She is a vibrant ball of energy with a determination that is relentless. Her small stature, coupled with a distinguished pixie cut, shouldn’t fool you—Rizza Lana is a woman on a mission.
Rizza graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Southville Foreign University at the age of 18. After stints with Manila Hotel and Intercontinental Manila she then moved to Doha, Qatar at the age of 21 to pursue her dream of independence. It forged her character and she enjoyed the season but knew she needed to be back home to her parents’ big hugs and her dad’s sinigang.
As soon as she returned, Rizza pursued a corporate job while daydreaming about having a business of her own, “My fears kept me from pursuing it right away. I was scared of the financial repercussions of running my own ventures.”
So she saved and gathered the courage to pursue what she really wanted until such time she knew she needed to move forward, “I was in my desk for nine hours, not including enduring the four-hour traffic back and forth. I realized I am not made for this and I knew I had to feed my passion and not turn my back on my dreams.”
She and her fiancé started small with Whim Manila, a customizable merchandise brand which allows clients to personalize their phone cases, shirts, and mugs however they like.
She then moved on with the famous Le Cat Coffee Shop in Las Piñas where 17 of her 35 cats now live, “Our customers can enjoy an hour with the cats (which include a Ragamuffin, Scottish Fold, Exotic Shorhair, Munchkin, Persian, Puspin, Napoleon, and American Curl) while enjoying our drinks.”
The café was such a success that it garnered media attention. Its success inspired Rizza to push through with another dream business, a skin care line.
“As a skin-care obsessed woman, I’ve always wanted a brand that’s not harsh on my skin, the environment, and my well-being,” she said. This is what birthed Lana PH, “It’s a brand that focuses on our skin’s defense against the free radicals we get from everyday pollution. It’s all natural, non-comedogenic, cruelty free, and proudly made in the Philippines.”
Today, Rizza is living her dream but is unstoppable in doing more.
“Being a young entrepreneur is not easy. Most people think it’s perfect because I have all this free time but in reality, it took a lot of hours, zero weekends, more responsibilities and blood, sweat, and tears. I had to deal with my own self-doubt, insecurities, and financial challenges. I even got scammed once and wasn’t able to pay the bills. I have failed more than I succeeded. I have dealt with anxiety and emotional breakdowns but now, I have made peace with the fact that life is all about accepting your failures and learning from them,” she related.
Through the experiences, she has learned more than a few things, “Be grateful when you fail because it means you’re doing something to achieve your dreams. Never waver. Stop feeding the fears and start feeding your dreams.”