Photos by Kitkat Pajaro
Mawy Conferido- Sapuay was in New York late last year to attend the Girlboss Rally, where she learned about empowerment and what it takes to build an empire from speakers like Beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva, creative director and former Women’s March organizer Sarah Sophie Flicker, and the original Girlboss herself, Sophia Amoruso.
To many young women, attending a Girlboss Rally is a dream come true. But for Mawy, it was just another crash-course to fostering a better brand — in this case, the fast-rising Filipino skincare and makeup company Hello Gorgeous, of which she’s the CEO. (It also didn’t hurt that the trip, having already been scheduled for months, became her perfect excuse to have a dreamy, picturesque Big Apple wedding.)
Skinline Essentials was an in-house brand of products used in her family’s chain of day spas that could be taken home. When Mawy’s late brother, stylist and theater actor Gello Conferido, was stricken with cancer, they began joining bazaars to sell the items and raise funds.
Aside from the beginnings of a loyal cult following, the experience showed Mawy who her customers are — young and daring — and what they like. It was then that she decided to change things up and rename their brand Hello Gorgeous.
One of the things she learned at the Girlboss Rally was to stay true to her brand’s identity and to value originality and authenticity. “If you do that,” she says, “people would love and know you for what you are.”