Why Regine Tolentino ventured into business

by Vincent Paul A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Sep 16 2013 10:47 AM | Updated as of Sep 17 2013 05:06 PM

Actress Regine Tolentino talks to Karen Davila on ABS-CBN's My Puhunan. Photo courtesy of My Puhunan

MANILA, Philippines - It was a stroke of luck that led actress Regine Tolentino down the path towards the world of business.

Having prepared several dresses for her expected baby girl, Tolentino was ready for the life of a mother.

But she failed to anticipate one thing.

"I created a whole line...Pero paglabas ng anak ko, dahil 8 and a half pounds siya, hindi nagkasya. So I ended up using them as samples to Rustan's," she said.

On ABS-CBN's "My Puhunan," Tolentino shared how she took advantage of that bit of misfortune and used it to build her multi-million peso clothing line.

According to Gina Maristela, Tolentino's mother, Tolentino was a born seamstress and entrepreneur.

"She was making all kinds of ornaments, little dresses and she would sell it to the neighborhood...Naninira siya ng mga damit niya to make other clothes," said Maristela.

"Barely before she even went to school, nagbebenta na," Maristela added.

And this genuine passion from dressmaking was what drove Tolentino forward despite a turbulent time in her show business career.

But it seemed like destiny actually did her a favor.

A sample of a wedding dress at Regine Tolentino's boutique. Photo courtesy of My Puhunan

"My first order was already 700 pieces...They ordered each and every one of my designs," she said, much to her surprise.

Her first big break led to the opening of Tolentino's boutique in 1999. They started out designing dresses and costumes for children.

"Kumita kami, yes. Pero it's quite difficult to manage," Tolentino said.

But despite the difficulty, she constantly sought out for new ways to earn more. She started designing dance outfits for celebrities such as Charlene Gonzales, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Iza Calzado and Ruffa Gutierrez.

"I started doing my own dance outfits and the other artistas are asking me to make one for them. So nag-design ako for them," she said.

Tolentino even started her own line of wedding gowns.

The actress also manages a local branch of MN8 Weddings & Studio, a state-of-the-art indoor studio that has branches in South Korea, New York and China.

According to Tolentino, if you want to succeed in a business, you have to have the passion and the know-hows for what you're getting yourself into.

"I know the task of the sewers, the patterns, the beaders, the utility and the janitor, kaya ko rin yoon gawin," she said.

"You just have to start small. You got to really have that genuine passion for what you do and as long you study your market...Lakasan lang ng loob," Tolentino added.

Tolentino credits her success to the lone sewing machine that her parents gave her as a gift.

"It was the key to my long time business. Siyempre you can't do show business and dancing forever. But this is also something that I can also pass down sa mga anak ko," she said.