Why the founders of Happy Skin are breaking up

Jacqe Yuengtian Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil Trillo at a Happy Skin event in 2015

Earlier this week, Rissa Mananquil Trillo dropped a bombshell on Instagram: she was leaving Happy Skin.

Trillo was the brand manager of the beauty business. Managing Director Jacqe Yuengtian Gutierrez and Trillo are known as the co-founders of Happy Skin, which was launched in 2013.

At the time, Trillo, who had spent 15 years of her life as a model and beauty columnist, said their goal was to create “skin-care makeup” and one made for the complexion from the Philippines. .

In its eight years of existence, Happy Skin has been a huge success, with standalone stores and beauty counters in malls all over the Philippines, memorable collaborations with big celebrities and global brands, winning awards. and countless fans who swear by its products. Happy Skin was a pioneer, competing with international labels, changing the mindset towards local beauty brands and paving the way for many more to enter what has become a thriving market.

So why is Trillo leaving?

“The perfect company is one that is true to your values. Anytime I see something that isn’t aligned with my values, I won’t take it as a loss but as a gain that I knew from the start, ”she told Lifestyle.

She wrote on Instagram: “Shared values ​​are so important. Doing a good job has always mattered to me, not just a good job, but doing it with integrity. It never made sense for me to compromise what I believed in because it also meant compromising my respect for myself. “

When asked to clarify what she meant by “values,” Trillo said, “The standards for doing good are universal, whether in business or in life.”

Trillo, who was the Ernst & Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 and the Inspirational Filipino Entrepreneur of GoNegosyo in 2018, said, “When Happy Skin started, I really wanted to offer a makeup solution that takes care of your skin. skin to Filipinos. The financial rewards were secondary. . . Now when I think about it, everything on my checklist is done.

“Happy Skin has achieved its goal. More than that, Happy Skin paved the way for other local beauty brands to enter the market, and I think she will always be remembered as the local brand that opened the doors for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. consumers to embrace local love. I will always be proud of it. “

Colourette, Vice Ganda’s Vice Cosmetics, Sunnies Face and BLK Cosmetics are just a few of the local beauty brands born after Happy Skin. Gutierrez is also CEO of BLK Cosmetics, which she co-founded with actress Anne Curtis in 2017.

Trillo and Gutierrez play with make-up at company headquarters in 2015. – INVESTIGATOR’S PHOTOS

Seek advice

Leaving the brand was not a decision she made lightly, Trillo said. “It takes a lot of strength to leave something that I have devoted so much of my life to.”

She told Lifestyle: “I look at everything with gratitude and a full heart. Proving that local brands can compete with international brands is definitely a lasting legacy that I can tell my daughters about. “

In her Instagram post, she mentioned that she sought advice from “some of the country’s respected business leaders.” Who? we wanted to know. Trillo said, “I can’t reveal who exactly, but what I can tell you is that these are the business leaders I interviewed for my book ‘Read My Lips: What He Did. it takes to create a local, world-class brand ”. My conversations with them have reaffirmed that no matter what generation you come from, good is good and bad is bad. “

She added: “I’m not the first partner to go. I could have left at the same time as our other partner several years ago, but I wanted to give him a chance. No one can say that I haven’t tried.

Trillo said she and her husband Paolo had invested their joint savings in the brand. So what does he think of his departure? “He’s actually the happiest,” she said.

Trillo has a message for the many Happy Skin fans. “Thank you for giving Happy Skin a chance and supporting the locals. Nothing is more rewarding than creating a product from scratch, seeing it come to life, seeing women wearing it and seeing how much of a difference it makes in the lives of Filipinos.

She added, “To this day, I still get messages from women about how Happy Skin has helped them discover their own type of beauty and how it made them feel better during the important moments in their lives. “

When asked what she wanted for Happy Skin, she replied, “It’s more of a message for all local brands. I hope all local brands will continue to be loved by Filipinos and continue to strive to uplift the industry. Most importantly, never forget that good values ​​will always make good business sense. “


Trillo’s announcement was met with a lot of support on social media. ” I did not expect that. I am touched by the overwhelming response, ”she said.

We reached out to Gutierrez and she provided us with a statement from the Happy Skin partners: “Although Rissa has not worked with Happy Skin since March 2020, we will always be grateful for her contribution to the brand. We wish him good luck on the path that awaits him. Happy Skin will of course continue to fulfill its mission of uplifting Filipino beauty and offering world class products.

Trillo said: “It’s not easy to say goodbye to one of my babies, but at this point my goal is to move on. I’ve received so many messages saying “This is the end of an era”, but I’m excited for the rest. I will continue to use my platform for things close to my heart: empowering women, gender equality, sustainability, and helping start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs. More than that, I feel the same fire within me again. The same fire when I started Happy Skin dreaming of a game-changing brand. And it feels good. There are many more opportunities than I imagined.

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