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My Second Act (Part 1) - Hindy Weber-Tantoco – The Fashion Designer With A Green Thumb

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What do a fashion designer, marketing, lawyer, makeup artist, photographer, and creative director have in common? They all found a whole new career in food! Their second careers might have happened by accident, but their passion for them is no coincidence.

Hindy Weber-Tantoco – The Fashion Designer With A Green Thumb

Hindy Weber-Tantoco is creating a clear fashion statement: Not by way of designing clothing for kids, mothers-to-be, and women – she’s been doing that for 10 years now and simply excels at it – but by offering a range of natural and organic products that helps people live healthier lifestyles.

Description: Hindy Weber-Tantoco

Hindy Weber-Tantoco

She used to turn to Audrey Hepburn for inspiration in her career as a top fashion designer, but now she looks to architect turned sustainable living advocate Reimon Gutierrez of Prado Farms and her own father as well, a mountaineer and farmer, for sound advice on backyard farming. “I wanted to put food I could trust on the table,” Hindy recalls. “So my husband Gippy and I decided to plant a few greens in our backyard – just for our own consumption. I never saw it as a career. It was only after a year that we began to see it as a potentially viable business.” Like a seed to a tree, the couple’s simple initiative has grown into a far-reaching project in the form of Holy Carabao!, a holistic farm in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, producing seasonal vegetables and fruits, dairy products, jams, spices, teas, salad dressings, and meat and poultry, to name a few.

Description: Jams of The Holy Carabao!

Jams of The Holy Carabao!

“Fashion is like a rollercoaster ride – there are ups and downs, but it’s always very thrilling,” Hindy says. The same can be said about biodynamic farming, where a possibly bountiful harvest today can easily be destroyed by pests and rainstorms tomorrow. It’s an unpredictable venture that requires patience. “A lot of it,” the new farmer says. “Patience with the weather, patience with the market. We’ve had to engage very closely with our customers to answer all their questions on the products or to consult with them on wellness. I have made myself available for consultations online, on Facebook, and via text – so they don’t just speak with a hired hand.”

While she still fulfills her duties as an in-house designer for Rustan’s Department Store, the hardworking Hindy manages to find time to oversee farm operations, experiment with more superfoods, and collaborate with other farms – while also being a loving wife and a mother of three. The nature of her two passions might be miles apart, but they both pave the way for a better life. This is what fuels Hindy. “When someone feels healthier and happier, he can’t fake it. I like to see that kind of genuine satisfaction.”

Holy Carabao! products are available online at www.holycarabao.com and at select Rustan’s Supermarkets. The farm is located inside the Sta. Elena County Estate in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Visit www.sraelena.com for more information or call 0939-8828722 or email holycarabao@gmail.com.

The farming life

Hindy Weber-Tantoco shares some food for thought on starting and managing a holistic, organic farm.

·         See the big picture

“We are all so interconnected. Every little thing we do affects another. How we treat the staff, how we package our produce and heck, even how we treat the earthworms will reflect on the quality of our harvest.”

·         Work with nature

“Being in sync with the cosmos and working with nature are so crucial to the life force in all living beings. The farm doesn’t begin and end with its fences. It belongs to the land, which belongs to the country, which in turn belongs to the planet. Belonging to the planet means we are affected by everything in our solar system.”

·         Sick to your guns!

“It’s such a slow and unpredictable business that it is so easy to fall off the wagon and sell out or deceive the customer just to make an extra buck.”

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