The wife, mother, and entrepreneur talks about the decision to temporarily move to Adelaide over the pandemic, and what it means for her family and work life.
With hardly any time to think it over, Cristalle Belo Pitt had to make the difficult decision to move herself and her family out of the Philippines in the middle of the pandemic. Regardless of the current global health crisis, the decision would have been tough. “I had never lived abroad before, and the rest of my family and businesses are in the Philippines, so I was quite reluctant,’ she shares.
Belo Pitt and her husband Justin acknowledged the difficulties of leaving the country during a time of uncertainty. Siena, the couple’s second child, also had just been born. Despite months of searching for a flight, a total of four weeks in quarantine, and not having an extra set of hands to assist them with their two young children, the decision worked out for them.
Belo Pitt recognizes the demand for more wellness-driven products, especially sought-after during these times. “One thing we are excited about is a clinically proven product that effectively addresses stress and anxiety,” she says, adding that they can’t wait to launch when they get back.
Directing a Philippines-based company while in a different part of the world can be challenging. For Belo Pitt, it means having to be dynamic. “You have to constantly make an effort to be relevant and immersed with what is happening in your home country,” she says.
Fortunately, she can depend on a solid team to manage day-to-day operations, providing her with pivotal moments with her children.
“I have become more conscious and intentional about the way I allocate my time. The kids are at a critical moment where they are rapidly learning and growing, and I want to be present during those years,” Belo Pitt says. “It’s all about being able to prioritize and delegate.”
When Henares’s half-sister, Scarlet Snow Belo, was born, the idea for Belo Baby came shortly after. “When Scarlet was a baby, we looked at the different baby products in the market but really couldn’t find one that had no harmful chemicals,” she explains.
Upon discovering the preservatives most used for formulating baby products could be harmful, Belo Pitt realized their company had the resources and know-how to develop more ideal products. She used her existing knowledge on skincare product development as a tool.
It started with Belo Baby Hair and Body Wash, which Belo Pitt says are infused with natural ingredients like cocoa butter and shea butter. By doing without harmful chemicals, this makes it 100 percent safe for a baby’s skin, she says. This also extends to the rest of their product range, including baby wipes and hand sanitizers.
“I’m so proud of the Belo Baby products we make,” the entrepreneur says. “They are all hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested. It gives me peace of mind knowing that I can take good care of my children’s skin without exposing them to chemicals that are not good for them in the long run.”
Belo Pitt’s family is currently in Adelaide, the South Australian capital where her husband grew up. With Australia’s detailed and effectively implemented COVID response plans, they are now living in a mask-free environment. “We took it day by day and are now immensely thankful to have this opportunity to be in a COVID-free country,” she says.
The 38-year-old is equally grateful for technology, as it keeps her in touch with her loved ones back here.
“It’s so hard to be away from my mom,” Belo Pitt shares. “We haven’t been apart this long my whole life.” Her parents were supportive of the temporary move, although she wishes they can enjoy in-person quality time with their only grandchildren.
Their Manila home being a condo unit, it didn’t provide the option for her toddler to roam freely, which is an essential factor in a child’s development.
“Just to put things into perspective, by this time, Hunter had already spent one-fifth of his life in lockdown. Children learn through exploring nature, socializing with other kids, and living a full life,” Belo Pitt says. “We knew that leaving would be the best decision for all of us.”
These days, the family of four revels in different bonding activities. “We have been to carnivals, shows, and many beaches. We have also ridden a vintage steam train, swam with dolphins, and visited a petting farm,” the mother of two shares. “When we first got here, we were going to a different park every day. Being here truly is paradise on earth for Hunter.”
Photos Courtesy of Cristalle Belo Pitt