Make-up and other kinds of cosmetics are usually marketable for women. Who would’ve thought that the famous cosmetics Ever Bilena was founded by a man?
In the past 37 years, founder Dioceldo “Deo” Sy led Ever Bilena Cosmetics through thick and thin. Accomplishing this wasn’t an easy task, but with a resilient attitude and clear goals – top-quality cosmetic items at affordable prices – he expanded Ever Bilena into one of the biggest (and most affordable) beauty brands in the country and turned him into the “Father of Philippine Cosmetics.”
In his younger days, Sy was a working student, working in the morning and studying in the evening. Working cost a lot of sacrifices, including a potential basketball career for him (this didn’t stop him from pursuing basketball, as today he’s a co-owner of PBA team Blackwater Elite), and ultimately not finishing his college in Philippine School of Business Administration.
After other stints in selling shirts and other promotional items, he found it too difficult, so he returned to the cosmetics industry to start up his own business – Ever Bilena Cosmetics – which began with nail polish. He later expanded to eye shadow, lipstick, and other products.
Following the economic growth after the EDSA Revolution, his Taiwanese supplier extended more credit lines, and his business grew over three times in 1986, which led him to extend further and to hire more beauty consultants to man the stores.
“I was fortunate and blessed enough to be at that time where the economy was starting to grow, and I was able to grow with the economy, and grow with our major partners, so that was the start of the growing of our business and our country’s economy,” he narrated.
“You don’t fight with the government. You work with [them]. Strike a deal with them. Be fair. I think that’s one of the best wisdom I learned from my grandfather in my earlier years.”
“It’s probably an inspiration in my part to help our Filipina consumers to be pretty, and I think they deserve products who make them pretty at an affordable price and a global quality, and I was able to do all these things,” Sy shared.
“I believe Ever Bilena is a legacy for our people. It’s a local brand, local inputs, and it’s all Filipino ideas in these product lines,” he reflects, looking back at his many years of running Ever Bilena. “Work hard, nothing is impossible, don’t be discouraged, put God in the center, and everything will be alright.”
And lastly, giving an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs out there, he said, “I don’t believe that there’s ‘luck’ or ‘lucky’ in life. I term ‘luck’ as blessings, and blessings will come through hard work. Of course, if you don’t plant or cultivate, there’s no harvest.”