Since filming her last show in 2019, Bianca King has taken a gentle step back from the limelight. The actress took it upon herself to reinvent herself for the past few years, pouring her time into mindful content creation and now, managing her new business and enjoying newlywed life.
Bianca recently made headlines for her home wedding in Australia, where she exchanged vows with now-husband Ralph Wintle. The simplicity of the event surprised many, but in reality, it's right up the fuss-free bride's alley—not to mention that it makes absolute sense in these pandemic-ridden times.
Preview caught up with Bianca over video call to talk about her life in Australia, taking a few trips down memory lane in the process. She also spilled the details about her latest project out of show biz, her future plans, and whether she'll be coming back to the Philippines soon. Scroll ahead for the exclusive interview!
On getting married at home in Australia
Here's what many people don't know: Bianca met Ralph at Iza Calzado's wedding in 2018. He's also the brother of Iza's husband Ben Wintle. "He was the best man and he gave the most amazing speech, and I was just watching him from the singles table," she shares. "I found him on the dance floor and put myself where he could see me. And next thing I knew, people [our friends] pushed us together."
The couple had a long-distance relationship for a while, until Bianca got stuck in Australia in March 2020 because of the pandemic. She hasn't returned to the Philippines since. "After being locked down with him in a country without my friends and family, for sure we’ve seen the worst of each other," quips the actress. They then wed a year later, in the most heartwarming DIY wedding we've seen in a while.
According to Bianca, she and her friend Mari Jasmine personally made flower arrangements to decorate their living for the occasion. They also served cookies by Miko Aspiras, which Ralph drove all the way to renowned pastry chef's home in Sydney to retrieve. ("Ralph loves cookies. He can eat four cookies in one sitting," Bianca inserts.)
One of the most special details of her their wedding, however, was the fact that they didn't write down their vows—"We just winged it. Our friends said it was actually one of the most honest simple and sincere vows that they've seen."
After getting married in Australia, many have wondered whether Bianca has decided to settle in the country permanently. She did, after all, has shipped all her belongings to Sydney. But when asked, Bianca clarifies that she has only moved there for the time being. "As soon as we can travel we're both gonna go back and [decide] where it is that we really want to settle. Right now, it's great to be in Australia but admittedly my heart is in the Philippines and it's hard to be away from our friends and family," she says.
Taking a step back from show biz
But is she leaving show biz? Not exactly. However, Bianca did consciously make herself sparse to make room for other ventures. "After Halik I only accepted one MMK, being the girlfriend of Anne Curtis," she shares. "I really made it a goal to find something else to do that is long-term and stable that I can have while acting every now and then.
"But to be honest I don't want to be in the rat race anymore, I'm not trying to compete with anyone. I just want to do projects that are really special, and if that comes along, then I'm just gonna have to tell Ralph well you have to stay with me in the Philippines for a few months because I'm doing a show."
In the end, Bianca admits that there will always be a space in her heart for acting. "I will never fully leave showbiz. I will always pop back in every now and then even if I have a baby already," she adds. "I invested 16 years of my life creating a name, learning all the skills, [building the network], so I really don't take that for granted."
Bianca's most memorable projects
We also couldn't help asking about Bianca's career highlights in almost two decades of being a celebrity. The actress named two, for different reasons. Her role as Teresa in the 2017 teleserye Pusong Ligaw came to mind first, it being her longest running show (it aired for over a year) and her first under ABS-CBN.
She explains, "Because it was done really well, in terms of the glossiness of it, it was shot so well. It was always my dream to do a show in ABS—we really looked up to how they did shows. Also, the experience was really challenging. [They were] So particular about the acting. I feel that I became a better performer because of that experience."
Bianca then shares that her co-stars in that show, Sofia Andres and Beauty Gonzalez, are still some of her closest friends today. "Parang ang dami naming pinagdaanang hirap together," she tells us.
Another favorite of Bianca's is the 2012 comedy movie Sosy Problems, which she starred in alongside Rhian Ramos, Solenn Heussaff, and Heart Evangelista. "Babaw ng story pero sobrang fun," quips Bianca. She adds that she's particularly thankful for these friendships because the film was released during one of her most challenging dealings with the press. "Those girls saved my life, they would actually answer the press when they would hound me [about my previous relationship]," she reveals.
On launching her new business, Made Mindful
Steering back to the present, Bianca delves into her new business: A sustainable lifestyle brand that she named Made Mindful. She helms the entire operation as CEO, which is a huge change compared to her affiliations with her yoga studio and restaurant that closed during the pandemic.
"I've been through a lot of failures in business but I still gambled again," she says. "But with those, I wasn't as hands-on as I am right now. Manufacturing is a completely different animal compared to those businesses."
As it's her first time heading a business on her own, Bianca admits that it's been quite the challenge. She continues, "It's really hard. I doubt myself everyday, but my heart is in the brand as a founder so I'm trying to learn my way through it. The business is really my priority right now it's my full-time job."
Why she started Made Mindful
The story behind Made Mindful's conception is no different from many brands. It stemmed from its founder's personal journey, and for Bianca, it was her struggle in finding products that didn't cause her skin to act up.
According to the brand's press release, Bianca developed perioral dermatitis in her late 20s, and it forced her to steer clear of anything with synthetic fragrance and dyes. "I had it really badly for a year. It’s when you have rashes around your nose and your mouth. And then, I had dandruff of the face that you could see on my eyebrows, they were flaky and red. I had to stop working when it would flare up," she shares.
She had to reset her entire beauty regimen, and even got rid of everything scented in her home from candles to detergent. And after going on a "mad search" for mild, natural, and eco-friendly products to help her heal, it made her realize a gap in the market that she could fill. It was also an opportunity for her to create a brand that champions natural products and mindful living in a way that resonates with more people.
A sustainable take on VCO
"Mindful living to me is being conscious of the things that you consume, being aware of the impact that your choices have not only on your own health, but the environment and your community as well," the entrepeneur explains.
Made Mindful's very first product, a sleek bottle of Virgin Coconut Oil, sets itself apart from many of the bottles you can pick up in the grocery. That's because the brand's offering is locally-made, sustainably-made, and sustainably-packaged. They're specifically committed to avoiding the use of single-use plastic anywhere in their products to address the growing trash and plastic problem in the Philippines.
To illustrate, Made Mindful's VCO is packaged in a glass bottle with an aluminum cap, and the label is made with paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). When the product is delivered to a customer, it's packed in recycled Kraft paper boxes. This makes the entire product and the package its comes in recyclable.
As for the formula itself, it's cold-pressed, meaning the oil is extracted manually and without using heat and chemicals. "It's VCO in its purest form," says the CEO. She herself uses it every day on her skin and hair: "[I use it] Because it's a one ingredient moisturizer with no preservatives, nothing. It's affordable as well and you don't need much of it. You actually don't need to consume like a whole lot of it. One coin-sized amount goes a really long way." Meanwhile, her husband Ralph cooks exclusively with VCO, a habit that she has picked up aside from using it as a butter alternative for baking.
Next to creating a good product, it's Bianca's mission to support local farmers with her business. The brand has also committed to supporting scholars in Lucban, Quezon, where Made Mindful's coconut plantations are from. "I know I won't make a dent for a while but at least I am able to move the economy a little bit," she states. "Also, there are so many coconuts in the Philippines, right? Let's support the farmers that make this industry possible, because it’s a great product for us to have and to be proud of in the Philippines."
With that said, one of Bianca's other major goals with Made Mindful is encouraging more people to use VCO. She explains, "I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel with VCO, but what I try to do with this is make it an attractive product for our age bracket to use. It wasn't as popular with people our age, parang 'di sila aware na they can use it in this way."
Made Mindful will be launching more products this year, and when asked for a spoiler, Bianca reveals that it will be a range of coconut-based home and hygiene items. "I'm coconut-obsessed. I really believe in this gift of mother nature. There are so many ways that you an reuse compounds of coconut. That is what Made Mindful flagship products are all about: Eco-friendly coconut-based products."
She continues, "Aside from the eco-friendly packaging, all of the formulations of what we will release don't have any nasty synthetic ingredients. We try to make everything as natural, as mild as possible. Not only is it safe for people it's also safe for the environment." In fact, she and her product development team have been working on the formulas since 2018, so she can't wait to launch them all soon.
On managing a business long-distance
Starting a brand like Made Mindful pushed Bianca to become somewhat of a jack of all trades. She had to learn about branding, design, manufacturing regulations, and even creating a website just to get things moving. Managing her Philippine-based business while in Australia has been no easy feat for her either. She constantly has to do a lot Zoom calls with her partners and team spread across Manila and the United States. "It would've been impossible for me to do it by myself," admits the entrepreneur. "I try to be as proactive as I can with every aspect of the business. I just answer when somebody needs me."
She hopes to find someone to help her operate the business soon, but for now, Bianca is trying her best to hold the fort. Because while she didn't go to school for business, she's willing to learn her way through it. "I learned [that] if you really put your mind in something, if you really believe in something, if something feels right to you in your heart, no matter how hard it is, you will make it happen," she concludes.
Her best tip for budding business owners? Keep going and accept that you'll never be perfect. "Just keep working on the idea, and when you feel like you have enough to launch, launch already. Don't put it off. Don't wait forever, [because] it's never gonna be perfect. Just launch it and test it even if the systems in place are not [yet] operating perfectly."
Bianca's future plans
Bianca's plate is entirely full with her business, but we did ask her to dish on her other plans for the future.
"One thing I'm planning to do in the future is have babies," she reveals without hesitation. In fact, establishing her brand before becoming a mom is one of her goals, because she wants to create products for her future self as well. She adds, "I want to be able to use things that I can trust and they're not gonna harm my baby."
Years down the line, she also wants to hold a bigger wedding ceremony with their loved ones. "We would really like [a big ceremony] because I feel like our friends and family haven't enjoyed us together as a couple because we were doing long distance for a couple of years," Bianca explains.
But the main reason? She hopes that a story like hers and Ralph's would happen at her wedding, too. "I'm hoping my single friends will meet his single friends. It's such a good way to meet someone and social-proof your next date," Bianca tells us with the biggest smile on her face.
For more information about Made Mindful, visit their official website.
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