Singer, dancer and actress Vina Morales is also an entrepreneur who for 15 years now has successfully run Ystilo, a beauty salon that recenly opened its 28th branch at the Hemady Square on E. Rodriguez in Quezon City.
During the blessing of the newest Ystilo Salon branch last January 8, the 38-year-old entertainer told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that she was not discouraged by the failure of her two previous businesses.
“I had failed businesses pero hindi talaga ako nawawalan ng pag-asa. When it comes to business, hindi talaga,” Vina said after PEP congratulated her on her newly opened salon.
She recalled, “Nag-trucking na ako, nag-poultry na ako.
“I used to work for San Miguel for trucking, hindi ko lang natutukan and then I had a problem with my partner.
“Yung poultry ko naging failure but it’s okay.
“Then I started na with Ystilo. And I found out that the best partners are my sisters.
"Umunlad naman so thankful ako."
Now, she is seeing through the birth pains of her online store for kids, the Kikay Kid by Ceana.
“Tignan natin ‘di ba? Kung maging okay,” she said, optimistic about the outcome of her latest venture.
YSTILO SALON. The beauty salon is co-owned by Vina's sisters Shaina and Sheryl.
Vina related how it all began.
“It has been fifteen years; we started in Fairview.
“Talagang sabi naming magkakapatid, ‘Sige since puro tayo babae mag-open tayo ng salon.’
“At palagi naman kami nagsa-salon, every week kami ni Shaina with the kind of work that we are in, so we opened one.
“Then people started asking for the franchise of Ystilo.
“So sabi ko, ‘Ano kaya ate [Sheryl]?' Until we decided to put up another branch.
“Now it’s doing well.
"But we want to take it slow, although it’s going strong especially yung mga franchisee namin.
"And mga staff namin, and people, they always come back.”
At the moment, the sisters are considering to expand their salon business abroad.
“We’re hoping na matuloy yung Middle East namin kasi maraming Pinoy dun kaya naguusap na kami for franchise.
“Kung matuloy nga yun, makakapunta na ako ulit ng Middle East,” she excitedly said.
She continued, “Nagmi-meeting na, e, nagsasagutan na between lawyers.
"Hoping lang naman ako and praying. But I don’t want to expect too much.
"Once it’s there, dun ko lang masasabi talaga na tuloy na tuloy na ito.
“It is a plan.”
KIKAY KID. Here's another of Vina's plans that took off recently. In November 2013, she launched an online store called Kikay Kid by Ceana.
She started the online business for her four-year-old daughter, Ceana.
Vina shared with PEP a funny story that led to her business venture online.
She related, “So itong anak ko, minsan may bag akong Chanel, ‘Mommy I like that bag.’
"Meron akong maliit na Chanel, ang mahal.
“Maliit lang na purse, pero hindi siya pambata.
"Nagkataon na pwede sa kanya [Ceana]. Naisip ko ang mahal.
“Syempre lumabas yung nagtitipid na mommy.
"Sabi ko, ‘Anak, teka nga muna pagawa na lang tayo ng inspired bags.’
"So yun, may pinagkukunan kami, mga sources ng Chanel- inspired bags.
“Yung gamit niya ngayon Balenciaga-inspired bag.
"Inspired lang kasi kalalakihan na nila, e.”
Then, it hit her, this idea for a new business.
“She’s my inspiration," referring to Ceana.
"Sabi ko ‘Ay, pwede ko gawan ng business ‘tong anak ko.’
“Ako syempre as a mom, very reasonable ako sa mga bibilhin sa anak ko, pati na rin sa sarili ko."
She explained that it is good to go for branded items because of their quality and durability.
But she said, since they are expensive, "as much as possible huwag na lang muna kung pwede namang hindi.”
So, to indulge the whim of her little girl, the actress opened an online shop for her.
“Clothes, bags, sunglasses... the kikay stuff for her and other girls her age," Vina shared.
Elaborating on the concept of the online store, Vina said, "I want something na kikay.
“Yung clothes naman pinapagawa ko din.
"May mga backless, may dress na medyo fitted siya para comfortable yung mga bata, hindi siya nasisikapan.
"So it’s spandex, ganun yung cloth niya. Basta medyo may pagka-glittery, mga studs.
“It is very easy to remember kasi napaka-daming kikay kids ngayon, and Ceana’s one of the kikay kids.
“Kasi the kids now they want funky stuff."
She has good feelings about her new business because of her experience with Ystilo.
Vina laid down her plans to PEP: "Well, sabi ko nga parang Ystilo lang din yan, e. We put up one and now we’re 28 [branches].
“I’m starting small. Online muna para hindi masyadong magastos.
"Pag maging okay, magpu-put up ako ng store. Yun ang dream ko.
“And then, who knows, baka magbukas pa ng more.
"But for now yun muna ang kaya namin ni Ceana, ang online business.”
THANKFUL AND FEELING BLESSED. Vina radiated joy as she expressed gratefulness for all the blessing she has been receiving.
“Thankful and blessed kaming magkakapatid kasi itong Ystilo salon is doing well.
"We're also praying na sana matuloy din yung [hair] products namin.
“Kasi we’re starting to make Ystilo products that we sell in the salons.
"And of course we use them.
“Thankful din kami kasi maski papaano, na-share namin yung mga blessings sa mga employees namin.”
Among the 28 branches which branch do the sisters frequent the most?
“I guess this [Hemady Square] is one of the branches na napupuntahan namin palagi, especially yung mga artista na kaibigan namin.
"We invite them kasi napakalapit na, e. ABS and GMA di ba?
“Ito siguro. Yung sa Greenhills area, lagi naming napupuntahan ni Shaina o kaya Mall of Asia.
"Minsan naman naiikot namin yan, e.
“Ako lang, lucky ako na napupuntahan ko yung probinsya kapag meron din talaga akong trabaho doon or may taping ako.
“Usually I take time naman. Like last year I did a tour, a caravan tour.”
CEANA ON ENTERING SHOWBIZ. Like any celebrity mom, Vina is often asked if she would allow Ceana to enter showbiz.
And like a typical mom, she was clear on what she wants for her daughter. She has to prioritize school first, no ifs and buts.
She exclaimed, “Si Ceana? Naku alam ko ang hirap ng batang artista kasi nadaanan ko yan!"
She recalled how it was with her when she started as a singer at the age of eight.
“I started when I was eight as a singer and then gumawa na ako ng movie.
"Sabagay nakatutok naman ang DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment], pero iba pa rin yung natututukan mo yung pag-aaral sa age nila.
“Gusto ko ma-enjoy ni Ceana yung childhood niya.
"Kasi bata pa lang ako nagta-trabaho na ako. So yun yung mga na-miss ko, e.
"And I didn’t even finish college, although yun naman ang gusto ko ma-accomplish kaya nga ako nagtatrabaho, e."
On second thought, Vina said she would probably allow Ceana to do commercials, "kasi hindi yun weekly show."
She added, “Tignan ko kung ano hilig niya. Pero now, fashion muna. So okay na yung Kikay Kid niya.
“Magmodel model na lang siya sa Kikay Kid niya.”