Moms and Dads

Happy Light Manila Is All About Good Vibes

Boy-mom of two & co-founder of Happy Light Manila, Pepper Henson talks shop, and tells us how she looks at the brighter side of things. Literally.

Hunkered down in the wake of a global pandemic, Pepper Henson and her husband, Rup Henson, were enjoying happy hour at home when an idea struck. With a small collection of beautiful liquor bottles, and the vision to use it for decorating a home, the pair went to work and Happy Light Manila came to existence. With a refreshing take on mixing business with pleasure, Pepper shares their story about making something they love work for them.

It all starts with an idea

Conceptualized during their time in quarantine, Pepper and Rup Henson brought a business to life that went way beyond what they expected. “Since we spent so much time at home, we thought it would be nice to give people something to feel good about in their homes,” shares Pepper. “We actually researched on Youtube how to make bottle lamps. Initially, we didn’t think it would fly. But we wanted to try, and to our surprise, it turned out to be a good idea!”

The couple takes old liquor bottles, turns them into actual lamps, and pairs them with interesting fabric for its shade to complete the look. The result is a charming piece of home decor perfect for adding character and a personal touch to any space.

In less than two months, when the demand for their product began to increase, they decided to get things more organised and looked to professionals to help elevate production.

Sharing the workload

“In the beginning, Rup used to drill the holes on all the bottles, and while this was something he enjoyed, it was very time consuming. Eventually we secured a team of technical guys to do the electrical and the shades, which gave me and my husband more time to focus on quality control. We also had our full time jobs to consider, so it made sense,” Pepper tells us.

Still very hands-on, Pepper says that while her husband takes charge of the technical aspects, she manages the more creative side. But when it comes to pairing the bottles with the fabric, they work together as a team because it’s something they both thoroughly enjoy.

Stepping out of their comfort zone

While it all seems so unbelievably easy, that really wasn’t the case for this new startup. “One of the biggest challenges we had to overcome was the fact that we’re not that active on social media. I was using Instagram, but only for browsing or online shopping. I never posted anything, and I’ve always felt uncomfortable sharing too much of myself with people,” says Pepper.

Encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone, friends got together to give Pepper and Rup a crash course in social media management and online marketing. They even joked that years of lurking on Instagram was finally about to pay off.

Inspiration and balancing it all out

Pepper mentions that Rup likes to do the research on the unusual bottles they come across and they both look for unique fabrics to pair the bottles with. Fabric that appeals to them inspires them to find the perfect bottle that would match it, and vice versa.

The mom of two shares that she chose to see the silver lining of being in quarantine. Avoiding traffic and working from home has allowed her to spend more time with her kids, and given her the opportunity to do more than she’s used to.

“Oddly enough, the days that I do go to the office is my bonding time with Rup. We make the most of being stuck in traffic by enjoying each other’s company and talking about our favorite topic— our kids.”

Small steps towards big goals

While Happy Light can only be found on Instagram and Facebook, Pepper and Rup are looking to launch a website, and eventually open a store. “We want to be the first thing on people’s minds when they think of feel good, happy lighting in the Philippines,” Pepper says, enthusiastically.

They also plan to add more products to their roster, but making bottle lamps will always be their staple because it’s something they love to do. Pepper adds, “Plus, this gives Rup a reason to keep trying new drinks.”

There’s no need to worry about whether or not they have a drinking problem, though. You can gladly make your purchase knowing that a lot of the bottles are donated by friends and family who are more than happy to support their business.

Looking at the bright side

When the idea came up, of course, there was hesitation. But in spite of all the worries and uncertainties, they went with their intuition and they couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

In regards to lessons, Pepper shares, “I’ve learned that it’s never too late to find something you love, and never too late to actually go for it! I have been praying for a long time for us to find something that we would really love doing, even if I didn’t know what I was praying for yet.”

“We’ve learned how refreshing it is to start small. Set the dream high, but start small, and take things slow. The main driving force behind Happy Light is that something as ordinary as a lamp can be a source of happiness and good vibes, as long as it’s done well and with love.”

The mindset for success is really about following your gut and working hard towards achieving that goal. The duo behind Happy Light Manila is a testament to this, which only goes to show that one should never underestimate the brilliance of a lightbulb moment.

If you’re interested to know more about Happy Light Manila:

You can find them on Instagram and Facebook, @happylightmnl

Email [email protected]

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