Pageant season is taking flight once again, and it’s just about time to cheer for your favorite beauty queens on stage. While they have undoubtedly been making heads turn and jaws drop with their impeccable gowns and groundbreaking walks, they’ve surely been slaying in their own respective careers behind the pageant scene, too. Case in point: Miss Grand International 2020 1st Runner-up Samantha Bernardo is one among several beauty queens who's paved their own way in fashion entrepreneurship.
In fact, the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 1st runner-up winner is the proud founder of the sleepwear apparel line, Dream Queen. Through its timeless and affordable collection, Samantha hopes to stimulate a feeling that true queens embody—confidence, glamour, and comfort. Beyond Dream Queen’s commitment to create comfortable and classy pieces, however, the brand also promises to fund the Beat Malaria campaign with 10% of the proceeds of each purchase. Achieving #MalariaFreePhilippines has always been a personal advocacy for Sam, proving us once again that a beauty queen is more than her crown and glory. Rather, she is an intelligent and selfless woman who holds on to her passion to serve, empower, and inspire others.
Longing to know how she did just that? Below, Samantha tells Preview more on her journey on starting and building her own social enterprise.
Everything you need to know about Samantha Bernardo's fashion brand, Dream Queen
How was Dream Queen like when it first started?
“Believe it or not, I started with 5,000 pesos as my capital until I sold over 200 sleepwear last year in a span of three months. From then on, I had this gut feeling that this is another good opportunity to earn a living and a new exciting endeavor. I was still working as a Financial advisor during that time, a Binibini 2020 candidate and a professional model. Doing business is innate in our family but Covid-19 pandemic pushed me to experiment and fashion is something close to my core.”
What made you enter the industry and decide on selling sleepwear?
“It all started with a dream of mine to curate and create pieces that makes our staying home comfortable, chic and classy despite the pandemic, and that's why I call it Dream Queen Apparel. I figured everyone is staying at home because of Covid-19 pandemic and I want to add value to their comfort and make their sleeping and work from home stylish.”
Tell us more about the story behind the brand's name and advocacy.
“We are committed to create COMFORTABLE and CLASSY pieces that are timeless, affordable and celebrate femininity with a CONSCIOUS thought on women's needs. Dream Queen is committed on elevating beauty to empower and inspire. A brand a woman created for women who clearly sees the queen potential in every one and she wants you to have what you deserve by giving you the "royalty feels" each and every day with our high-quality, proudly Filipino-made and mindfully crafted garments."
“With your every purchase, 10% of the proceeds will go straight to CHARITY that will fund the BEAT MALARIA campaign of the Department of Health under Kilusan Ligtas Malaria that aims to achieve #MalariaFreePhilippines by 2030. Since it's pandemic and we cannot hold events, we are donating and giving it back to our Malaria volunteers who tirelessly hike on remote mountains just to accomplish the mission.”
What milestones have you reached with DreamQueen that you take most pride in?
“We are proud to be worn by real Queens like Miss Universe Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados. Miss Intercontinental Philippines 2019 Emma Tiglao, Miss Grand Philippines 2019 Aya Abesamis, Miss Globe 2nd runner up Leren Bautista, Miss Earth Air 2019 Roxie Baeyens and others. We are also trusted by brands like Toledo Medical Clinic and Ever Bilena for their campaigns and endorsements. This is something big for us and we will forever be grateful for their trust and patronage.”
What is your big dream for its advocacy and the brand itself?
“Of course to achieve Malaria Free Philippines in 2030, help our local sewers on providing livelihood to support Filipino families, and for Filipinos to #LoveLocal and #ShopLocal. My dream for the brand is to be recognized as one of the best sleepwear to street style brands in the Philippines.”
How is it like managing your own brand while fulfilling your responsibilities as a Binibining Pilipinas candidate? Have you ever encountered conflicts between your agendas in your multiple commitments?
“Actually, I don't think there is or I don't look at it negatively because I am enjoying what I do and Dream Queen apparel taught me a lot of lessons too. Although there are days that I feel so tired because I am loaded with tasks, I feel a sense of fulfillment afterwards. Whatever you see in our brand, from social media management, marketing and even shipping orders, it was all done by yours truly and a reflection of me. But luckily this month, I have decided to hire people to help me and create more awareness for the brand. I have accepted that I can't be Wonderwoman all the time. haha.”
Any advice for other "queens" out there who also dream of making it into the fashion industry?
“Oh, JUST DO IT! Haha. You need to love what you do and be passionate about it and I support you all the way. Do not fear committing mistakes and don't ever give up. I think the only thing that sets us apart from others is our willingness to do it. So plan, engage, try and do it wholeheartedly!”