In today's #WomenWeAdmire, we're featuring one of the OG fashion bloggers in the country now turned entrepreneur - Laureen Uy. Like many content creators, she started as someone who simply enjoyed creating and sharing content about fashion, lifestyle, and her travels on various platforms. However, when the pandemic started, she realized that there was potential for her to turn her love for food and drinks into a business.
Naia, our Junior Multimedia Artist & Product Manager, got the chance to have a quick chat with her as she shared about the creative process and planning that went into creating the latest must-visit all-day drinking spot in the metro!
We love how you're a multi-hyphenated woman being a Content Creator, Co-founder, and Creative Director for both Flo and Hungry Homies. For those who are not familiar yet, can you tell us what made you decide to create Flo specifically?
Laureen: Coming from Hungry Homies which was a pandemic brand. We were thinking of really doing a beverage bar and we were thinking if we should sell either coffee or cocktails. But then we realized, why not make it both? And it's perfect. This space was empty. So luckily we were able to get it just in time to open a few months after we opened Hungry Homies.
You're also a content creator and now a businesswoman. How do you balance having a business, your personal life, and being a content creator all at the same time? What does a regular day look like for you?
Laureen: Honestly, my day is always packed, but it's not the same. That's why I feel like I really love my job, because it's not like the usual nine-to-five where it's a routine. I usually travel for work for myself, but I always make sure that I'm on top of the marketing for Flo and Hungry Homies. So we do have a team that helps us. So, medyo may structure na talaga, we have a social media girl, we have an admin, we have our manager, and then Miggy, who's head of the kitchen and is the one helping manage everything, basically. But yeah, I feel like wala akong day na parehas lang.
I love that and how you're still hands-on despite having a team and all the traveling. Back to the brand [Flo], we admire the branding since it’s so cohesive, and also similar vibe to Lit’s (which is why we adore it even more). What was the design process like for building the brand identity for Flo?
Laureen: First, we came up with the word “Flo”. It really means it's easy, it's flowy. That's why it's an all-day drinking place, go with the flow, talaga yung peg namin. And when we were thinking of the branding, we thought of the color blue because it’s water, liquid, flowing. But the whole place, it was actually my brother who planned everything. He’s a creative director and the whole place, the little details and everything, tulong-tulong talaga kami. So if you’ll notice that our glasses aren't the usual ones, like for example, our water and shot glasses, we really source it, as in pumupunta talaga kami sa Quiapo… because it [branding] says a lot about the owners also. I feel like we and our partners are very quirky. But as you can see, like our menu board it's easily changeable. We can always change it up every week, every month, and the lights at night, I'm not sure if you guys have been here at night, but it's super nice. We have lights that can change colors so that it’s not a certain vibe, sometimes we play with it depending on the music or types of people.
"It says a lot about the owners also. We and our partners are very quirky"
Lastly, since it's Women's Month, I just wanted to ask you what is one thing or advice you want to share with women, not just in business and maybe even to your younger self about life, something that's not talked about more frequently as it should be?
Laureen: Just to never stop learning anything. Usually when we're fresh out of college, we're always like ”Yes! Tapos na!” But honestly, even a few years ahead, even a decade ahead of you, you will realize that if you stop learning, you'll stop growing. It's always very important to always aspire to learn something new. So, for example, me, not work-related, but I actually wanna learn how to play the violin with my mom this year.
Also just do things that you love. Sometimes we get caught up with work that we don't get to enjoy living in the present. And I feel like it's always important. To give yourself credit for what you do and give yourself some time because you deserve it.
"It's always very important to always aspire to learn something new."
Laureen has truly taken control of her career from the very beginning and can turn her creativity into something beautiful and sustainable. She's been a true inspiration in pursuing passion while also building successful businesses. It was definitely a memorable experience for Naia and has inspired the team to continue to keep the work ethic, stay creative, and find your flo! 😉
Looking forward to seeing you and staying at Flo again soon, Laureen!
'Til the next digest. Happy International Women's Month!