The Ambitionista is proud to feature Bianca Torres Wong, Assistant Vice President and Legal Executive at Nestle Philippines by Day, Vinyasa Yoga Teacher at Bliss Yoga Manila by Night.
Know what it’s like to pursue your passion and career simultaneously through Bianca’s life as a corporate lawyer and a certified yoga teacher.
Describe who you are and what you do in 1- 2 sentences
“I’m half a corporate lawyer and half a wandering yogini. 🙂 I worked full time as a corporate lawyer for around 5 years before deciding I needed to do something more with my life, so I took time off and signed up for a 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training. Now I happily get to practice both law (for the leading nutrition, health and wellness company in the world, Nestle) and yoga in my soul space, Bliss Yoga Manila.”
What do you do when you first wake up?
“I reach over to look for my husband. 🙂 I just recently got married, so it’s still a bit surreal.”
What’s one activity that you do everyday without fail?
“I try to meditate a few minutes everyday. Sitting at my desk, or in traffic, or walking to work – sneaking in a few seconds of mindfulness always lifts my mood.”
If you are not working you would be … ?
“Practicing more yoga. I absolutely love that deliriously happy post-yoga high. I’m always in a good mood after I practice.”
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
“The Philippines is known for its notoriously beautiful beaches so I would still have to choose Boracay, because it’s also where I met my hubby. 🙂 “
If you really want to dress to impress, what do you do?
“The combination of a classic DVF wrap dress with a good pair of heels has always worked well for me in power meetings. It’s pretty quick to put together too, vs. a full suit and less high-maintenance. If it’s a more formal event, I’d complete the look with a sharp blazer and some accessories.”
What’s your favorite everyday beauty brands/products?
“MAC Mineralize SkinFinish and MAC Velvet Teddy Matte Lipstick, I just recently discovered this and I used up an entire stick in 2 months 🙂 “
Do you exercice? If yes, what type and how often?
“I like to mix it up. I make sure I practice yoga regularly but I try to sneak in a few Barre3 classes and some cardio at the Gym.”
How do you stay sane and on top of it?
“I surround myself with good and positive energy. Years of yoga practice have taught me that energy is contagious. You can always choose the space around you, the people you surround yourself with and the battles you need to face. I now know I can take a step back, to extract myself from anything or anyone that doesn’t serve me. In this way, I guard my peace and I don’t drain myself. I devote my time tending to situations and engaging with people in my life who are worth it.”
What do you splurge on? Fashion / Beauty / Travel :
“I’m a guilty shopaholic with a bad case of wanderlust. Shopping is so much more fun when you’re on vacation! I love travelling to different places, or visiting a few favourite places over and over again.”
Which women do you admire in your life?
“I’ve always gravitated towards strong and independent women. Feminine strength is subtle and sexy.”
If you could meet a younger you from 10 years ago, what would you have told her?
“Trust the universe. Be patient. Everything beautiful unfolds in God’s good time.”
Favorite Quote: Dream like a Bohemian, Work like a Boss.
Photos c/o Kip Aguirre
Form should always follow function and Banana Republic holds true to this mantra by presenting us with perfectly tailored ready to wear pieces during New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016. From sleek trousers to cashmere sweaters, tailored coats, bright blazers and textured turtlenecks, their array of colorful clothes paired with bold patterns and textures definitely leave more than just a lasting impression– it is the must-have RTW collection of the season!
Here’s my favorite looks that would be perfect outfits for work from Banana Republic’s NYFW Fall/Winter 2016 Collection :
1. This chic yet comfortable turtleneck poncho layered onto a black and white striped long-sleeved top and paired with cigarette pants is perfect for the smart contemporary office. A classic striped clutch and black heels completes the look. Saunter into work on Monday looking like this and its a work-week slam dunk.
2. For a classic yet modern office look I love the blues in this outfit. The deep sapphire blue blazer looks amazing with other shades of blue here, or with other neutrals you would likely have in your closet. And if you can wear it with almost anything else in your wardrobe, isn’t that an investment?
3. Feeling a little femme fatale-ish? 50 Shades of Grey is not exactly office appropriate but wearing different shades of this classic neutral is always a good idea. Banana Republic gives us ample options from the deepest charcoals to the lightest smokey shades. I especially love the fact that because of grey’s muted tones here, The fur cardigan, leather gloves and pointed clogs in black gives the look just enough edge.
4. Almost the weekend, but you’re filled with meetings? Well secretly enjoy making an entrance to your appointments with chic ensembles like the ones below. The best thing is they look modern, yet still classically tailored that they would last you a few seasons. That is if Banana Republic doesn’t come up with yet more gorgeous coats for their next FW season.
5. Casual Fridays is finally here! Add some color to celebrate – I LOVE the mustard yellow blazer and distressed boyfriend jeans and lets not even talk about that brown leather jacket in the background.
So the question is – should I switch my king-size bed for a twin bed in my bedroom so
I can have more space for all this fabulousness?
PS: Thank you Gina Doost for attending the NYFW Banana Republic FW16 show for me.
The Ambitionista is proud to feature Shirley Yang, Vice President of Social Strategy at StyleHaul Founder of SOFFICI, a fashion for philanthropy brand among our #SuccessInStilettos Series. Get some insights on a day in the life of a certified girl boss, pursuing her passions with her new line of luxury bag accessories while running strategy for one of the leading Style networks.
What Is Your Work Wear Go To?
“I like to wear dresses, a form fitting dress, preferably black. The material is key. Winter time I add a fur vest, summer time I wear a light blazer outside of the dress.”
How do you stay sane and on top of it?
“Deep breaths and good bedtime reading.”
Which women do you admire in your life?
“Too many. I admire women who are brave, kind, and authentic.”
What are your Everyday Favorite Beauty Products?
“My regular routine is good moisturizer. I also LOVE jojoba oil for good hair.”
What do you splurge on?
“Good shoes and good food.”
What did you want to do when you grow up?
“Inspire as many people as I can. Leave the world a better place – that’s the Millennial in me talking.”
What was the biggest obstacle you have faced that in the end helped you?
“I’ve had people try to put me down in the past, it definitely made me stronger. It is very true what they say, I want to look back and thank them.”
What does success mean to you?
Success means balancing the Science of Achievement and the Art of Fulfilment. It’s when I do things larger than self and and inspire others to also be successful.”
If you could meet a younger you from 10 years ago, what would you have told her?
“Don’t worry so much, get more sleep.”
What Is One Activity That You do Everyday without fail?
“Hug and kiss my little chihuahua.”
What Is Your Favorite Quote?
“Chance favors the prepared mind, the more you practice, the luckier you become”
– Richard Branson
Most of us have an established routine we follow everyday. Day in and day out, we wake up, get to work, and anticipate for the moment we can go home and have a glass of cabernet sauvignon and relax. I love a nice glass of wine just as much as the next girl, but take it from me, if you want to get ahead in your career and get the promotion you’ve been dying for, take your thoughts off the vino and put your focus into your work. The workplace is not the time to be the unmemorable wallflower, with an average job performance. When you set foot in your place of work, that is the time to show how dynamic of a worker you are and how serious you take your career. Luckily for you, I have the 10 essential ways to do just that. Follow this mini-guide on how to stand out in the workplace.
1. Always Represent Your Brand
Have a passion for your company and what you do. Not only will your enthusiasm for your company show in your behavior but this will heighten the quality of work you do and, ultimately, impress your employer (and clients).
2. Dress The Part
When you’re at work, you want to look the part and dress in a professional manner. The last thing you want to do is look underdressed, revealing or unkempt. Dedicate time to establish a solid and stylish wardrobe for work – which over time will become automatic and effortless. If you wear a work inform, always make sure your uniform is clean, your hair is neat, avoid chipped polish ( I use gel-polish as it lasts longer and I know some busy ladies who now just buff their nails at home which is less high-maintenance but equally polished) and make sure that your makeup is not overboard. These same rules also apply to those without a designated uniform, as well.
3. Contribute Regularly In Meetings
When in a meeting, many find it easy to simply sit and agree to what is being discussed. However, your employer is looking for those that speak up and have something to contribute to the issues at hand. Go into a meeting prepared and understand what topics are going to be discussed. Convey your ideas in a simple manner, but with enthusiasm. Show that you are in-tune and interested with whats being discussed by asking intelligent questions.
4. Be Proactive
Being proactive entails taking the initiative to take control of a situation and its outcome, i.e. to find the solution to any obstacle before a problem arises. Therefore, keeping any issues at bay. As a boss – I find that the my most valuable team members are those that not only see problems – they provide suggestions on how to overcome said issues.
5. Take The Lead When Possible
Exercise and develop your leadership skills (yes its a skill – and anyone can develop them with time and practice) by taking the initiative to take the lead every once in . a while. Offer to take the on a new project or spearhead the planning of the company’s annual picnic. It may not be the most prestigious or glamorous assignment but, whatever it may be, find an activity that needs to be done and accomplish it. In fact, taking on non-glamorous and low-key projects is best when you its your first time taking on something as a lead. Look for projects that will showcase your skills, as well, this will be a plus when the time comes for your evaluation.
6. Go Above & Beyond
It’s amazing to me that 80% of the time – most people are just doing the minimum at work. Leaders and oustanding employees are always continually striving to improve. Do this by listening to the feedback you receive from your employer or co-workers and actually apply whats being said to your performance. Soon you’ll realize that all the areas they would need to correct your work, no longer need correcting. This will save them the headache of extra work and impress them, at the same time.
7. Be A Team Player
Don’t be the lone-wolf kind of worker. Being a team player will help you develop necessary and valuable relationships with your co-workers and show your employer that you get along well with others- which is essential in the workplace.
8. Be Friendly and Kind, Without Being A Pushover
Similar to be a team player, being friendly and kind to those in the workplace will help you to build good relationships with those you work with. Take an interest in your co-workers. Be available to help them when they need assistance. However, don’t let anyone take advantage of you and your kindness. Don’t become the person everyone thinks they can dump their work on when they don’t want to do the work themselves.
9. Own Up To Your Mistakes
Don’t be the person that tries to place their mistakes on others or shift the blame onto someone else. Be honest and own up to the mistakes you’ve made. Your co-workers and employers will appreciate you for it.
10. Communicate Effectively
From experience, a lot of friction at work is actually due to miscommunication or words said in anger. I find that just repeating what someone has told you in your own words, or discussing (in a friendly way) about vague issues resolves a lot. Be aware when your emotions are taking over – when I am feeling angry, I try to hold off saying anything or emailing anyone for a couple of hours. Anger and frustration can stop you from thinking clearly and saying things you will later regret. Being a great communicator is one of those skills that will help you in all aspects of your professional and personal lives -which is why, it’s also the most valuable skill.
Let’s Conquer The World, In Style.
While it was last February, I still can’t help but miss the hustle and bustle of Oscars week. It was a chaotic yet wonderful madness for me. I met many of my Blogger Babes face to face, got to meet so many influencers in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle space and learnt so much about the art of intense socializing. (More about my Vanity Fair Social Week adventure in a future post. Stay Tuned!)
Of course, I’d like to thank my Etienne Aigner Stag Bag for helping me stay organized throughout the whole affair. Seriously, I don’t know what I would have done without it. Although, losing my phone 787 times in the bottomless pit of an ordinary purse may be an answer.
Each side of the Stag Bag features two large zip-up compartments that open up to smaller inner pockets — great for holding all my random receipts, phone, business cards, mints and endless lip gloss supply (you know you do it too).
The detachable strap let me sling it over my shoulder as I rushed from event to event. Plus, I’m in love with the eye-catching dalmatian print.
Animal prints by the way, are a great neutral and this whimsical pattern added a bit of fun to a potentially trop proper work outfit.
Tip: If you’re going to do a lot of walking (I swear I walked 70 miles that week) but love high heels, booties with a slightly thicker heel are the answer to sturdy, fashionable support. These black beauties looked great and got me through AM to PM, feet intact.
To prevent a tie-neck blouse from looking stuffy, pair with minimally-styled hair, on-trend details such as a pair of culottes and chic sunglasses.
Here’s to a unforgettable Oscars week — the people, the free flow of food and drinks and getting primped every day and night. Most of all, I miss being constantly surrounded by so many of my Blogger Babes. I’m now quite inspired to see how I can recreate the vibe felt during VFSC at other Blogger Babes events.
Etienne Aigner’s Stag Bag
Ann Taylor Tie Neck Champagne Blouse similar here
Nina Ricci Black Sunglasses (love the unexpected champagne sides)
Black Booties similar here
DVF Black Culottes similar here
A few days ago, a good friend of mine asked me over a plate of portobello mushroom fries and a glass of overpriced sparkling water, “When you go shopping for clothes, what do you look for?”
After a moment’s thought, I told her, “Quality. I like to keep my closet lean and invest in beautiful pieces that I know will last a few solid years.”
Rewind to my college days when I gravitated towards trendy, flimsy pieces that broke down after 3 nights out (ahem, Forever21). Granted, at that time it was all I could afford but as soon as I started earning a decent paycheck, I found myself becoming more critical of the things I bought.
I wanted clothing that lasted and reflected my newfound sophisticated taste. Now, the more I learn about the manufacturing process, the more I make it a point to never consume mindlessly.
Quality over quantity became my tried and true, albeit cliché, shopping motto. So beautiful fabrics, impeccable stitching and carefully thought out silhouettes became must-have qualities.
A year ago, I discovered PIOL — makers of custom-made dresses — a company that makes all kinds of LBDs (Little Black Dresses) with an attention to detail that would make even Miss Hepburn proud.
I spy with my little eye… the perfect LBD!
Of course, it’s an investment and each tailored dress will cost you a pretty penny: $550 to $650. But when you can tailor a dress to your exact measurement and tastes — from the neckline to the pattern — and unique shape — from your bust to your height, it’s an investment that pays itself off in the years to come.
Plus, it’s versatile enough to look killer at work and play.
PIOL black sheath LBD
Nina Ricci black cat eye sunglasses similar here
Christian Louboutin black patent leather pumps similar here
Opera length pearls similar here
Helen Kaminski straw clutch similar here
Giorgio Armani red lippie
Photos by The Amazing Sabrina Hill of Party With No Cake
This Valentine’s Day, I’m skipping the heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and reaching for a sweet, seductive cupcake instead. If that petite treat just so happens to be from Sprinkle’s magical Cupcake ATM (uh, genius?) , who’s going to stop me?
Luckily, said Cupcake ATM just so happens to be near my neighborhood and I headed to the one in Beverly Hills. Confession: I’m a cupcake die-hard and this may or may not have been my 1787 time here.
Automatic cupcakes? Hint: the answer is yes.
I’ll take one of each, thank you very much.
Sweet, tasty Sprinkles for lunch > Boring salad.
Nothing beats LA’s blue skies.
A quick peek inside their boutique: delicious human cupcakes on the left; adorable mini cupcakes for your furry friends on the right.
Pairing my cupcake with a healthy dose of Ferragamo.
Snacked on a couple when I got back to work (oops!) but brought home a week’s worth of cupcakes for By. Love is in the air, after all.
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day, Ambitionistas? Romantic dinner for two?
Cocktails with the girls? Do tell in the comments below.
Balmain Brown Sunglasses similar here
BCBG Black Wrap Cardigan similar here
Ann Taylor White Shirt similar here
Ferragamo Calf Hair Clutch similar here
Photos By Sabrina Hill of Party With No Cake
Special Thanks To Sprinkles Cupcakes Beverly Hills