MARCH 25, 2020

Inspired by her

BY JACQUE DE BORJA

Women’ Month isn’t over yet—at a time where resilience is much needed, we celebrate women entrepreneurs who inspire us.

A note from the Pasyal.ph Editor:

March, the month where we should have been celebrating women, has instead turned into a period of uncertainty and anxiety for the entire world—whatever race, social status or gender.

Now more than ever—women and men are called to be more resilient, resourceful and helpful to those in need.

As we recalibrated our steps here in Pasyal to tackle more of what will help you, our reader, navigate this uneasy month of staying at home, we decided to push through with releasing this article—a Women’s Month tribute to entrepreneurs who not only braved storms and glass ceilings in building their businesses, but also helped a lot of people as they grew their companies.

Now, if this article doesn’t inspire you to build an empire because the current situation renders you powerless, then we hope you take this one lesson to heart and act on it—it’s something you can do at home, right here, right now:

Do not ever give up.

We wish you a safe and healthy everyday—until your next pasyal.

Angeli Daza of Nail Tropics

Angeli “Gigi” Daza had two goals in mind when she started Nail Tropics in 2002: To elevate the nail care industry and to create a company that empowered women. 18 years later and we can say that she definitely met those goals.

Gigi opened up the business to franchising, opening the business up to 19 branches in the metro.

Nail Tropics, as the name suggests, is known for its unique nail pampering services that can be enjoyed in the comfort of the salon’s signature cushioned beach beds, making customers feel like they’re on vacation.

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags2Riches

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz co-founded the brand that has now given multiple artisans a sustainable livelihood, and has gained recognition around the world.

She has represented the country in conferences and gatherings such as Forbes 30 Under 30, World Economic Forum, and other prestigious events.

And these accolades are well-deserved: if there was one brand that saw the value in upcycling and sustainability as early as 2007, it was definitely Rags2Riches.

They used upcycled cloths and indigenous materials in their creations, weaving beautiful bags that come in a variety of styles that fit every fashion sense—they even have a fanny pack!

Margarita Forés of Cibo and Lusso

Can you imagine life without Cibo’s Penne al Telefono or its famous spinach dip? We’re willing to bet this restaurant’s high up on everyone’s post-quarantine list.

This iconic restaurant is the brainchild of Margarita Forés, who opened the very first Cibo restaurant in 1997 after staying in Italy a decade before, honing her skills since that fateful visit.

Since then, Cibo restaurants has mushroomed all over the metro, eventually birthing another iconic restaurant called Lusso, which serves more refined Italian cuisine.

In 2016, Margarita was also named Asia’s Best Female Chef, a proud achievement for the country and her loyal Cibo customers.

Bea Sambalido-Puno, Reg Sambalido, and Tina Sambalido of Renegade Folk

In 2007, sisters Bea Sambalido-Puno, Reg Sambalido, and Tina Sambalido decided to put up a shoe business driven to introduce stylish and comfortable Marikina-made footwear to the local market.

What started as an online-only shoe brand that occasionally graced bazaars now has multiple branches around the Philippines, but Renegade Folk’s very purpose never changed: to help Marikina sapateros earn a living and highlight their craft.

Truly, Renegade Folk is a celebration of sisterhood: the company is currently made up of 70 percent women and their shoe production team consists of 55 percent women.

Marga Nograles of Kaayo Modern Mindanao

Kaayo Modern Mindanao humbly started in 2017 by mother-daughter tandem Mary Ann Montemayor and Marga Nograles. Marga wanted to help one of their province’s constituents by giving them livelihood, starting with a T’Boli weaver named Elena.

Now, Marga and her brand Kaayo, a word that means “kindness”, is helping a lot more women from different tribes and at the same time turning traditional weaves into a fashion statements like no other.

Rosalina Tan and Mary Jane Tan-Ong of Pili Ani

Rosalina Tan, an advocate of organic farming, discovered the beautiful effects of pili oil when one of the farmers she was mentoring approached her to buy a jug of hand-expressed oil.

She then raved about the effects to her daughter Mary Jane Tan Ong and asked for her help – that was the beginning of Pili Ani.

The beauty brand now has multiple products that makes use of pili oil— from moisturizers to lip balms and essential oils.

Not only is Pili Ani famous in the Philippines, but it is gaining popularity abroad, with reviews likening their products to other high-end brands.

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