My name is Arlyn Ongaco. This year, 2023, is a big one for me because I turned 61. I am a wife, a mother of 3 adult children, and a grandmother. I am a first-generation Filipino American born and raised in an era when most women were stay-at-home moms, mine included. She had dreams of owning her own business, but unfortunately, due to life’s ups and downs she had to put the dream on the back burner. When she had the opportunity to start a business, her self-doubt wouldn’t allow her to move forward.

This is why I created A Dream Catcher By Arlyn, I want to honor my mother’s dream by working through my self-doubt and succeeding as a small business owner, even at my age. I have always tried to work through my own self-doubt by pushing through them, my motivation is my children, especially my daughter and granddaughter.  

Wire-wrapping crystal pendants started out as a hobby and were gifted to family and friends. It grew into selling here and there, mostly to people I knew. When COVID hit, as a virtual assistant I lost a few clients due to the pandemic. In 2021, I heard that a neighborhood café, @CafeAficionado_LA, was hosting a pop-up in their parking lot. I reached out to them and that was the beginning of my quest to start my own business selling handmade copper wire-wrapped jewelry.

Within a year, I was able to officially form A Dream Catcher By Arlyn, I am now taking orders for customized pieces, adding more products to include hand-poured soy candles, and currently, my daughter and I are experimenting with herbal teas.

The one little advice I can offer to new entrepreneurs, especially women-owned, is to never give up on your dream. There will be moments when you doubt yourself and just want to give up. Some members of your family and/or friends will not be as supportive as you expected. These are all just obstacles trying to stop you from achieving your dreams. It is important to remind yourself why you started this journey. Stay blessed…