There is a rise of young and talented Cebuano entrepreneurs, who now reap the fruit of hardwork and labor. The likes of Vito Selma, Vania Romoff and Nick Automatic. Those brave enough to follow their passion and, fortunately, earn from it.
ZeroThreeTwo sat down with feisty Cebuana make-up enthusiast Pearl Sarcauga, the proprietor of Cebu based cosmetics brand Doll Face. She shared how she turned her interest in aesthetics and cosmetics into a thriving and successful business.
032: Descibe the woman behind the brand.
Pearl: WORKAHOLIC (and she wanted it to be emphasized by typing it in caps lock).
Pearl: DollFace sells makeup brushes and palettes which provide a huge spectrum and choices of colors and finishes making them perfect for both beginners and professionals. For the makeup palettes our bestsellers are the earth color palette, prism palette, and the contour & highlight palette to name a few. For the makeup brushes, it has to be the 12pc brush set in pink which is made of synthetic bristles.
032: Give a quick and brief version of your success story.
Pearl: Not sure if I would want to name it a success story, but here goes. Started selling online as a means of earning a little extra aside from my allowance in college. A customer suggested the idea of joining bazaars in Manila which made sense since most of my clients came from the area. So after graduation, I tried it and I was able to build a good network there on top of maintaining a solid online presence. Before I knew it, offers for displays in malls and establishments in Metro Manila came pouring in.
After getting tired from all the monthly flying I had to do (I simply refused to live in Manila or anywhere else except Cebu for that matter!), I decided to bring my operations to my hometown, hence came Dolled Up Makeup Studio & Supply.
032: Why name the business Dollface? Where does your make-up come from?
Pearl: DollFace was a term of endearment for a pretty lady back in the 1940-50’s. The fashion of this era was pre-dominated by pin-up girls. They were beautiful, confident women who were known to wear sexy clothing and of course, gorgeous makeup. So I took a cue from them and named the makeup brand DollFace because I wanted every woman who used our products to feel just as confident and beautiful as those pin-up girls were so famous for. Our products are all imported.
032: How did being a Cebuano help in the success of your business?
Pearl: Cebuanos have a notorious reputation of being a very hard-to-please audience. I guess coming from that group made me apply the best in my business. Before I put out anything in the market, I always ask myself, “Is this something that I would buy?” Having brought on the exacting standards and demands of a Cebuano has made this whole process very rigorous, but probably in a good way, I would say!
Pearl: Firstly, Manila is such a stressful place to be in. I don’t mean to hate, but I’m sure anyone who’s been there would agree. I always found that a huge part of my day would be spent commuting. I remember how my Manila friends would always tease me because in just a mere matter of hours from stepping off the plane, I’d already be whining about how much I’m missing Cebu!
Cebu, I find has a unique balance between urban and rural that I can’t seem to find anywhere else. Secondly, I was already confident enough to concentrate my marketing in another area and it made only the perfect sense to do it in Cebu with it being the most developed city in the Visayas, plus it didn’t hurt that it was closer to home.
032: What were the challenges in setting up your business/brand?
Pearl: Having started out on my own meant manning the entirety of the business operations singlehandedly. Because I could not afford to hire just yet, I did not have employees who specialized in say, logistics, customer service, accounting or whatever to foresee possible problems in those areas so a lot of what I learned now, really came from trial and error. Also I did not graduate with a commerce course in college so a lot of the jargons and technicalities in business were pretty alien to me. I guess my background in psychology really contributed in my interest for marketing because I always found human behavior and dynamics interesting. Maybe I just applied it in the business environment this time.
032: How do you see the future of your brand/business?
Pearl: Right now, I just want to sustain my business and possibly expand to Mindanao- hopefully Davao if given the right opportunity to do so in the near future.
032: What can you advise young entrepreneurial Cebuanos about starting up their businesses?
Pearl: Business is very broad and there are a lot of possibilities so it’s hard to leave advice in a short statement. Being a marketing-oriented entrepreneur, I guess it will have to be to do your market research.
Interests: Food, people, travel, makeup, dogs.
Favorite local make-up brand.
DollFace, of course!
Favorite Cebuano/Cebuana Make-up Artist
So hard to choose! I don’t think I can name a single favorite because they all own their unique styles and touch. I will say though that I’m excited that more and more people are venturing into makeup artistry and I’m definite with how much potential Cebuanos/Cebuanas have in making a mark in the makeup industry. There’s such a melting pot of talent just waiting to be discovered in Cebu.
Dream Cebuana/Cebuano customer
Monique Lhuillier- she’s a homegrown yet world-renowned Cebuana. I think I can say I’ve truly made it if somebody like her bought my products.
Here’s their Facebook page.
Phone Number (032) 4124688
PS – Doll Face also conducts Make-up seminars for beginners and those who want to become professionals.