Mommy gamers. It would be impossible to find these two words in the same sentence, but somehow, mother of two Sharon Yu Ong has broken the barrier and has reached levels in this kind of game that are breaking ground for women, and yes, also mothers, everywhere.
A bonafide mom-techpreneur and women empowerment advocate, Sharon continues to prove wrong the naysayers and detractors who say successful career moms just don’t work out — launching exciting and innovative projects even as she manages her household of growing kids.
Birthing the idea of group motion gaming as part of her college thesis in DLSU, Sharon eventually found an avenue to apply this in three major theaters. This cinema innovation led her to strategic partnerships with like-minded and forward-thinking game innovators, creating Waveplay Interactive. From group motion gaming, Waveplay Interactive broke through the walls of the event industry and created a new playing field called Experiential Technologies.
As a forerunner in Experiential Technologies, Waveplay Interactive is making waves (literally) with hyped and buzzed-about event experiences like the 360 Selfie, Glamshot Infinity, Holo Foto, interactive motion games and displays, and over thirty other custom interactive innovations. Yes, surprising as it may seem, those innovations came from this unassuming mommy gamer and her company.
We sat down with Sharon and tried to hack her secrets to leveling up and keeping a tight ship running both in the company and at home.
Sharon is the first to admit it definitely isn’t easy. With all her success at work, the Ultimate Super Mom and shares, “I used to believe I could be 100% with the kids, my husband, and work. But this striving for perfection only gave me mom-guilt and exhaustion because it’s impossible to achieve. There will be times when your family requires more attention, and instances when work demands more of your time. And that’s okay.”
She says that today, she is managing the Ultimate Super Mom dilemma with a simple secret. She does so by speaking life-giving words to herself, words she knows mommies who hustle need to hear— “You are the best mom to your children. And sometimes putting your kids first means working hard for them, too. But when you’re finally together, you’ll laugh, play, and have the best time ever.”
Her Guiding Principles
On parenting, Sharon lives by several guiding principles like instilling a genuine relationship with God and not babying her children. She shares, “Today’s world is more cut-throat than ever. So when our kids fall down or make mistakes, I want them to have the resilience to get back up on their own or with minimal help.”
She confesses that her life-partner in all of this needs her best time, too. Sharon is firm that any free time she and her husband have — it goes back to her family.
“We’re aligned in the idea that we should not involve ourselves too much with optional commitments. That way, most of our free time is with family. We also agreed that no matter how busy it gets, we’ll try to be home for dinner.”
Because of the many hats that Sharon dons, her view of herself as a woman has evolved since her 20s. She says that raising and breastfeeding 2 kids while expanding an experiential event tech company was one of the biggest transitions of her life.
In fact, it was this period that allowed her to deepen her faith and dependence on God even as her responsibilities magnified and continue to grow today.
We asked Sharon how it’s like being a woman in an industry dominated by men and she humbly shares:
“In my experience, being a woman has never been an issue with my work. It’s a matter of offering something valuable to the industry, being a reliable partner, and treating the clients’ projects as your own.”
These days, many aspire to be their own boss and be an entrepreneur. When asked what Sharon can share to others aspiring to embark on their own business journeys, she imparts, “Not all great ideas can become great businesses. Numbers keep you alive. So compute costs and profits, be realistic with the market potential, then evaluate if it’s worth your time and investment. Don’t be afraid to get the opinion of someone more experienced, who will be honest with you and help guide you.”