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Rising Stars: Meet Kristina Gatus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Gatus.

Hi Kristina, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
The start of Donya Lina was a happy accident! I had decided to try making homemade polvoron during the holidays and gave my polvoron away as gifts to friends and family. I received amazing feedback, the most meaningful feedback came from my parents! Their feedback meant the most since they’re very hard to please! They gave me absolutely no critiques or suggestions on my first batch of polvoron and kept raving about how good they were. I was shocked!

I wanted to share what I had with more people since polvoron was such a nostalgic snack and I had plans to modernize it and make more unique flavors. In a week, I had created a name, logo, and website…fully embracing the possibility that I could create something big one day!

I’ve built a great following, have such amazing and loyal customers, and find myself constantly thinking about new flavors to create!

I also have a super talented boyfriend and family members who have helped me build my brand and fulfill orders!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I think most who start a business can agree with me when I say it is not easy. I’ve fully accepted there will be inevitable low points and always tell myself that what I’m currently dealing with is part of the process.

I’ve struggled with not having enough manpower to fulfill orders, which then lead to delays in getting people their polvoron. I’m currently figuring out better packaging so my polvoron arrives in perfect condition since I can’t control how carriers handle the packages.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I actually still have a full-time job as an Office Manager for a medtech company. Goal is to eventually have the opportunity to have Donya Lina become my full-time gig!

I’d say I now specialize in Filipino Polvoron haha. I couldn’t say I really specialized in anything prior to starting Donya Lina.

I’m most proud of starting this small business because I can call it my own and it makes me incredibly happy to be able to share this with my parents. I’ve never been able to share a hobby or interest with them before, but this…they get excited about. My mom has been to every single pop up and they share my business with everyone they know!

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Starting Donya Lina was a risk in itself! It started as an idea and I quickly made the decision to make it a reality!

I think taking risks and taking chances on some great ideas allows for exciting moments in life! It’s also a plus when you have the support of a few good people who know and understand you.

I would say I’m a bit impulsive and definitely need a couple of people in my corner to center me and help me think through my excitements. My people helped me to make more logical and practical decisions which were great for my small business:]


  • $17 box of 1 dozen polvoron
  • $20 custom box of 1 dozen polvoron

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Image Credits:

Camille Sepina Michael Chen Karissa Ng

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