Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I was born in San Antonio, but moved to Houston when I was two and have lived here ever since.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Son, Joseph, 6
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
So many people ask me “What are you?” Referring to what is my ethnicity or the ethnicity of my parents. I love to see what they come up with when I ask them to guess. No one has been able to give me the correct combination of Filipino, Chinese, and Irish.
Favorite local things to do in Houston?
I love to go to sporting events with my husband and son. We love sports, we’re members of the Houston Dynamo, and when we have a chance, we’ll go watch the Texans, Rockets, and Astros! Go Houston!
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
Our favorite restaurant is Istanbul Grill. My son loves everything on the menu and he eats so well there! They always have soccer showing too!
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun?
I love to sit in my pajamas on my bed and watch Netflix. When I can, I really just want to stay at home and be lazy. This usually occurs when my son is already sleeping!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I own an Educational Consulting company Firat Education. We provide college admissions counseling, tutoring, test preparation, and school placement and serve families with children of all ages – preschool through graduate school. What’s funny is I don’t do ANY of the consulting or tutoring. I have great people, tutors, and consultants who work for me, and they’re really fantastic at what they do!
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I’ve been provided so many opportunities because of the Houston community. My first job (and my last) was at HEB, an organization that develops so many careers in the Houston area. I wouldn’t have been able to start and operate my business without what I learned there. I went to college and grad school at the University of St. Thomas in Houston (which is where I met my husband), and I still keep in touch with the professors I had over 10 years ago! I’ve taught entrepreneurship and business at Houston Community College to help educate current and future entrepreneurs of Houston, and I’ve made so many entrepreneur friends along the way. My business also collaborates with so many other small businesses and schools in Houston. I’m very thankful to the Houston community for shaping me into who I am today.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
Hire great people, teach and train them, and take care of them! You cannot do it yourself, and why should you? Not only are you freeing up your time to be a mommy or even to work on growing your business, but you’re providing jobs and opportunities for others.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Take all the risks now! Make your mistakes now! When the kids come, they become a priority and a variable in all of your decision-making.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
My son pooped on the potty really early, so I took advantage of that time. When he was really little, while he was pooping, I would teach him things, like the alphabet, letter sounds, numbers, we’d read books. After all, he was STUCK on the potty, I had him trapped there with no where to go! He’s six now, and loves to read while on the toilet!