People & Inspiration

In Focus: Meet Kathryn Bernardo, CEO At 21

In Focus: Meet Kathryn Bernardo, CEO At 21

We’re already telling you—you should be getting used to another KathNails by KCMB launching at some mall nearby and disrupting Twitter’s trending topics for the day. Why, its proprietress Kathryn Bernardo is optimistic to get her brainchild of a business spreading across the metropolis—and beyond—like wildfire.

“Yeah, meron kaming goal na hopefully—again, dream lang namin ‘to—na sana mangyari yung ’20-30’ plan. Na sana by 2020, meron na kaming 30 branches,” the La Luna Sangre star told us at the opening of KathNails’ most recent branch in Ayala Clover Leaf in Balintawak late last year.

“That means nine branches per year. Yun, and we’re hoping na ganun yung mangyari kung magtuloy tuloy lahat ‘to.”

Kathryn, "other half" Daniel Padilla, and her closest showbiz friends graced the nail salon’s opening that day. It’s the actress-cum-businesswoman’s third since May 2017, and her biggest yet.

[related: Lifestyle Buzz: Get Your Nails Done At Kathryn Bernardo's New Nail Salon!]

KathNails’ beginnings
KathNails came about after Kathryn’s self-confessed obsession over, well, pampering oneself. So, it wasn’t too much a surprise.

“Ever since, mahilig na 'ko (magpa-nails). Kikay ako nung bata, eh. Alam mo yun? Kapag nagpapa-nails si Mama, ‘tapos sasama ako hanggang sa naging teenager na ‘ko. Nagkaroon na din ako ng pet peeve pagdating sa mga nails,” she recounted.

“And then ayun napag-usapan lang one night na bakit di sya gawing business and all, 'tapos dyi-no-joke pa namin yung 'KathNails' na name before kasi parang double meaning sya? And, ayun, ang daming mga kaibigan namin na nag-push na ituloy.”

Kathryn got further encouragement and inspiration from an executive of an eyewear shop. That, and SM City North EDSA making it easier for her when it got to the paperwork. Before she knew it, she was opening her first branch in Quezon City. She followed it with a KathNails’ second branch in SM Mall of Asia in November.

The business idea of a nail salon has been warming up in the Bernardo household for years since, and so when the right opportunity dawned, Kathryn and her family just had to strike. But, imagine, the Teen Queen had to be on top of everything while taping for her summer movie Can’t Help Falling In Love last year.

[related: Daily Diaries: KathNiel Does Real Talk On Love and Adulting In Movie 'Can't Help Falling In Love']

The working girl
KathNails at Ayala Clover Leaf follows the same pastel pink and teal themes of the previous salons—respectively, Kathryn’s favorite color and a more subtle hue aimed to draw the male market a little.

The new salon also added massage in the services, next to the usual mani, pedi,  polishing, and nail art.

Kasi yun yung napansin namin na medyo hinahanap ng mga tao (in the first two stores) especially body scrub and massage,” Kathryn reasoned. “May dalawang massage rooms. And may shower. So, pwede ka ring magpa-mani o pedi and then after, you can get a massage.”

Aside from the size, perhaps what also sets the salon apart is a room furnished specifically for Kathryn to hold office. The room still says a lot about the young star’s personality, the pink telling of her femininity and sweetness adorned with pictures of her and her family. There are even fan-given director’s chairs with Kathryn’s and Daniel’s names on it for her visitors to sit in.

Sana makapunta ako dito ng ganun kadalas!” she added with a laugh.

Next to a business, KathNails is also center of social entrepreneurship. Many don’t know that some of the nail technicians at KathNails were initially fans who signed up and then got trained to be professionals in nail care and massage. Kathryn’s Abot-Kamay Program, with the help of barangay councils, is free for those who might not have a school certificate but willing to turn their lives around.

[related: Hot Stuff: Kathryn Bernardo's Way Of Giving Back To Her Fans Isn't Just Sweet, But Also Practical]

A woman of many hats
The pressure is definitely on for Kathryn, who in the middle of her success is still in disbelief being called “CEO.”

Sabi ko, ‘Seryoso?’ Especially nung sa first branch, nung in-introduce ako as CEO, parang, ‘Woah, level up!’” she recalled. “It’s good to learn at a very young age and I’m just still learning. Ang dami ko pang kailangan pag-aralan kung pano ‘tong mundo na ‘to but then I’m open to learning new things and na-e-enjoy ko naman sya so far.”

She needs not fret, though, with her Mama and KathNails COO Min and her sisters helping manage her new “baby.” She has her beau DJ as well supporting her every step of the way.

Dun sa itsura, dun sa mga furniture, tinitignan din nya,” Kathryn revealed of Daniel. “’Tapos kung paano ko i-support yung District 8 (Daniel’s business), ganun din nya sinu-support yung sa ‘kin.

Now fully immersed in the world of entrepreneurship, Kathryn is nothing but excited—so excited she’s already planning to build and invest in more.

“(This 2018), may pina-plan kaming different business naman—this time with my stylists Kim and Boop Yap,” she disclosed. “It's a surprise.”

ALSO READ: Hottie Alert: 15 Times Iñigo Pascual Made Us Swoon!

Photographs by Vyn Radovan | Special thanks to Ogie Rodriguez

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