especially for OFWs who are dealing with homesickness, often times, what we really need are words of encouragement to lift our spirits up, more than anything else. And what better way to start reviving wisdom-filled lifestyle by way of wearing simple, yet stylish t-shirts.

We are living in a fast-moving knowledge-driven society, yet the world remains broken and dysfunctional. It’s about time to reconnect to what really fuels us best, and to who really created us for a purpose.

Why words of God? 

Most of us believe in God and it stops there. We recognize God’s presence, we pray, but we lack one essential thing – a real, personal and practical relationship with Him. We may know how to talk to Him, but most of us don’t know how to listen to what He says. Eternitee is here as a channel to remind us that God speaks through His written words.

Before every other motivational words were spoken by famous philosophers, the bible had them written already in one way or another.

Our t-shirts will never get obsolete – because the word of God endures forever.

Being bold and confident, the team was given permission to do this kind of business in this very rich Islamic nation. We will always be thankful for the support of the UAE leadership, for always acknowledging the faith of everybody living in this beautiful country. We may have differences in faith, but we surely have alignment in terms of the righteous principles to live by.

Advocacy

As part of the company’s “selfless” principle, 5% of every sold item will go fund the our advocacy to Clothe The “Naked in spirit,” or CTN. We aim to produce campaign videos or short films, among others, that shed light to both the common and the untapped situations in the society today. We also plan to organize series of talks that will further advance the word of God and help others build their own spiritual relations.

Another purpose of Eternitee is to enlighten our fellow expats that being away from home does not hinder us from dreaming and making those dreams come true. Employment is not the only way to survive, starting a business is always a good alternative.

The Team

With me doing this is my wife, Raquel, a mom-preneur; Gus Erni and Gwyn Sanchez Erni, my fellow graduates at the first ever Ateneo Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship program in Dubai, and also very active choir members; and Matilyn Bagunu, an incumbent leader of the Filipino Community and one of the pillars of St. Mary’s Church choir.



The team believes that people can live a wisdom-filled life while still enjoying and having fun the right way.

If you are looking for something that will encourage one another and build each other up, Eternitee has the best items.

Our t-shirts are eco-friendly. We are proud to be providing organic cotton t-shirts, printed with eco-friendly inks and packaging.

Customers can visit weareternitee.com to buy shirts for personal or for groups. We also accept customized orders.

Many people are asking us what made us do the business, I simply say, It’s not just about what we want to do, it’s really about what God wants us to do, how we submit ourselves to be used as His messengers of His wisdom in the world today.

Let’s make wisdom a way of life.


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For more information, follow Eternitee on social media:

Facebook (https://facebook.com/weareternitee )
Instagram (@weareternitee)
Twitter (@weareternitee)
OFWs in Dubai launch a unique and inspiring startup business OFWs in Dubai launch a unique and inspiring startup business Reviewed by Ion Gonzaga on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Rating: 5

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